Contribution of Agricultural Cooperatives to Rural Development, Among Rice-Growers: Case of Coderika, Ruhango District, Rwanda

Joseph Ntege LUBWAMA, Theogene NIYOYIREMERA

Abstract


The study examined the contribution of agricultural cooperatives on rural development among Rice-growers in Rwanda and CODERIKA located in Ruhango district, Southern province of Rwanda was chosen as a case of study. The objectives of the study were to examine the contribution of agricultural cooperative societies in the improvement of the social status of members, to assess the contribution of these agricultural cooperative societies in the increase of earnings of members, to determine the contribution of these societies in the increase of rice production and to evaluate the contribution of agricultural cooperative societies in the improvement on the investment and savings of members. The reviewed literature discussed the theoretical perspectives and the contribution of agricultural cooperatives on rural development among Rice-growers and was guided by the said above objectives. The research used a descriptive design based on both qualitative and quantitative approaches. The total population was 120 members that included: 5 local leaders, 2 employees and 92 members of CODERIKA all chosen randomly however the 5 local leaders and the two employees of CODERIKA were selected purposively. Data collection tools were questionnaires and interviews. The collected data was presented using tables, percentages and frequencies. Analysis was done using SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) and interpretation was based on Pearson’s correlation coefficient.


It was generally concluded that there is a significant contribution of agricultural cooperatives to rural development among rice-growers in Rwanda. It was established that agricultural cooperative societies helped the members to increase the rice production where the rice productivity increased from 3 tons per hectare (3t/ha) before joining CODERIKA to 6 tons of rice per hectare (6t/ha) after joining. This increment was caused by the use of fertilizers, pesticides and coaching in good agricultural Practices which was done by the agronomist of CODERIKA. The increase in productivity contributed to the increase in earnings and this helped the members of the agricultural cooperative societies to comfortably assess the basic needs like food, payment for their health insurances, school fees, accessing mobile phones, buying transport means like motorcycles and bicycles and not only to improve on but  to construct new houses for living in. The incomes from rice production helped some members to create small business which raised their incomes to cease depending on agricultural production for survival. Based on findings, the researchers concluded that there is a positive relationship between agricultural cooperative societies and improvement of the social status of members. It was concluded that there is a positive relationship between agricultural cooperative societies and increase in earnings of members. The researchers also concluded that there is a positive relationship between agricultural cooperative societies and increase in rice production and finally it was also established that there is a positive relationship between agricultural cooperative societies and improvement in investment and savings of members. The researchers recommended that the government of Rwanda should promote agricultural cooperative societies to step up and also improve on agriculture to create occupations and earnings for people in rural areas in order to reduce poverty and to increase food for consumption.


Keywords


Agricultural Cooperatives, Rural Development, Rice-Growers

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