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This paper discusses the farm credit policies pursued by governments in low-income countries. It is argued that, in the early stages of development, peasant attitudes to debt are such that cheap credit is unlikely to be a useful growth stimulus. It is shown that the effectiveness of credit depends on the ability and willingness of the peasants to devote such additional funds to productive uses. The poor performance of many government rural credit programmes in low-income countries is discussed and criteria for a successful programme are presented.


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