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INCREASING AGRICULTURAL OUTPUT THROUGH THE ACTIVITIES OF COOPERATIVE SOCIETIES IN ENUGU STATE (A STUDY OF SELECTED AGRICULTURAL COOPERATIVE SOCIETIES IN ENUGU EAST LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA)

Project topic for Entrepreneurial Studies department.

CHAPTER ONE

 INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

            Co-operative is as old as man. It emanated from the beginning of the world when God created Adam and Even and made them to live in the garden of Eden as husband and wife. They lived commonly and harmoniously through cooperation.

            No individual can survive on his own without the support of other people. Therefore, people must come together to achieve a common goal and through their shared experiences and benefits they can achieve their individual objectives with less stress.

             In other words, agricultural co-operative can be defined as an autonomous association of person who united voluntarily to achieve their common social, economic and aspiration needs through their agricultural activities.

            Dieke 2010 defined agriculture as the science and art off crops, animal and fishery production to satisfy human need of food, clothing shelter, raw materials for industrialization, income and employment.

             It is a science because it generates knowledge and technology and reveals useful information involves in agricultural production.

            It is an art because the process of agricultural induces natural beauty and required special arrangements of inputs in the come of crop and animal production. The practice of transforming the environmental in agricultural production are the art employed in the sciences.

             Agricultural therefore, is a long life process that can never be over-emphasized in human history. It is the art and science that sustain human existence. This is because it provides food and other human requirement for growth and sustainability.

             However, this work may not be meaningfully achieved without tracing the oiling of agricultural cooperatives in Nigeria.

            Ever before the coming of the white men to Nigeria, Nigerians has been practicing co-operative in various forms and in the various aspect of the their lives. In Igbo land for instance, communities co-operated to put up buildings for their members through communal efforts. Tillage, planting and harvesting of crops were also under taken communally.  They existed a system of credit cooperation known as  “isusu” by which members of a community banned themselves into a union for the propose of raising fund for their members.

            There is a discernible pattern of cooperative development in African and Asian countries which were former colonies of the European Nigeria is no exception.

 In Nigeria the first hint on co-operative emergences occurred during the First World War. This cooperative which happened to be a consumer was modeled along the Rochdale of England the home of the colonialist. This earlier co-operative society existence to ration out consumer goods which were very scarce during the world war. Soon after the war ended war. Soon after the war ended the consumer co-operative died a natural death.

Thereafter, in 1926, the then colonial Agricultural ministry began organizing cocoa farmers around Abeokuta and Ibadan in Western Nigeria to market their produced especially to Europe where the colonial masters needed it for home industries.  This was also the patterned development of cooperative in British colonies. The whole western Nigeria embraced cooperative especially marketing types.

 The colonial master appointed Mr. F.C. Strickland to go and understudy the success story of cocoa marketing co-operative of the Wester region with a view to enacting co-operative law for three months- Dec, 1933 to March 1934. Mr. Strickland carried out an on the spot- assessment.

 In his report, Mr. Strickland strongly recommended the introduction of cooperative into Nigeria. In his which the submitted in April 1934, he strongly advocated for co-operative introduction without any further delay. Till date Mr. F.C. Strickland report forms the backbone of introduction of co-operative to Nigeria. Mr. Strickland also drafted a proposed ordinance and regulation. The colonial administration wasted no time in accepting and implementing it.

In line with above understanding Mr. E.F.G Haig was appointed as a registrar of co-operative in Nigerian to be able to undertake these responsibilities, he was sent abroad to understand the Indian co-operative movement and law.

Mr. F.C. Strickland report no doubt, kicks started cooperative activities in Nigeria.  On return from India, the first things he did was to re-organized the cocoa farmers societies, who were already excelling in the production and marketing of best quality cocoa. Next was to bring these societies under ambit of the co-operative law. The co-operative societies ordinance No. 38 of 1935 was signed into law by king of England on 3rd December, 1935 and the regulations made there under came into force of 6th February, 1936. From a humble beginning in 1926, co-operative rose to an astonishing number of 181 in 1944.  

In 1951, the political landscape of Nigeria changed and every nation under Nigeria was allowed to develop under region. So, co-operative went the same way to viz West, East, North and South (articles NG, 2014).

Amujielo, 2012, agricultural co-operative are group of farmer or people who are in agro-business that have come together to pool their resources together in reducing the risk they encounter as individuals, increased their output and surplus after sales.

Agricultural co-operative ever since they started have in no short measure have contributed immensely in the national development. They have increased gross domestic product (GDP) and enhanced export. Agricultural co-operatives have made a remarkable achievement in every aspect of human endeavour such as education, housing, health, road constitution and bridges, tourism etc.

Agriculture provides virtually 60 percent of our national income.

Hunger anywhere is war everywhere therefore, agriculture cooperatives through their agricultural activities have been able to solve the problem of hunger in the nation. Through their surplus production they have increased the standard of living of the teeming population.

Co-operative are known for   their uniqueness therefore, agriculture cooperative do not subscribe for low quality production. They source their farm inputs from the genuine firms- supply cooperatives, obtain loans from credit cooperatives at affordable interest rate and market their farm produce through the marketing cooperatives who bye-pass the middle men and sell at the best interest of the farmers. This had helped them to maintain standard in their production and supply high quality foods to the people and quality raw materials for industrial production.

