Measuring the Efficiency of Lending Institutions in Belize 2008-2012: A Strategic Assessment of Agricultural Finance
Gomez, Jeffy Virgilio
In today’s economy and society, efficiency in the financial sector (lending sector) and performance analysis in agricultural financing industry attract more and more attention. The main purpose of the study is to demonstrate if lending institutions in Belize are performing efficiently towards agricultural financing growth in collaboration with different stakeholders and for their own capacity development. This document is divided into two major sections that play a vital role in Belize’s economy. The first section analyzes technical efficiency of lending institution (commercial banks, credit union and other financial institution) in Belize from 2008 to 2012 by using Data Envelope Analysis (DEA). The technical efficiency was analyzed sequentially with a certain window width using panel data for 10 lending institutions.
The second section was a strategic assessment of agricultural finance in Belize. To date there has been too much reliance on what the outer world would offer and too little stock-taking of what Belize could create or generate with her own resources. Such that there is a need to increase the living standards of farmers through financing in order to stabilize and increase Belize economic growth. This can only be achieved by identifying the major problems in agriculture financing to provide suggestions for the improvement of an effective financing framework and policy implications to be implemented. Presently, most of the programs and policies are not achieving the objectives for which they were designed. This assessment used qualitative and quantitative data which revealed that most farmers have no access to any kind of financial service (payments, safekeeping, credit and insurance), which hampers the efficiency and security of their operations. Many farmers struggle to pay their seasonal harvest inputs, and investing in agricultural technology and expansion is even more difficult, even though there is great potential for agriculture expansion in Belize. The study draws on the experiences gained and vast literature from lending institution efficiency and the use of Taiwan agricultural finance framework special features. The study emphasizes on the importance of financing efficiency and agricultural financing. This role includes the provision of food, employment, raw materials for local industries and foreign exchange earnings for the development of the nation, therefore, the need for this study. The analysis concludes that agricultural production and financing will remain an issue of interest in an effort to raise agricultural production and productivity, as the implementation of macroeconomic policies under the economic deregulation policy will continue to affect the whole economy in general and the agricultural sector in particular. The study’s recommendations focused on both institutional aspects (the financial sector) and general policy implication recommendations (financial products, risk-mitigation mechanisms).
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