Agricultural Co-Operative – A Means of Improving Agricultural Production

 Agricultural Co-Operative – A Means of Improving Agricultural Production

Importance of Improving Agriculture Productions – The purpose of improving agriculture production is quite imperative for the development of any nation.  This cannot be paid less attention because it is means of solving some of our economic problems today.  Many people had given a talk on this issue why agriculture production should be improved. According to Mr. Udo Nwaboghiogu in his leaflet printed to educate the public on co-operative titled “Co-operative Better Tomorrow.”  In the sixties, the Enugu state economy had a non-sectional dependency on agriculture as the main source for earning and the main source of employment for our teeming population.  In the seventies, we took one leap from this dependency on trade and white-collar jobs.

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He continued by saying that agriculture still completed peasantries hoe – cutlass economy with a large number of  atomist a small holder produces.

Summarily, one observes that agriculture in Delta state is still semi-substantial and the output from agricultural production can neither feed the teeming population nor provide the essential raw materials for the agro-based industries.  The export of the state is major cash crop, which has in the past supported the economy, has virtually stopped.

While a lot of observers dwelt on the urgent need to revitalize this sector, Onuma implied the adverse effects of no revitalization of the agricultural sector noting that:

Under such condition, all it needed was famine and kwashiorkor to be evident in the villages was a little more soil erosion or brought  a little more reduction in the fex of villages actions or some aggravating circumstance.

Furthermore, one wondered why it is taking the state so long despite its abundant hands and know how to revitalize the agricultural sector and save the synods of inhabitants of Delta State who are both undated kwashiorkor stricken  and undernourished.

While emphasizing the importance of improving agriculture productions through co-operative, Igbor said it has now dawned on the Government that dependence on the external sources of food supply has ground stability consequence because it ties the state independence  to Delta state food journal, agriculture was the back bone of the state in economic development to thousands of Delta state indigenes and over 95% of the labour force mostly from rural areas.   Continued the report, agriculture produces feeds for the animals that provide protein to the well being of man cannot be over emphasized.

Most important also is the production of palm products for industries palm product for industries.  Palm products means materials from palm farm or plantation such as kernel,  oil , etc.

All these made the government to organize these peasant farmers into agricultural co-operative with view of having massive food production and attainment of self-sufficiency in agricultural product in this country.

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Agricultural co-operative embraces all the co-operative activities, which are aimed at helping the farmers in their professional capacity as a producer.  This form of co-operation has gained more acceptances because of the peculiar nature of agricultural business.

Agricultural co-operative originated about some times when century suffered some degradation which workers and urban dwellers faced.   The industrial revolution era appear to favour only the big captains of industry, the landed merchants (feudal)  and the large absent land owners while the majority of farmers languish in debt slavery, penury want and landlessness.

Agricultural co-operative concerns all activities geared towards making agriculture worth-while venture.  Such as minimizing costs associated with farm input ensuring that farming input which are of the co-operative society.

It is common sense to state that before a farmer embarks on farming every season.  He must have spelt out what it takes to produce the quantitative and quality of product he envisages.  Availability of high yielding input means that all things being equal, there will be a high yield.

Moreover, supply co-operative do not limit itself to provision of farm inputs.  It goes beyond that supply co-operative also afford for member agricultural information.  According to Onuoha (1988) “If ignorance is the greatest single obstacle to productivity, then education and information are the greatest agricultural input.”  Another renewed writer in co-operative field in his finding after evaluating performance by co-operative values and efficiency found out how co-operative responds honestly to members aspiration for buying the quality and reliable products in economical ways and provide the caring services.  Amongst evaluation items, product safety and reliability was given the highest rating.  Favourable comments were received regarding product freshness controls and stricter safety inspection.  This shows members high appreciation of the co-operative’s persistent efforts for securing product safety and protecting the environment.

Co-operative makes effective use of labour such as labour expense ration.  Pay roll ration to gross and labour productivity investment in assets for refurbishing of stores and other properties, marketing co-operative is viewed from the sub-set of agricultural co-operative.  The essence of this is because marketing co-operative serve agriculture which engage the services of over ten percent of Nigerian.  It therefore simplifies understanding to state that marketing co-operative is used to bring about efficiency in agricultural productivity.

According to Dr. Enyeribe Onuoha, “Marketing co-operative is defined as system whereby a group of farmers join together to carry on some or all the function of marketing with a view to rationalizing the marketing system and securing for themselves a larger share of the consumer price without necessarily increasing the price.”

Ideally, marketing co-operative deals on the following types of agro-produce.

(a)     Field or stable crops (cereal, cotton, oil)

(b)    Tree fruits and vegetables

(c)     Livestock

(d)    Animals products (milk, egg.)


One of the factors we have been identified to be responsible for low agricultural yield is low involvement of  co-operative in agricultural production programmer.  As M. O Ijere put it, “while launching the operative feed the nation and the accelerated food production project of government their operational tactics of  serving in the hand of quaz co-operative member in a decisive defect”.  He further stressed farmer association are imminently placed in a position to execute government’s agricultural programmes if they are involved.

The  need for co-operative using our peasant farmers for massive food production was also recognized by Dr. Enyeribe Onuoha when he said “all those years subsistence peasant agriculture had failed to  produce enough food for our growing population as imported N25,000.000 worth or rice and N38.35 million worth of maize.”  In 1992, it was N192.34 million and N68.06 million respectively.  We continued in order to produce more food for our consumption when the time of harvest reached , the product will be shared equally between the government and the farmer.

It is interesting to know that the state joint cropping scheme is like the Net Agricultural Development Authority (NADA) where farmers organize themselves with the intention of growing cash crops in NALDA.  Federal government provides the farmer with the capital cash crops requested like cocoa, coffee, palm produce, fertilizer and in comparing the state point cropping with federal NALDA distinction can be seen from among other things the crops given which takes long period of harvest unlike state crops which are seasonal.

Most of these programmes and policies on agriculture have failed to provide meaningful and significant improvement in the sector.  First, Delta state has an instant for slogans.  This tendency has been noticed most in the areas of agricultural development for instance:

The voluntary service scheme joint cropping to mention but a few of them.  In each case, the actual performance has never justified the spirit of the slogans and the money expended on them moreover, these programmer proved to be colossal waste pipe lines through which the state hard-earned revenue was being siphoned and filtered away by the highly placed officers in this state.  Some argued that some of these programmes were either unable to reach the government target or lacked co-ordination between the state and local trained manpower were also identified as major set back in executing these programmes.

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This article was extracted from a Project Research Work Topic


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