Role of Cooperatives and Participation of their Members in Agricultural Output Marketing: Empirical Evidence from Hetosa District, Ethiopia
Today, in an era where many people feel powerless to change their lives, cooperatives represent a strong, vibrant, and viable economic alternatives. Cooperatives are formed to meet peoples’ mutual needs. They are based on the powerful idea that together, a group of people can achieve goals that none of them could achieve alone. This research paper aims to analyse the role of cooperatives in agricultural output marketing, promoting linkages and to examine factors influencing the level of members’ participation. The cooperatives under investigation have played significant role in output marketing and promoting value adding linkages with different stakeholders. Results of the Tobit model revealed that: farm size, years of membership, amount of improved seed used, output produced and members’ perception on cooperatives price for agricultural outputs were significantly and positively related to the level of participation. Lack of equal opportunity of members in passing decisions, inefficient cooperatives’ employees and incompetent management committee members are found to be the major constraints which hinder cooperatives to properly deliver agricultural output marketing services. To this end, Government, NGOs and other stakeholders need to give emphasis on improving the organizational and institutional capacity of cooperatives.