THE ROLE OF AGRICULTURAL COOPERATIVES SOCIETIES IN THE PROCESSING OF AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS OF ITS MEMBERS.
(A case study of Oboro women farmers multi-purpose cooperative Society Ikwuano Lga in at Abia state)
This work is done to find out the role of agricultural cooperative societies in the processing of agricultural produce of members. Agricultural cooperative are cooperative societies that engages in the production, processing, marketing and distribution of agricultural products. So, in brief narration of this project work, chapter one gives an introduction of the subject matter/project work as well as the scope and limitation, etc. Chapter two reviews the related literature reviews. It elaborates the major parts. It portrays fully the nature, types, characteristics, need to process Agricultural products, problems and the process of collecting and processing members produce in Oboro women multi purpose cooperative society. Chapter three shows case the research methodology adopted towards the search of data, that is, area of study, the sample size and sampling techniques, methods of data collection and description of data analysis tool. Chapter four borders presentation, analysis, testing of hypothesis and discussion of results/tool. Chapter five summarizes the finding, conclusion and recommendation of his project work.
This project is dedicated to God Almighty who gave me his inspiration to carryout this work and to the blessed memory of my late Lovely Father Elder T. Nzeako Itigwe.
I wish to thank t he Almighty Go for sustaining my life and giving me the strength and courage of my short comings.
This project would not have been possible without the devot assistance of my Darling husband Mr. Eberechukwu Godwin Elesiro. Equally importance is my supervisor Mr. Clement Uba who has taken time to supervise despite his other engagement, the head of department and other lecturer in the department.
I equally remain grateful to my good brothers Mr. Chris .A. Nzeako and Nwazue Nzeako. My mother Mrs. Esther .T. Nzeako my father-in-law and my mother-in-law Mr. & Mrs. Thoms Elesiro and brother-in-law.
My heartfelt appreciation also goes to all my friends and the officials and members of multi purpose cooperative society limited.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title page- - - - - - - - i
Approval page - - - - - - - ii
Dedication - - - - - - - iii
Acknowledgement - - - - - - iv
Abstract - - - - - - - - v
Table of content - - - - - - vi
1.0 Introduction - - - - - - 1
1.1 General Overview of the Study - - 2
1.2 The statement of the Problem - - - 4
1.3 The Objectives of the Study - - - 6
1.4 The research question - - - - 7
1.5 The Significance of the Study- - - 7
1.6 The scope of the study - - - - 10
1.7 Limitation of the Study - - - - 11
1.8 Definition of Terms- - - - - 12
2.0 Literature Review - - - - - 13
2.1 Nature of Agricultural Cooperatives - - 13
2.2 Types of Agricultural Cooperatives- - 15
2.3 Characteristics of Agric products - - 18
2.4 Need to process Agricultural products - 20
2.5 Problems encountered by cooperatives
in the processing of Agricultural products 23
2.6 The process of collecting and processing
members produce in Oboro women
Palm fruit process Cooperative Society - 25
3.0 Research Methodology - - - 30
3.1 Introduction - - - - - - 30
3.2 Research design - - - - - 30
3.3 Method of Data collection - - - - 31
3.4 Population and sample size - - - 32
3.5 Sample techniques - - - - - 32
3.6 Method of Data analysis - - - - 33
4.0 Presentation and Analysis of Data - 36
4.1 Introduction - - - - - - 36
4.2 Presentation of data - - - - 36
4.3 Data Analysis - - - - - - 53
4.4 Testing of Hypothesis - - - - 54
4.5 Interpretation of result - - - 58
5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations 59
5.1 Introduction `- - - - - - 59
5.2 Summary - - - - - - 59
5.3 Conclusion - - - - - - 61
5.4 Recommendations - - - - - 61
Reference - - - - - - 63
Appendix - - - - - - - 64
Members of agricultural cooperative societies suffers as a result of selling their agricultural produce raw, that is unprocessed as well as the. loss and difficulties encountered by processing their agricultural produce in other people processing farm.
Agricultural cooperative are organized by farmers to help them solve their problems collectively, So, therefore loss members suffer as a result of selling their agricultural produce raw, that is, unprocessed as well as the loss, the problems that members encountered are as numbers to mention. The problems are as follows:
- Low pricing at the product.
- The revenue that is gotten from the members at the agricultural cooperative societies might be small.
- Damages can occur because if the members live the products, that is, agro products unprocessed they might delay accordingly and get bad most especially when there is no storage facilities to reserve and store them.
- Transportation cost of the unprocessed at the agricultural produce of members is too high that the members may not afford it all by themselves and it might be beyond their limit. These tends to discourage members in subsequent season the members loss a lot of interest.
The difficulties encountered by process their agricultural produce in other peoples processing farm are numerous but with these facts, it is the increase cost of production which may affect the prize of the goods and services of the end of the day and if it so, this will affect the competitive cost. The members face a lot of difficulties in processing in other peoples farm, the production of the products will be at their own time, this will delay the cost of members products. The time used by the other peoples farm, will delay all their activities and also make them to loss the profit that will be gained by the members, “although cooperative societies are not profit oriented”.
Finally, the low quality of processing the members produce, that is, the low quality that is been used depreciates the quality of the products. And also low quality of machines the product that is been used to process the agro produce at the members, that is, lack of processing facilities.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEMS
Members at agricultural cooperative societies have been facing a lot of problems especially in the processing of their agricultural, products. Some of these problems are common to most societies while some of them are peculiar to agricultural cooperative. Such problems include the following:
Lack of processing facilities
Inadequate marketing outlets
Lack of storage facilities
High labour cost
Lack of capitals
Lack of patronage
The agricultural cooperatives are facilitating these problems through these recommended solutions, they are as follows:-
- They should be strict adherence to timelines in the processing at application and release of funds by credit institutions and organization to farmers and members.
