Improving Agricultural Production Through Co-Operative
The research work on the topic “improving Agricultural production through co-operative (A case study of Ndokwa West L. G. A Delta State Co-operative as was carried out to survey the past programmes and polities constituted by government to mobilize peasant farmers into agricultural co-operative and functional ones more productive as a way of facilitating the attainment of self-sufficiency in agricultural productivity in the country.
The general constrains that affect the achievement of the objectives in Ndokwa West local government area was identified. These include ill conceived and inefficient extension services, inadequate farm storage facilities and organized marketing outlets, use of crude farming implements. Complex land tenure system, non-restriction of membership which might bring in people of questionable characters whose membership may lead to the down fall of the society among others.
1.1 Background of the Study
Every student requires a particular institutional framework. One of such framework of the student is the co-operative. The word co-operative can have different interpretation. In a layman’s language, it means working together on working mutually. The second interpretation , which is where the emphasis means a special type of co-operative. The co-operative has been defined by different schools of thought but the various in the degree of emphasis on one aspect or the other. Agricultural co-operatives are agricultural-producer-owned coops whose primary purpose is increase member producers’ production and incomes by helping better link with finance, agricultural inputs, information, and output markets. Publication of the ATA Agricultural Cooperatives Sector Development Strategy 2012-2016, 2012 The large-scale introduction of agricultural coops in the 1970s and 1980s, with compulsory membership, was associated with declining agricultural output per capita. In Ethiopia, when farmers were allowed to join or leave cooperatives at will in 1991, cooperative membership fell drastically and yields rose.8 Certainly, there have been cooperative success stories in the region for instance the dairy sector in Kenya, coffee in Ethiopia, and cotton in Mali, for example. The examples of Taiwan, India, and Vietnam also show that cooperatives can be instrumental in sector transformation. Unfortunately, to date, no African country has achieved a sustained and large scale increase in staple crop yields as a result of cooperative action and many cooperative development programs have failed to achieve their objectives or have even been counter productive. The purpose of agricultural cooperatives is to help farmers increase their yields and incomes by pooling their resources to support collective service provisions and economic empowerment. Given their primary remit to contribute to smallholder farmer production, agricultural cooperatives are seen as critical in achieving the government’s development targets in the Growth and Transformation Plan, and focusing on other types of cooperatives requires an alternative framework for analysis. The main categories of agricultural co-operatives fall into mainstream activities of agricultural undertaking including supply of agricultural inputs, joint production and agricultural marketing. Input supply includes the distribution of seeds and fertilizers to farmers. Co-operatives in joint agricultural production assume that members operate the co-operative on jointly owned agricultural plots. The third category consists of joint agricultural marketing of producer crops, where farmers pool resources for the transformation, packaging, distribution and marketing of an identified agricultural commodity. In Africa, however, the most popular agricultural co-operative mode has historically been the marketing of agricultural produce after small farmers have individually completed their farm production operations. But in some cases, agricultural co-operatives have combined both input distribution and crop marketing.
Cooperative as a business organization is owned and operated by a group of individuals for their mutual benefits. A cooperative may be owned and controlled equally by the people who use its service or by the people who work with cooperative enterprise. Agriculture in the post independent years was the main stay of Nigeria economy but suffered serious neglect due to the oil boom in 1970’s. Agricultural production which then contributed about 80% to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) declined to less than 3% in the 1990’s and 2000’s. In order to redirect the situation, multitudes of programmes were initiated which were not able to meet the objective for which they were designed to achieve. This scenario was further constrained by the nation’s agricultural sector which is characterized by small farm holdings (Olayide, 1980). He stated further that the peasant farmers produce over 90% of the food crop grown in Nigeria using traditional method coupled with obsolete farming implements. Olayemi et al. (1980) opined that structural transformation of the present agricultural economy is inevitable for Nigeria to be food secured in future. This needed transformation could only be achieved through virile extension services because of its vital link between research stations and farmers. Olayide and Ogunfiditimi (1980), suggested agricultural cooperative as a means to shorten the gap as well as rural transformation of agricultural sector as part of dynamic social order. In addition, Mc Bride (1986), was of the opinion that education of the cooperative members and leadership development are important for the viability of the cooperative society since extension service have not been able to reach out to all rural farmers, hence the need to use agricultural cooperative to complement the effort of extension workers in conventional agricultural development and bring about increase innovativeness in the farmers. In line with the above, Oshuntogun (1980) is of the view that cooperative will enable the removal of element of old social order which impede development and bring about increase in food production among the small holding farmers. There is need therefore to assess impact of farmers’ cooperative on their productivity as this can enhance increase in food production which can lead to national food security. This study was designed to identify farming activities of farmers, determine sources of agricultural information and ascertain farmers’ productivity.
