1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In developing countries as in the case of Nigeria, Agriculture dominates the nation’s economy. It has been established that about to percent of Nigeria population is engaged in agriculture (Obasi and Aug, 2000) while 90 percent of Nigeria total food production comes from small farms and to percent of the country population earn their living from these small farms (Oluwatayo et al, 2008). The recent importation of food items into the country to make up for the short falls in food supply Is a dangerous indication of warning farm productivity and warning sign that if the nation continue with the business as usual, the prospect of food security will be black for millions of people (Nwede 2003)
It terms employment agriculture is by far the most importance sector of Nigeria’s economy engaging about 70% of the labour force. Agricultural holding are generally small and scattered, family is often of the subsistence variety characterized by simple tools and shifting cultivation. These small farms produce about 80% of the total foods. About 30.7 million hectares (76 million acres) or 33% of Nigeria land area are under cultivation. Nigeria’s diverse climate from the tropical area of the coast the arid zone of the North, make it possible to produce virtually all agricultural products that can grown in the tropical and semitropical area of the world the economic benefit of large scale agriculture are recognized, and the government favors the formation of cooperative societies and settlements to encourage industrial agricultural. Large scale agriculture, however, is not common.
Despite an abundant water supply a favorable climate and wide area or arable land, productivity is restricted owing to low soil fertility in many areas and inefficient method of cultivation agriculture. Contributed 32% to GPD in 2001
It’s widely recognized that co-operative form an indispensable component. Through community organization co-operative serves the basis and plant form for bring together the economically weak member of the society with a view of enhancing their individual capacities (Akali, 1991). The contributions of cooperative to the economy especially in the developing countries are enormous, ranging from provision of credit to its members and sourcing of inputs at reasonable price to scale of member produce (Okonkwuo, 1991). Cooperative are defined as “an autonomous association of persons who unite voluntarily to meet their common economic and social needs and aspiration through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise. (ICA, 1995) cooperative are established by like-minded persons to pursue mutually beneficial economic interest. Researcher are of the opinion that under normal circumstance, cooperative play significant role in the provision of service that enhance agricultural development.
Patrick, (1995) described cooperative as a medium, through which services like provision of farm input, farm implements, farm mechanization agricultural. Loans agricultural extension member education, marketing of member farm produce and other economic activities and services rendered to members regular and optimal performance of these roles will accelerate the transformation of agriculture and rural economic development. Ijere (1981) further explained that. It is the cooperative that embraces all types of farmers and a well organized and supportive cooperative is a pillar of strength for agriculture in Nigeria.
Ogunbameru (1986) also estimated that 52% of Nigerians population is women and that 70% of such women live in rural area. It is also on record (Adebayo and Amao, 2003) that 53% of the poor in Nigeria are women. In the rural areas a large number of women are illiterate, very poor, have high rate of infection and are economically oppressed (Essien, 2000) observed that only small fraction of woman in Nigeria had the benefit of higher education and that the majority is engaged in petty trading and peasantry farming. Despite the low educational and poor economic background of Nigeria women they are still responsible for more than half of the nations food basket and contribute more than two third of the working hours on the farm (Barret et al, 2001). They also reported that AFRICAN Women are responsible for 66% of micro processing activities, especially the processing of agricultural produce.
In Nigeria, agricultural production is dominated by small-scale farmers most whom live in rural areas. Crops and animals are produced on scattered farm holding. Most of the farmers operate without modern production input. Their marketing system is unorganized with each farmer acting individually to produce farm inputs and to sell farm produce. Cooperative societies enable people to achieve through joint efforts what they are unable to achieve while working as individuals. They are legally established organization on the basis of specific set of principles cooperatives activities is one of the best method by which peasant farmer can take part in their own economic advancement and gain valuable experience of democratic produce and business management. Akinwumi (1978). They are association of persons who have voluntarily come together to achieve common objective through the formation of a democratically controlled organization, making equitable contributions to the capital required and accepting fair share of the risk and benefit of the undertaking (World Bank, 1999, Ebonyi and Jimo, 2002).
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEMS
Cooperative has been regarded as one of the main institutional machineries for empowering the economically weak member of the society. With this official recognition and the determination of government (at all levels) to transform agricultural production and raise the standard of living in the rural areas many agricultural cooperative societies have been formed all over the country. Despite the efforts or contribution made by the cooperative societies towards agricultural development in Nigeria, this effort has not been evenly known and it was in an attempt to address such problem that this study was designed.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
1. Determine farmer’s extent of participation in cooperative societies.
2. Determine the benefits derived by respondents by being member of various cooperative societies.
3. Determine major problems militating against the participation of farmer in cooperative activities.
4. Make policy recommendation based on the funding
1.4 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
Based on the nature of the problems aforementioned, hypothesis testing as a measure will assist immensely in carrying out the research to a logical conclusion because of the statistical testability of the problems formulated.
Hypothesis is an assumption or statement which may or may not be true concerning the population. Walpole (1974). Hence, the hypothesis of this research is considered as tentative statement, which would be considered positive or negative at the end of the research presentation.
i. f0: Agricultural organization operate in ignorant of the existence of cooperative socie5ties.
ii. f0: The objectives, Programme, and agricultural strategies of cooperative societies are not recognized and accepted by agricultural organizations.
F1: the objectives, programme and agricultural strategies of cooperative societies are recognized and accepted by agricultural organizations.
iii. f0: Cooperative societies have not contributed positively to agricultural activities.
f1: Cooperative societies have contributed positively to agricultural activities.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study is embarking upon to determine the impact of cooperative societies on agricultural production in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State knowing the contribution of the impact of cooperative societies will encourage farmers and enlightened on the important of this society. This study will also revealed the solutions to the problem militating against the participation of farm in cooperative activities in the study area.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The studies will emphasis the importance of cooperative societies in financing farmers in rural setting of Edo State.
1.8DEFINITION OF TERMS
Agriculture: This is the process of producing food, feed, and fiber by cultivation of certain plant and the raising of domesticated animal. It is a general term per productive activities like growing as crops raising of animal (including poultry) fishing and forestry
Cooperative: This can be defined as an autonomous association of person who write voluntarily to meet their common economic and social needs and aspiration through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise.
Society: People in general living together in communities or a particular community of people who shared the same customs, laws etc.
Community: This is the people who live in a particular country etc when talked about a group or a group of people who share the same religion.
Development: This is complete term that in many different ideas. But most simply development, when taking about countries means reaching an acceptable standard of living for all the people developed countries are not necessarily rich countries and all rich countries are not necessarily developed.
Economic: This is the realized social system of production, exchange, distribution and consumption of goods and services of a country or the areas.
Organization: This is a group of people who is form a business, club etc or together in order to achieve a particular aim or the act of making arrangement or preparations for something.
Gross Domestic Product (GDP): This is a measure of all of the services and goods produced in a country over a specific period, classically a year.
GDP: Consumption gross investment + government + export – import or GDP = C+I+G+(X=-M).
Peasant: This is an agricultural workers with roots in the country side in which they dwell, either working for other or more specifically owing or renting and working by his or her own labour a small plot of ground.
Arable: This is a land suitable for growing crops.
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