THE IMPACT OF COOPERATIVE FARMING SOCIETIES ON AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT
1.1 THE STUDY'S BACKGROUND
Agriculture is the most important industry in developing countries, such as Nigeria. It has been established that approximately to percent of the Nigerian population is engaged in agriculture (Obasi and Aug, 2000), while small farms produce 90 percent of Nigeria's total food production and to percent of the country's population earns a living from these small farms (Oluwatayo et al, 2008).
The recent importation of food items into the country to compensate for shortfalls in food supply is a dangerous indicator of warning farm productivity and a warning sign that if the country continues on its current course, the prospect of food security will be bleak for millions of people (Nwede 2003)
It refers to employment. Agriculture is by far the most important sector of the Nigerian economy, employing roughly 70% of the labor force. Agricultural holdings are generally small and dispersed, and families are frequently of the subsistence variety, with simple tools and shifting cultivation.
These small farms produce roughly 80% of total food production. Cultivation covers approximately 30.7 million hectares (76 million acres), or 33 percent of Nigeria's land area. Nigeria's diverse climate, ranging from the tropical coast to the arid zone of the north, allows it to produce virtually all agricultural products that can be grown in the tropical and semitropical areas of the world.
The economic benefits of large-scale agriculture are recognized, and the government encourages the formation of cooperative societies and settlements to encourage industrial agriculture. Large-scale agriculture, on the other hand, is uncommon.
Despite an abundant water supply, a favorable climate, and a large area of arable land, productivity is limited in many areas due to low soil fertility and inefficient agricultural methods. In 2001, it contributed 32% of GDP.
It is widely acknowledged that cooperatives are an essential component. Co-operatives serve as the foundation and plant form for bringing together economically disadvantaged members of society in order to improve their individual capacities (Akali, 1991).
Cooperatives make enormous contributions to the economy, particularly in developing countries, ranging from the provision of credit to its members and the sourcing of inputs at reasonable prices to the scale of member production (Okonkwuo, 1991). Cooperatives are defined as “an autonomous association of people who voluntarily join together to meet their common economic and social needs and aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise.”
Cooperatives are formed by like-minded individuals to pursue mutually beneficial economic interests (ICA, 1995). According to researchers, cooperatives play an important role in the provision of services that promote agricultural development under normal circumstances.
Patrick (1995) defined cooperatives as a medium through which agricultural services such as farm input, farm implements, and farm mechanization are provided. Loans, agricultural extension member education, marketing of member farm produce, and other economic activities and services provided to members on a regular and optimal basis will accelerate agricultural transformation and rural economic development. Ijere (1981) elaborated on this. It is the cooperative that welcomes all types of farmers, and a well-organized and supportive cooperative is a pillar of strength for Nigerian agriculture.
Ogunbameru (1986) also estimated that women make up 52 percent of the Nigerian population, with 70 percent of these women living in rural areas. According to Adebayo and Amao (2003), women make up 53% of the poor in Nigeria. A large number of women in rural areas are illiterate, very poor, have a high rate of infection, and are economically oppressed (Essien, 2000).
It was observed that only a small fraction of women in Nigeria had the benefit of higher education, with the majority engaged in petty trading and peasantry farming. Despite their low educational and economic backgrounds, Nigerian women are responsible for more than half of the country's food basket and more than two-thirds of farm labor (Barret et al, 2001). They also reported that african Women are responsible for 66 percent of microprocessing activities, particularly agricultural produce processing.
Small-scale farmers, the majority of whom live in rural areas, dominate agricultural production in Nigeria. Crops and livestock are raised on scattered farm holdings. The majority of farmers do not use modern production equipment. Their marketing system is disorganized, with each farmer producing farm inputs and selling farm produce on his or her own.
Cooperative societies enable people to accomplish what they would be unable to accomplish as individuals. They are legally established organizations based on a specific set of principles. Cooperative activities are one of the best ways for peasant farmers to participate in their own economic advancement while also gaining valuable experience in democratic produce and business management.
Akinwumi (1978). They are a group of people who have come together voluntarily to achieve a common goal by forming a democratically controlled organization, making equitable contributions to the required capital, and accepting a fair share of the risk and benefit of the undertaking (World Bank, 1999, Ebonyi and Jimo, 2002).
1.2 THE PROBLEM STATEMENT
Cooperatives have long been regarded as one of the most important institutional mechanisms for empowering economically disadvantaged members of society. Many agricultural cooperative societies have been formed throughout the country as a result of this official recognition and the determination of government (at all levels) to transform agricultural production and raise the standard of living in rural areas. Despite the cooperative societies' efforts or contribution to agricultural development in Nigeria, this effort has not been widely publicized, and this study was designed to address this issue.
1.3 THE STUDY'S OBJECTIVE
1. Determine the extent to which farmers participate in cooperative societies.
2. Determine the advantages that respondents gain from belonging to various cooperative societies.
3. Identify major issues that are impeding farmer participation in cooperative activities.
4. Make policy recommendations based on funding.
1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS STATEMENT
Because of the statistical testability of the problems formulated, hypothesis testing as a measure will greatly assist in carrying out the research to a logical conclusion based on the nature of the problems aforementioned.
A hypothesis is an assumption or statement about the population that may or may not be true. Walpole (1974). As a result, the hypothesis of this study is regarded as a tentative statement, which will be considered positive or negative at the conclusion of the research presentation.
i. f0: Agricultural organizations are unaware of the existence of cooperative societies.
ii. f0: Cooperative societies' objectives, programs, and agricultural strategies are not recognized and accepted by agricultural organizations.
F1: Agricultural organizations recognize and accept cooperative societies' objectives, programs, and agricultural strategies.
iii. f0: Cooperative societies have made no positive contributions to agricultural activities.
f1: Cooperative societies have made a positive contribution to agricultural activities.
1.5 THE STUDY'S SIGNIFICANCE
This study is attempting to determine the impact of cooperative societies on agricultural production in the Oredo Local Government Area of edo state. knowing the contribution of cooperative societies will encourage farmers and enlighten them on the significance of this society. This study will also reveal solutions to the problems impeding farm participation in cooperative activities in the study area.
1.6 THE STUDY'S OBJECTIVE
The research will highlight the importance of cooperative societies in financing farmers in rural Edo State.
Agriculture is the process of growing plants and raising domesticated animals in order to produce food, feed, and fiber. It is a broad term for productive activities such as crop cultivation. animal raising (including poultry) forestry and fishing
Cooperative: An autonomous association of individuals who write voluntarily to meet their common economic and social needs and aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise.
Society: A group of people who live together in communities or a specific group of people who share the same customs, laws, and so on.
When referring to a group or a group of people who share the same religion, the term “community” refers to the people who live in a specific country, etc.
Development is a broad term that encompasses a wide range of concepts. However, when it comes to countries, development simply means achieving an acceptable standard of living for all people. Developed countries are not always rich, and all rich countries are not always developed.
Economic: This is the realized social system of a country's or areas' production, exchange, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.
Organization: A group of people who form a business, club, or work together to achieve a specific goal, or the act of making arrangements or preparations for something.
Gross Domestic Product (GDP): A measure of all services and goods produced in a country over a specific time period, typically a year.
GDP = C+I+G+ (consumption + gross investment + government + export – import)
Peasant: An agricultural worker with roots in the countryside in which they live, either working for others or owning or renting and working a small plot of land with his or her own labor.
Arable land is land that can be used to grow crops.
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