Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Agricultural Economics

Major Professor

Merton B. Badenhop

Committee Members

David Brown, James Snell, Walter Neale


Rice is the primary source of cash income for a small but increasing number of farmers in the Northwest Province. It is grown in both upland and swampland areas, under supervised as well as unregulated conditions, where hand technology is the mode of cultivation. The primary purpose of this research is to determine the credit absorptive capacity in this setting of smallholder rice producers.

The first task of this study was to identify the desirability of extending production credit to peasant rice farmers by examining the likely impact on output and income of additional input usage. A socioeconomic survey conducted in nine villages throughout the Province during mid-March to mid-May provided the data base for an inquiry into this issue.

Tha analysis was cast into a production function framework from which cost and revenue relationships were estimated. The empirical findings confirmed farmers' contention that labor is the most constraining resource. It was shown that it is more profitable at the margin for a farmer to hire labor than to purchase fertilizer given existing production patterns. Moreover, increasing product returns were associated with additional hired labor usage.

The second task of this study was to evaluate the institutional arrangements through which credit can be extended to the small farmer and to suggest possible structural modifications. To this end, ways in which the government sponsored National Rural Fund for Development could intervene into the rice sector of the Northwest Province was described. In addition, an assessment of the socioeconomic impact of indigenous credit societies was made. And suggestions followed about the kind of linkages which might be established between modern and traditional institutions in order to facilitate the flow of additional credit to rural areas.

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