Assessing savings involvement by small scale rural farmers in Asuret subcounty, Soroti district
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The aim of this paper was to investigate the determinants of rural farmer choice of financial institution of saving, characterize of female and male farmer savings, and establish challenges faced by farmers in saving taking a case study Asuret subcounty, Soroti district. The study used primary data to answer the research questions set towards specific objectives that is, (1) characterizing men and women farmers savings and saving systems, (2) assess determinants of choice of financial institution of saving by the rural smallholder farmers and (3) determine challenges faced by male and female farmers when saving. The primary data was collected through a comprehensive survey using randomized sampling technique from 105 farmer respondents in soroti district. Both descriptive and statistical analysis were used to analyze the data. A logistic regression model was applied to derive relationships between various farmer characteristics and saving behavior. The study results showed that farmers had a positive awareness and involvement in savings. In addition, most female respondents were found to be more committed to savings. The study also found that from the sampled respondents 95.24% were involved in saving. Also, most less educated respondents preferred to save in informal institutions (Farmers groups/VSLAs’, undisclosed places) while the more educated saved in the formal institutions (Banks, SAACOs). The findings from the logistic regression model show that distance to financial institution positively and significantly affect household choice of saving institution. Likewise, education level, age, and access to credit also had significant and positive effects on choice of were to save. However, regarding the challenges, low income which was attributed to low harvest because of the long dry spells ranked first followed by low security of money and inconsistent return of credit among others. Therefore researchers, development partners and private and government financial institutions need to develop and disseminate reliable information on the importance and avenues for savings. Furthermore, more funding should be extended to rural farmers and encourage financial institution to establish in rural areas with more strategic and suitable credit packages to farmers.