Thesis Open Access

Challenges and opportunities on Growth of agricultural Cooperatives: In Case of Gamo Gofa Zone Fruits and vegetables marketing cooperatives

Aschalew Mengistu Dabulo


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    <subfield code="a">People form cooperatives to do something better than they could do individually or through a 
non-cooperative form of business. Forming a cooperative will not automatically solve economic 
and social problems. This is because of cooperatives are subject to challenges from internal and 
external environment. Different rating variables provided for 103 sample respondents randomly 
selected  from  26  (twenty  six)  fruits  and  vegetables  marketing  cooperatives  in  Gamo  Gofa  to 
investigate  challenges  and  opportunities  on  cooperative  growth.  The  sample  was  taken  after 
grouping  cooperatives  in  to  three  categories  based  on  their  member  size.  One  primary 
cooperative was selected from each group and finally three cooperatives identified for primary 
data. In addition, FGD and key informant interview were also important sources of the primary 
data.  The  data  collected  were  analyzed  using  simple  statistical  tools  such  as  frequencies, 
percentages, tables, mean and standard deviation  with the  help of a statistical package called 
Statistical package for social science (SPSS). Cooperatives growth, challenges and opportunities 
were assessed against different variables and mean values perceived by members (respondents) 
were  used  to  generalize  the  situation.   The  results  suggested  that  fruits  and  vegetables 
cooperatives in the study area were not in a position to fully exploit the opportunities provided 
by the existing environment due to excessive challenge in the operating environment. Challenges 
emanated from internal weakness of cooperatives include; the way members dealing with their 
cooperatives,  governance  issues  like;  low  representation  of  female  members,  lack  of 
transparency and accountability, strong degree of reliance on government support  and lead by 
unqualified  (elected)  leaders.  Challenges  posed  by  the  external  environment  include;  high 
influence of vested interest, small and fragmented farm land and absences of healthy political 
environment,  inadequate  training  access  and  low  price  for  their  products  in  the  presences  of 
opportunities;  accessible  marketing  information, supportive  social  environment  and  conducive 
policy environment.  For pronounced growth of  Fruit and vegetables Cooperatives  in the study 
area measures should be taken to minimize challenges from internal and external environment 
and opportunities should be expanded based on assessment results.</subfield>
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