The school of thought describes co-operative as business undertaking owned and operated by voluntary associations in order to provide themselves with work and wages or with goods and services.
But the International Co-operative Alliance (I C A) defined co-operative as an autonomous association of persons, limited voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprises. The role of co-operative in agricultural is an important topic of study but already much has been done by co-operators to justify its prime role of score securing economic and political development particularly in developed countries like England known for consumer co-operatives. France known for industrial co-operative and Germany known for credit co-operative. Co-operative movement is world wide phenomenon. It has developed from simple traditional form(s) of mutual institution of modern formally organized institution. This institution gained world wide acceptance because of the grate role. It has been playing in the economic development of various countries particularly in the developing countries. The improvement of agricultural production through co-operative inevitable has social effects. Co-operative management bring better yield which in turn yields better living standard, better housing, better education for members and their families. This economic success of co-operative society has been witnessed invaluably in co-operative studies.
In Delta State, most inhabitants survive through and the main occupation is substantial farming, which attracted interest many co-operative societies, both existing ones and new initiated ones. Improving the agricultural production was their main target and interest and at the same time lifting the level of its individuals. Improvement target was both in size and qualities were poor and could not be marketed most of the crops having pest scales and most couldn’t grow well in other to produce as expected. The product that were severely affected were yam tubers, cassava stems and tubers, cocoa yams, vegetables.
1.2 Statement of Problem
Nigeria had embarked on various programmes and policies costing hundreds of millions of naira aimed at reviving the depressed agricultural sector.
In view of this, agricultural co-operative was instituted so as to organize the small scale farmers who are still involved in manual labour type of farming in co-operative and had failed to produce enough food for our teeming population thereby the country to be involved in importation of large quantity of food with a huge percentage decline in agricultural exports.
All those governmental effort have not actually had much significant improvement in this sector as much emphasis now being placed on agriculture. The call for urgent re-examination of the role of these agricultural production sure it’s aim of facilitating the attainment of self-sufficiency in agriculture and making agriculture to take its prime position in the national economy of this country in danger.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The general purpose of this project report is undertaken as a study of the existing farmers co-operative societies and their effects in improving the development of agriculture specify.
Finally, the study has the following objective:
- To examine the organizational set and the operations of co-operative movement in Delta State with particular reference to Ndokwa west local government are co-operative societies, Delta.
- To examine the impact of the farmer co-operative and societies.
- To investigate the problems facing the farmers co-operative.
- To suggest pragmatic ways and means for enhancing the effectiveness of these societies main attempt to be as food production and assist in further research into contemporary issue on the matter.
1.4 Importance of the Study
Agriculture is so importance in order to sustain any economy. Moreover, co-operative using the agricultural sector, thus any effort geared towards carrying out research aimed at improving the agricultural production should be considered work while any suggestion on the improvement of agricultural co-operatives should have bearing on the sector. This is therefore the most appropriate time to study the agricultural sector concerning the prevailing economic condition of Delta state.
Presently, our farmers are not adequately remunerated despite the fact they bend over double trying to make the state sufficient and self-reliant in food production. They cannot compete with their counterparts in Nigeria not to talk of the part of the world.
If they are organized in co-operative, increased productivity enhanced the profit maximized to them and then farming will once more look attractive.
Based on the findings of this study and suggestions proffered it is strongly believed that the policy makers government would encourage our peasant farmers to voluntarily join the co-operative societies. Moreover, healthy progrant and policies on co-operative and development would be mounted in addition, it would enable the manager of co-operative and organization to adequately organize the co-operative farmer for increased food production.
Furthermore, colleges of co-operatives, schools and researcher who wish to carry out research in this field have been provided a springboard from where they can take off.
1.5 Research Questions
- Does co-operative helps to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of agricultural production?
- Does agricultural product helps to improve peoples standard of living?
