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34This study showed that socioeconomic characteristics of cooperative societies affected their access to the services of the Nigerian Agricultural Cooperative And Rural Development Bank Ltd. The study raised a fundamental issue in cooperative formation requiring promoters of cooperative societies to pay particular attention to socioeconomic characteristics such as membership size, size of share capital holding, assets holding, level of education of members and others, because these have fundamental effects on the performance of cooperative societies.
If this growth strategy is adopted and the latent entrepreneurial capabilities of this large segment of the people is sufficiently stimulated and sustained, then positive multipliers will be felt throughout the economy. To give effect to these aspirations various policies have been instituted over time by the Federal Government to improve agricultural production capabilities, positively channel the potential of SMEs to enhance their standard of living and to put the sector in the front burner of Government’s development strategy. Reference asserts that a major challenge facing many developing countries, especially in Africa, is devising appropriate development strategies that will capture the financial services requirements of farmers and small and mediumentrepreneurs who constitute about 70 percent of the population. The Federal Government of Nigeria considers this segment critical for its development efforts to be fully realized. The Government has instituted various policies to achieve its aims, including a commercial bill financing scheme; regional commodity boards (later called national commodity boards); an export financing and rediscount facility (1987); the Nigerian Agricultural Cooperative and Rural Development Bank.