1.2 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH PROBLEM

            The problem associated with the operation of agricultural cooperative includes the following:

Inadequate finance: fiancé is the life wire of every business. However, finance has been the major problem that agricultural cooperative face in their day to day agricultural activities.

Lack of government support: The negligence by the government to support agricultural cooperative has over the year hampered the development of the agricultural sector. It is true government had made some provisions of fund and farm inputs to the agricultural cooperative to boost their efficiency. However, it failed to set up monitoring team to ensure that what is provided for the farmers is not reach the right people. Therefore, degrading the effective and efficiency of the farmers.

Illiteracy: Virtually 70% of cooperative members are illiterates, some of them did not pass through primary school while others have maximum of o’ level. Therefore, with this low educational qualification, the operation of agricultural cooperatives may not be effective and efficiency carried out.

Lack of infrastructure:  This is another problem facing agricultural cooperatives in Enugu state. Infrastructure like good roads, dams electricity,  hospitals, agriculture  research institutes, agriculture colleges, etc. constitute to the problem that retard agricultural development in the state and the country at large.

Lack of enough market; Every farmers would like the market for his product to grow through which he can maximize profit. As well, cooperative farmers would like to create enough market for their products through which then can make surplus. Any products with a very small market will definitely maximize lose and might along the line liquidate. Bared on the listed problem and the effort to improve agricultural co-operative this work emerged.

 1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

            The based objectives of the study are to determine how agricultural outputs can be increased through the activities of Agricultural cooperatives in Enugu East local Government Area.

The specific objectives address the following

A. finds out why Agricultural cooperatives perform below standard in Enugu East Local Government Area.

b. find out the contribution of agricultural cooperatives in Enugu East Local Government Area.

c. Determine the way of encouraging agricultural cooperatives in Enugu East Local Government Area.

d. Determine the challenges that agricultural cooperative face in East Local Government Area.

e. To find out the possible solutions to the problems to the problems that face agricultural cooperatives in Enugu East Local Government Area

1.4 SIGNIFICANCES OF THE STUDY

The study is very timely, especially now that the nation is striving toward a better economic development and growth. The work will be of immense benefit to the following:

i. Members and management of agricultural cooperative societies: It will give true insight through the managers and members will understand fully what agricultural cooperatives is all about. In other hand, it is important to note from the work that keeping record of the cooperative agricultural financial activities is important because it will enable them to determine surplus and loss attributable to the business through which continuity and expansion may be assured.

ii. Government: government is regarded as the pilot of national economy. Therefore, this work will be of great importance to it because it will enable it realize the grassroots development. Since virtually 70% of the Nigerian population engages in agriculture, therefore, the work maintained that government should pay more attention to it and better the lives of the people.

iii. The lecturers: The lecturers are referred to pillars that hold education. Therefore, this work will be of great help to them in their research on the impact of agricultural cooperative in food production for classroom lectures and writing to textbooks for post-graduates and undergraduates.

 iv. Other researchers: it will serve as project material or reference to the prospective researchers, especially those that will research on the impact of agricultural cooperatives in food production.

v. The researcher: It will serve as a reference to the researcher of course, it will enable him to read and understand more about agricultural cooperative as a result grooms him to stand as a co-operative consultant.

1.5 RESEARCH QUESTION

To solve the research problems, the asked the following questions:

a. Does agricultural cooperative perform below standard in Enugu East Local Government Area?

b. what are the contributions of agriculture cooperatives in Enugu East Local Government Area?

C. What are the ways to encourage agricultural cooperatives in Enugu East Local Government Area?

d. What are the challenges that agricultural cooperatives face in Enugu East Local Government Area?

E. What is the possible solutions to the problems that face agricultural cooperative in Enugu East Local Government Area?

1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY

The scope was Enugu East Local Government Area in Enugu State.

The limitations of the study include the following:

i. Time: This has been a great constraint towards the development of this work. As a student, the researcher had to attend lecture, carryout assignments, quizzes and prepare for examination. By the time she finishes these, she may not meet up with the time stipulated for the project.

ii. Finance: this was the major challenge that the researcher faced during the period of carrying out this work. As a student, the researcher had to pay her fare to school, buy textbooks, pay school fees, feed and buy other necessary materials for her academics. Above all, after satisfying all those needs, she might not have enough money for her research work.

iii. lack of relevant materials: for a researcher work to be successfully carried out, there must be relevant materials around. However, it consumed the researcher both time and money to gather the relevant materials to carryout a successful research work

iv. The workers attitude: The attitude of the workers both in cyber café and offices the researcher visited to get the relevant material for her research work stood as a great challenge to her during the work.

1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS

Ordinance: this is the law enacted by the colonial government

Astonishing number: This is an increase in the number of population size of an organization {cooperative].

Surplus: This is a slight margin above the cost of production to sustain the cooperative movement.

Autonomous association of persons: this means that cooperative is an independent organization of people with specific objectives and a lay down rule to effectively regulate the conduct of its members.

Voluntary membership: No body is forced into the membership of the cooperative meanwhile, membership is by individual willingness and conversion.


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