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1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
According to Ilo (1966) co-operative is defined as an autonomous association of persons classified by gender, usually of limited means, they come together to solve their social and economic needs and aspirations through the formation of an association, making equitable contributions to the share capital required and accepting a fair share of the risks and benefits of the undertaking which members actively participate.
Alliance (ICA) (1995) co-operative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise, international co-operative.
Women co-operatives are also looking for opportunities to increase their income, most of which they spend on basic family needs. Women’s access and control over resources will affect the extent and mode of performance in carrying out their responsibilities, Ijere (1981:124).
The main objectives of rural development are to increase the per capital output and income of rural families and check the rate of rural-urban migration by providing the rural population with basic amenities services such as water, electricity, health education and job opportunities.
The knowledge about rural women is essential in all aspect of policy formation, planning and implementation of programmes directed towards planning and implementation of programmes directed towards the goals of rural development. These are the more reasons why NACRDB which is now known as BANK OF AGRICULTURE is financing rural women as this will lead to the socio-economic development.
Efforts made by government to finance women co-operative group during the FAO-Sponsored World food summit of 1996, World leaders from 186 countries adopted the Rome Declaration on World food security and a plan of action. These international agreements specified that the role of women in agriculture and food security must be emphasized, in order to create the enabling political, social and economic environment required for the eradication of hunger and property. Under commitment 1 of the world food summit plan of Action agenda, governments committed themselves to:-
Support and implement commitments made at the 4th world conference on women that a gender perspective is mainstreamed in all policies.
Promote women’s full and equal participation in the economy including secure and equal access to and control over credit, land and water.
Ensure that institution provide equal access for women
Provide equal gender opportunities for education and training in food production, processing and marketing.
Focus research efforts on the division of labour and on income access and control within the household.
Gather information of women’s traditional knowledge and skills in agricultural, fisheries, forestry and natural resources management.
FAO’s plans of action for women Development (1996-2001) ensures that gender issues is considered in its development work. Objectives include giving women equal access to and control of land and other productive resources, increasing their participation in decision-making and policy making reducing the workloads of women and enhancing their opportunities for paid employment and income.
The UNDP Report 1995 also states that the GDI (Gender-related Development Index) ranking can be different in different situation, as is shown by the following conclusion of a recent survey.
Regardless of the level of development achieved by the respective economies, women play a pivotal role in agricultural and in rural development in most countries.
Gender equality does not depend on the income level of a society. What it requires is a firm political commitment, not enormous financial wealth.
Facilitation Role of the ICA and its development partners. Since the establishment of the ICA regional office in New Delhi in 1960, efforts have consistently been made to initiate and promote programmes aimed at emancipation of women and their involvement in the organizational and business activities of co-operatives. This has been done through a long chair of seminars, discussions, conferences and technical assistance programmes which have been carried out with the collaboration of its member organizations and development partners. In agricultural cooperatives sector some of the most recent initiatives have been as follows:-
A series of technical meetings and conferences were held which had taken note of the recommendations of UN and other international conferences and initiatives on women in cooperative development.
A series of specialized training courses for rural women leaders in agricultural cooperatives, on yearly basis, with financial support of the government.
The reasons for the failure of these women cooperatives development programmes:-
A low level of participation by the poor. Rural poor are often denied a voice in the formulation and even in the execution of a poverty programme.
Programmes have tended to rely on grants and subsidies as the main tools for serving the poor.
Too little attention has been given to strengthening the negotiating capacities of the poor, to enhancing their power to participate meaningfully in policy formulation and in the market place.
Most poverty alleviation programmes have had a single vector of intervention and have failed to confront the multi-dimensionality of poverty. priorities usually have been set from the outside, thus being supply-driven rather than demand-driven and unable to respond to the particular needs and potentials of the poor.
Financial institutions, government should know that women play an indispensable role in farming and in improving the quality of life in rural areas.
Equitable access for women cooperative groups to educational facilities would certainly improved their performance and liberates them from their marginalized status in the society.
Women cooperative groups should be assured supply of farm inputs (quality seeds chemical fertilizer, credit and extension services).
Necessary information and guide should be provided for women cooperatives by NACRDB to ensure that loans obtained are used for production activities and not diverted to household needs problem.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Women cooperative is one form of business enterprise like every other business enterprises, It needs finance to survive. In most cases, women cooperatives are unable to finance most of their projects, because they are usually formed during a period of hardship in the economy they are hardly formed when things are going down or in a period of less boom in the economy and as such unable to carryout all their social and economic activities. It is widely discovered that many of our co-operative organization completely die or collapse as a result of inadequate finance to run them.
Members of the women groups and so on can not finance their activities through their share capital savings, entrance fees etc. in most cases, they have to be financed by banks and other financial institutions.
The research wishes to know the role played by the NACRDB (BANK OF AGRICULTURE) in financing women groups.
Some women co-operative groups are solely formed to get credit from NACRDB only to disband after disbursement of fund. This is where trial period of some months of savings is necessary.
Less of efficiency and autonomy that is brought about by interference of government and their agencies. This leads to loan diversions and misappropriation of repayments.
Irresponsible leadership characterized by lack of transparency and honest in their dealings
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The general objective of the study is to examine the role of NACRDB (BANK OF AGRICULTURE) in financing women’s cooperative groups in Enugu state.
The specific objectives are:-
To find the demographic characteristic of women members.
To find out how many women cooperative groups obtained loans between 2008-2012 from NACRDB.
To ascertain the effectiveness of such loans.
To ascertain the interest rate on loans and loan repayment trends.
To ascertain the problems faced by women cooperative groups and infer solutions.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
What are the demographic characteristics of women co-operative group’s members?
How many women cooperative groups obtained loans between 2008-2012?
What are the effectiveness of such loans?
What are the interest rates on loans and loan repayment trends?
What are the problems encountered by women cooperative groups in obtaining loans from NACRDB?
What are the possible solutions to emboss or enhance women cooperative group in Enugu state?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The vital role of finance in women co-operatives growth and development cannot be over emphasized.
Dearth of and limited access to timely and affordable credit facilities has been the band of co-operatives development in Nigeria as a whole.
This study will provide information which will assist policy makers, co-operatives and financial institutions in emancipating good and viable policies on how best to finance co-operatives in Enugu state in particular and Nigerian in general.
Furthermore, this study if applied will enable the government to introduce educational facilities which would certainly improve women co-operatives performance in farming and in quality of life. The study will also enable the government to facilitate and fund developmental centre where women co-operatives from urban and rural areas will participate in programme and formulation of policies as this will solve most problems they encounter. To the economy at large, this study is of great important since any attempt at resuscitating and developing productivity is a big step towards changing an economy.
1.6 THE SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study will attempt to explore the whole issue pertaining financing women co-operative groups. It would have been ideal for this study to stretch its tentacles to cover the whole nation-Nigeria, but as a result of some constraints, it will be limited to women co-operative groups in Enugu state.
THE LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
One of the limitations of the study is the difficulty faced in getting information from the NACRDB (BANK OF AGRICULTURE) as they are very suspicious in releasing relevant data for the study. Also the time frame is short to enable the researcher consult many literatures related to the study.
Finally, lack of finance is another constraints of this study. This is so because we as students are limited to a little pocket money given to us by our parents and because of this it will prove a lot of difficulties to transport ourselves to the places we will get our materials from.
However, despite the above constraints, we were able to conduct a research which can serve as a source of reference point to other students academicians policy makers and both government and non-governmental agencies that might want to use it.
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