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EFFECTS OF MEMBERSHIP OF COOPERATIVE ORGANISATIONS AND DETERMINANTS ON FARMER-MEMBERS’ INCOME IN RURAL ANAMBRA STATE, NIGERIA
ABSTRACT: The study examined the effect of membership of cooperative societies on the economic activities of farmers as well as the determinants of their income in rural Nigeria, focusing on Anambra State. Data from 2506 members, selected through multi-stage stratified random sampling were analyzed. The study found among others that members’ incomes are dependent upon their socio-economic profile such as age, marital status, and membership or otherwise of cooperative societies, education, cooperative marketing, credit, gender and business expertise. Also respondents depend largely on farming related activities for generation of income in the study area. Furthermore, it was found that the major challenge of the farmer-members is inadequate fund, poor education and illiteracy among most members, conflict among members and lack of access to farm input. The Nigerian government is advised to formulate policies that will incorporate information from the local level that can support planning, implementation and evaluation of programmes that can enhance farmers’ income; this however, will influence the pattern of agricultural growth in ways that can change income level of rural farmers to grow fast. The study recommends that cooperatives should intensify their education of members to gain more benefits, and that government, non-governmental organizations and international development agencies should show interest in supervising and providing development support to Farmers Cooperative Societies in rural Nigeria.
Keywords: Farmer-members’ income, Membership of cooperative organizations, Rural, Socio-economic profile.