ANALYSIS OF THE EFFECTS OF POLICY ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF AGRO-BASED MICRO-ENTERPRISES IN THE INFORMAL SECTOR OF BAYELSA STATE, NIGERIA

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Department of Agriculture

ANALYSIS OF THE EFFECTS OF POLICY ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF AGRO-BASED MICRO-ENTERPRISES IN THE INFORMAL SECTOR OF BAYELSA STATE, NIGERIA

ABSTRACT
This study was conducted to analyze the effects of policy on the development
of Agro-based micro-enterprises in the informal sector of Bayelsa State of
Nigeria. Structured questionnaires were used to collect data from 150 microenterprises
that were randomly selected. Descriptive statistics, multiple
regression, Access model and the t- statistics were employed for data analysis.
Among the major findings were that the agricultural micro-enterprises span the
entire agricultural sector of crop production, animal, fisheries, processing and
trading. The age range of the entrepreneurs were between 31-65 years
(85.4%), with women dominating the sector (58.0%).

The level of education
was appreciable with 44.0% having more than primary education, the
enterprises were relatively new with experience range of 1-10years and 80.7%
employed between 1 and 10 persons. The average income was N100,000 per
annum and an asset holding of N100,000 to N150,000. Econometric estimation
showed that experience, size, income level, value of asset-holdings and credit
history affected the amount of micro-credit obtained significantly. Also, age,
gender of entrepreneur and level of education did not affect the amount of
credit obtained significantly. Further findings showed that only 23.3% had
access to training and only 9.3% have benefited in government market
facilities. The access index of micro-credit was 0.26 representing 26.0% in the
entire state.

The survey also showed that tax policy also significantly affected
the development of urban and rural micro-enterprises. Also poor transportation,
poor road network, poor electricity supply, inadequate market infrastructure,
inadequate subsidies and micro-credit were the identified constraints to microenterprises
development. It is therefore recommended that the government,
NGOs multinationals should re-address the infrastructural policies, micro-credit
policies, tax, training programmes and if possible partner with private
companies for a total over-haul of the sector.

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