- To what extent has agriculture contributed tremendously to the overall development of economic of Nigeria?
- How can you as a member of co-operative help to remedy some of the problems facing the development of co-operative society?
- Does government show much concern to appreciate the work of co-operative in increasing productivity?
1.6 Research Hypotheses
The following hypotheses were formulated to aid the successful completion of the study
- H0: cooperative society does not contribute to the improvement of agricultural production in Nigeria
H1: cooperative society does contribute to the improvement of agricultural production in Nigeria
- H0: there is no significant relationship between cooperative society and improvement in agricultural production
H2: there is a significant relationship between cooperative society and improvement in agricultural production
1.7 Definition of Terms
Most of their term (words or phrase that are used in this projects report may be unfamiliar or may have peculiar meaning and connotation.)
These terms includes:-
1. Agricultural Productivity:
The index of the ratio of the value of the total form output to the value of the total input used in farm production.
2. Farm Management:
The application of farming science and technology as the solution of the day to day problems facing the farms.
3. Bye –Laws:
We mean the registered bye-laws made by a co-operative society which governs the activities of such society and which is made by a society in the exercise of any power conferred by the co-operative laws.
4. Small-scale Individual farmers:
This implies that a farmer whose total cultivable farm land is not more than hectares and whose farm labour requirement are largely supplied by his family, his sells are good in a localized market. He requires low initial capital investment farms on small holdings with simple technology and at least 60% of his annual income from agriculture.
This means Ndokwa west local government area co-operative federal limited. It is the highest co-operative body in this state that gives supervisory to other co-operative bodies in the state.
6. Co-operative Society:
It is a form of organization whereby people voluntarily associate together as human beings on the basis of equality for the promotion of the economic interests of themselves.
7. Auxiliary Co-operatives:
This type provides individual service to members. The co-operatives main function are to provide credit supply and market and storage the co-operative has no hand in the supervision and management affairs of member farm.
8. Productive Type:
Here there is a full integration. The co-operation absorbs all the member business enterprise that is members’ economic responsibilities are borne be the co-operatives is found in Delta, Ndokwa West Local Government Area.
9. Production Promotion Co-operative:
This is co-operative by integration, the farmer depends on society for his production activities. This is a strong link between the co-operative and members in areas of management marketing credit and decision making
1.8 Organization of the Study
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows
- Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
- Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature.
- Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
- Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
- Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain the efficacy of cooperative in improving agricultural production.
In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the challenges of cooperative in improving agricultural production.
Rural dwellers who are characterized by low income, and low resources utilization find it difficult to pool their resources together in order to raise their income; productivity and substantially promote their livelihood. In such situation cooperative represent a strong and viable social and economic alternative as it offers the best platform for reaching the masses of rural dwellers, specifically farmers in achieving self-actualization.
It has been revealed that farmer’s cooperative is a viable tool towards improving farmers’ productivity. It was also observed that farmers’ participation and attitude toward farmers’ cooperative can lead to increased productivity. The study has revealed that farmers’ cooperative societies are variously involved in agricultural development. Moreover, certain factors are influencing their role performance which includes annual income, experience in farming, leadership training and membership size. In this regard, serious attempts ought to be made to address these issues at stake that are serving as impediments to the growth and development of the farmers’ cooperatives. The appeal for the promotion of cooperatives at the grassroots and community levels should be seen as an instrumental strategy towards sustainable rural development now that government cannot be depended upon to meet individual numerous needs. Meijerink (2007) emphasized the important role of agriculture in sustainable development by evolving appropriate strategy and policy. The attitudes of government and the generality of the people must be changed positively towards cooperative development since it will be too difficult to achieve a meaningful balanced development without involving and stimulating the under-utilized rural resources which these cooperatives are trying to pool together to develop themselves.
Based on the findings, the following recommendations are proposed to assist agricultural cooperative to be effective and responsive to problems that farmers faced in relation to increased productivity.
Government should encourage farmers’ participation in cooperative by using it as a medium to reach the farmers in giving out incentives to farmers rather than targeting individuals who would divert such incentives to unintended purposes.
Extension agents should utilize cooperative forum to reach the farmers on information to increased productivity.
Government should empower farmers cooperative so as to be able to grant more loans to farmers, as Loans administered under this condition will be well managed and supervised with high resultant effect.
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