Improving Agriculture Production through Co-Operative Societies
With regards to coverage of the study, the researcher reviewed some related literature, textbooks, journals and other materials that discussed the importance of improving agricultural production through co-operative societies.
The heading below was gotten from the earlier research made from relevant materials.
1) Definition of agriculture.
2) Importance of agriculture.
3) Agricultural co-operative Societies.
4) Types of organizational forms of agricultural co-operative
And how they improve agricultural production.
5) Services provided by co-operatives.
DEFINITION OF AGRICULTURE:
Agriculture is defined as the cultivating of land for the purpose of producing food for man, animal and fibre or raw materials for our industries. Hence it also includes the processing and marketing of crops. Therefore, the small-scale industries connected with the processing of agricultural products also come under agriculture.
THE IMPORTANCE OF AGRICULTURE:
Agriculture provide food for the well being of the people owing to the improvement in so many sphere of life such as improving the standard of living, creating employment opportunity, generate income for the economy, improved medical health services, etc. this have increased life expectancy, reduces infant mortality and the world population increased at a fantastic rate. It also has the following importance which include:
1) The production of feed for animals; Agriculture produces feed for animals which
provide protein for man.
2) The production of firbre for the industries.
3) Foreign exchange earnings.
4) It provides food for the teaming population.
AGRICULTURAL CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETIES
The aims and role of agricultural co-operatives vary widely to provide a useful service where non exists, especially one that would be uneconomic for individual ownership, to reduce excessive costs of middleman, to help farmers get a fair share of the national income, to direct agriculture towards the goals of national economic planning and generally to improve the social and economic conditions of rural people. Farmers themselves usually regard and judge co-operatives in terms of economic benefits to members.
There is sound evidence that agricultural co-operative are an invaluable institution for promoting social and economic development and achieving a more equitable distribution of income. The record of success in this regard is not unmixed. There are numerous instances where they have proved unsuccessful and unable to exert the influences on development that many government had expected to them. Not uncommonly, the lack of success has been the product of a number of factors, not the least of which are poor management and planning of co-operative activities and the lack of timely support from the state of controls of government authorities that impair co-operative autonomy and the democratic character of the organization.
STAGE OF DEVELOPMENT
In some countries, rural co-operatives developed independently of each other. Agricultural co-operative has usually grown in response to everybody’s needs rather than ideological favour. The historical record spans over 150 years. There has been remarkable growth in the past 25 or 50 years, especially in the developing counties, with various international agencies assuming an important coordinating role.
The stage of development reached by agricultural co-operatives varies greatly from one country to another. In some countries they occupy a dominant position in agricultural business, in some they are strong in certain aspects of agriculture but weak in others. In some countries, they are highly developed in some states but remain weak in other regions, and in certain parts of the world, they have developed hardly at all. If the general objective of agricultural co-operative is to put farmers of the world in a strong position of control over the agricultural economy, the movement may be said to be still in its infancy.
The main feature and advantages of agricultural co-operative that have won for them the general support of farmer as well as that of official and international bodies are: they are effective means by which farmers can keep control over the business of agriculture, they provide a means for channeling government information and assistance to farmers. They provide a training ground in democracy and self government. They aim to keep economic and social considerations in proper balance. The regions where farmers co-operatives are dominant are those in which rural life is not attractive. Agricultural co-operative have been applied very successfully to provide individuals and communities with services in such field as that of education, health and other social welfare services. In many countries, agricultural co-operative have their own mutual insurance societies which underwrite risk of fire, death, cattle, soil and other atmospheric disaster. All these services are vital to the process of agricultural transformation.
Agricultural co-operative play a very important role both in establishing economic structures and in motivating farmers to become aware of improvement and utilize improved techniques. This great asset is then great mobilization power. Agricultural co-operative appeal to the self interest of the farmer in a way they can understand, can demonstrate things with tangible results, make maximum use of the locally available resources and prove that farmers working together in a spirit of mutual aid can improve their food production and economic position.
