Organisation and effects of farmers co-operatives on development in Keta district

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Rural areas in most developing countries have a predominant agricultural economy. The agricultural sector provides food for both the urban and rural population and contributes to the market for industrial goods by creating demand for agricultural implements and production inputs while supplying raw materials for processing. Ghana like most developing countries has over the last decade concentrated great attention and resources to poverty alleviation of rural poor people, with the eventual aim of reducing the disparity which exist between rural and urban areas. It is clear that the rural sector is important to the survival of the national economy which depends so heavily on its rural population. Based on its importance, the need for the development of the rural economy was identified and attempts made to improve the working and living conditions of the rural population. Several interventions to rural development were used, some of which involved the use of Co-operatives. Keta District, like all other districts in the country, attempts to use co-operatives to improve the lot of its rural poor people. The study therefore identified all farmers cooperatives in the district, analysed their functions and their impact on small scale farmers in the district. The main data for analysis are primary data from the various co-operative societies and the individual co-operative farmers. Simple mathematical and descriptive tools are used for the analysis. From the study, it was clear that the district farmers cooperative are not functional but are a potential for district development. On the basis of these findings, recommendations were proposed aimed at better organisation of the cooperatives to afford farmers maximum benefit from its operations. The provision of a broad range of supporting services which include educating farmers on co-operative principles and on providing agricultural inputs at fair prices, providing credit and a favourable marketing system are recommended.
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award of the Degree of Master of Science in Development Planning and Management, 1996