- Agricultural cooperatives banks should be funded adequately so that they will meet the demand of the farmers, members at cooperative.
- Government should increase the production and processing of exportable commodities with a view to increasing their foreign exchange earnings and further diversifying the country export base and services for foreign exchange earnings.
Furthermore, after recommending the solution/tackling of the problems, there must be why the problems persist. The problems persist because they (Agricultural cooperative) continue to lack a lot of things involved, that is, inadequate technology, and also human factor, that is, the right people has not handle it well. The problem of finance/capital that is, not being able to have enough resources to further the agricultural processing cooperative societies of its members.
1.3 THE OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The objective of this work is to find out the role of agricultural cooperative societies in the processing of agricultural products of members. Specifically, the study is meant
1. To identify which of the processing problems the agricultural cooperative solves for/handles for members.
2. To identify the problems members face in the processing of their agricultural products.
3. To support ways of improvement for agric cooperatives towards the processing of agricultural products of members.
1.4 THE RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
The following are the hypothesis which will be tested.
Ho - Agricultural cooperatives do not play a significant role in the processing of the agricultural produce of members.
Hi - Agricultural cooperatives play a significant role in the processing of the agricultural produce of members.
1.5 THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The research tends to reveal the importance of this study to farmers, agricultural cooperatives, agricultural policy makers and government and not forgetting the researcher.
Firstly, lets reveal the importance of the to agricultural policy makers and government. Nigerians agricultural policy is the synthesis of the frame work and action plans of government designed to achieve overall agricultural growth in all the sub-sectors of agriculture and the structural transformation necessary for the overall socio-economic development of the country as well as the improvement in the quality of life of Nigerians. This study is important to the agricultural policy because agricultural cooperatives increase the production of agricultural raw materials to meet the growth of an expanding industrial sector. Modernization of agricultural production, processing, storage and distribution through the infusion of improved technologies and management so that agricultural cooperatives can be more responsive to the demand of other sectors of the Nigerian economy.
Secondly, the importance of those study to the farmer. Before then, agricultural cooperative are organized by farmers to help themselves solve their problems collectively. It gives farmers free training and functional education soon after joining as members. The farmers were sole to know how to process the agricultural products properly. ‘These farming cooperation were able to solve some of the problems of the peasant type of jump farming societies to have land adjoining that of other members.
Thirdly, the importance of this study to the researcher. It is important to the researcher because it gave her the knowledge to know how the agricultural products are being processed and not taking it in form of raw material, it has to be processed before consuming. It is important because agricultural cooperatives to its members provides and gives the crops to farmers and makes them a better opportunity, skill improvement. Agricultural cooperatives provide job opportunities to the jobless members.
Finally, it encourages distribution of agricultural inputs to cooperatives farmer and others and promotion of good marketing and distribution through agricultural cooperatives.
1.6 THE SCOPE OF THE STUDY
lmo State is the focus of this study, and it is made up of various local government areas. This based on five major urban centers in the state viz: Owerri, Orlu, Mbaise, Ikecluru and some parts of Okigwe. There are various types of Agricultural cooperative societies that embark in production and marketing of agricultural produce. They are as follows.
1. Cooperative Produce Marketing Societies (CPMS): This is concerned with the purchase storage transportation, and marketing of agricultural produce like cocoa, palm produce which are supplied by the farmer/members. It operates under the umbrella of the Cooperative Produce Marketing Union (CPMU). It is been located in the south.
2. Cooperative Consumer Societies (CCS): This supplies members with household goods and other consumer goods. The capital of the society is contributed by its members and the profits are distributed to each members purchase.
3. Cooperative Thrift and Credit Societies: This was established to alleviate the financial problems of the farmers who are usually not considered credit worthy. Each member contributes towards the production.
4. Cooperative Credit and Marketing Societies: It is been located in the North. They deal with palm produce, cocoa.
1.7 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
There are some constraints towards this study. Among them are explained below.
Poor attitude, compelled with illiteracy was one of the greatest hindrances. Some .of the cooperators were not willing to give out relevant information and intelligent answer to my interviews. Their attitude are very bad because sometimes they treat me as if I am disturbing them although not all but if they are 100; 90% attitude are had while l0% are fair.
Transportation cost is another type of hindrance. Most of the cooperatives are located in the remote areas of the state. The roads leading to these places are not really good but manageable and in most cases, the researcher had to use motorcycles as ah alternative means (government has banned the motorcycles called okada men towards those areas) and it cost too much money.
The time allowed for this study is quite short, especially when one had to combine her lectures period with the research. It is not an easy task.
LIMITATION OF FUNDS:
Within the period of this research work, sufficient fund was not within my reach clue to the present situation of things like financial problems which has been eating me up. The scarcity of fund restricted me from cover most of the areas designed in the research.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
1. Agricultural Cooperatives: They are cooperative societies that engage in the production, processing, marketing and distribution of agricultural products.
2. Processing of Agricultural Products: For the purpose of this project, this can be defined as the performance of all business activities involved in the flow of food/cash product form the point of initial agricultural production until they are in the hand of the consumers.
3. Production: This is the process of transmitting or changing inputs into outputs.
4. Bulk Purchase: This involves buying of things in large quantities or sizes.
5. Cooperative Societies: Cooperative societies are voluntary business organizations owned and controlled by the members and they am at providing services for the mutual benefits of all members. The business is based on democratic principles and open membership.