The advantages of forming an agricultural cooperative

24 May 2018

An agricultural cooperative is a formal form of farmer collective action for the purpose of marketing and processing of farm products and or for the purchase and production of farm inputs.

The main aim of establishing a cooperative is to increase member’s production and incomes by helping better link them with finance, agricultural inputs, information, and output markets

Collective action is the core resource of agricultural cooperatives.

Cooperatives create social relations that enable individuals to achieve goals that they may not otherwise be able to achieve by themselves.

For example, cooperatives can help farmers benefit from economies of scale by lowering their costs of acquiring inputs or hiring services such as storage and transport.

Agricultural cooperatives also enable farmers to improve product and service quality and reduce risks.

They may also empower their members economically and socially by involving them in decision-making processes that create additional rural employment opportunities, or enable them to become more resilient to economic and environmental shocks.

The Okangoho Multipurpose cooperative with over 250 members is a good example of a communal cooperative.

In April, the cooperative through the Meatco Foundation hosted its first permit day at the recently refurbished crush pen.

The cooperative normally hosts an auction every second month, which translates to six auctions per year.

Auctions usually attract anything between 80-200 cattle; however, the co-operative is hopeful that the number will increase to 300 because of the new facilities.

Treasurer of the cooperative, Abiud Katuutja, said  the cooperative was a step in the right direction as the fruits of their unity are now tangible.

“The crush pen will improve socio-economic conditions of the community, because on auction days not only livestock owners come here, but other individuals who sell other products, so it is a welcome development,” Katuutja said.

Okangoho is a rural settlement located 46km northeast of Okakarara at an intersection leading to places such as Otjituuo, Coblenz and Okamatapati.