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Determinants of Financial Sustainability for Farm Credit Applications—A Delphi Study
Johannes I. F. Henning, Henry Jordaan

Published: 14 January 2016 by MDPI in Sustainability
MDPI, Volume 8; 10.3390/su8010077
Abstract: Farmers use credit from commercial credit providers to finance production activities. Commercial credit providers have to predict the financial sustainability of the enterprise to ensure that the borrower will have the ability to repay the loan. A Delphi study was conducted to explore what factors are used as indicators of loan-repayment ability of farmers. The objective was not only to identify factors that are currently considered, but also to identify other personal attributes that may improve the accuracy in predicting the repayment ability of potential borrowers. The Delphi was applied to a panel consisting of nine credit analysts and credit managers from a commercial credit provider in South Africa. The results indicate that the current and past financial performance, account standing, collateral, and credit record of the farm are very important in the assessment of applications in terms of financial performance. Experience and the success factors compared to competitors were found to be important, while age and education/qualification are regarded as less important in predicting repayment ability. The results also show that, although not currently objectively included in credit evaluations, credit analysis regards leadership and human relations; commitment and confidence; internal locus of control; self-efficacy; calculated risk taking; need for achievement; and opportunity seeking as important indicators of the ability of potential borrows to repay their loans. Thus, credit analysts and managers also regard management abilities and entrepreneurial characteristics of potential borrowers to be good indicators of repayment ability. Results from this research provide new indicator factors that can be used to extend existing credit evaluation instruments in order to more accurately predict repayment ability.
Keywords: finance, Commercial Credit, sustainability, South Africa, Credit Providers, DelPhi, risk taking, repayment, Abilities and Entrepreneurial
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