The field in which the agricultural co-operative make a positive contribution to the food problem and have almost unlimited scope for development are: production and distribution of consumer goods, thrift and credit, marketing of agricultural products, small scale industries and housing.
Agricultural co-operative have worldwide experience in promoting thrift and providing credit, in marketing, in organizing farmers, fishermen, artisans and craftsmen, in housing and transportation, in recreation and welfare services, etc.
TYPES OF ORGANIZATIONAL FORMS OF AGRICULTURAL CO-OPERATIVE AND HOW THEY IMPROVE AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION.
Since the enactment of the co-operative societies in Nigeria in 1935, the following types of agricultural co-operative have come to existence.
1) Farmers co-operative societies.
2) Agricultural co-operative societies.
3) Auxiliary service co-operative societies.
4) Productive co-operative societies.
5) Productive- promotion co-operative societies.
6) Joint collective production co-operative societies.
The organizational structure of agriculture by tradition in Anambra state has been that if individual subsistence farmers. The family farm has not been only an economic unit but an integral way of life for thousands of peasants.
According to Ijere (1996), the search for such socially appropriate forms of co-operative organization has contributed in the widespread farmers multi-purpose co-operative societies.
Adeyeye and Dinoh (1956) also combine all types of farmers co-operative into one which is known as farmers-multipurpose co-operative society.
HOW THEY IMPROVE AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION
In this type of organizational form of agricultural co-operative as an enterprise help members by providing certain services, in other wards, these societies only provide services to their members. These can be for example, the supply of goods, loans and credit facilities, etc.
Such auxiliary co-operative, their members manage their individual farm seeds, which are normally small and fragmented. These societies also input suppliers, processing, storage of market products and provision of credit. The members in term also take decision as to what to cultivate, farming method to be used, input to be used and how to use them.
Through ordinary productive co-operative the exist in which all the business function of the members private enterprise are taken over by the co-operative business enterprises and cease the exist as such, i.e, they are absorbed by the co-operative business, become employees of the common co-operative business enterprises.
In addition to the above process the private household business of members also cease to exist as such, i.e, it is absorbed into a common co-operative communal household social function of the members and are taken over by the co-operative and family members also work in the co-operative.
More so, the production- promotion co-operatives which emerges out necessary which help to solve the numerous problems associated with both the auxiliary and productive. It is an arrangement whereby the co-operative were brought in together under one umbrella for point work but the major decision regard on the operations of enterprises taken by management, they take decision of key issues like what types of fertilizers, procurement of necessary input including seeds, seeding and tractors.
As pointed out by Berko (1996), if we expect high output from the farmers as a result of proper planning and management of farm, provision of more loans by banks to the farmers and proper utilization of resources, then we must take for an alternative organizational structure for the agricultural industry.
This can be achieved through production promotion co-operatives. Therefore through it, it can be further buttressed as a co-operative integration where the farmers depends on the 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.
Based on the following co-operative societies, agricultural production can be improved through their services. Hence in proper planning, good management of fund, proper utilization of resources.
Co-operative tackles internal economic of scale which is not possible by individual. This may lead to large scale production through joint farming venture. In the area of production they are more integrated and jointly running of co-operative can be assured. There is always specialization tendency due to large scale production and also specialist among the members. There is room for modern farm equipment. This is because the co-operative rather then individual buy all the farm equipments, they provide agricultural inputs to members, helping them to secure loans at reasonable rate of interest and also solve the production problems of their members jointly…………………………………………………….
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This article was extracted from a Project Research Work Topic
“THE IMPORTANCE OF IMPROVING AGRICULTURE PRODUCTION THROUGH CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETIES.
(A CASE STUDY OF ANIOCHA L.G.A, ANAMBRA STATE.)”
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Improving Agriculture Production through Co-Operative Societies