The role of agricultural Cooperatives in rural development: A case study of Kakamega District
This study was prompted by the low level of cooperative development in Kakamega district. The generally weak c60perative movement in the area stands out as an obstacle to the success of rural development in the district. The study examines the role played by the agricultural cooperatives in the development of the area first by considering the use of agricultural cooperatives in development from different countries compared with the current cooperative development policy in Kenya. This review establishes the role of agricultural cooperatives in rural development in general. The development background of the study area is considered in establishing the existing development problems that can best be answered by cooperative development. Before considering the role of cooperatives in the development of the area, the development of agricultural cooperative societies in the district is given by analysing the factors which have influenced their growth and how the cooperatives are functionally and spatially organised in the district. The study then looks at agricultural cooperatives in the light of their performance. The current role of cooperatives in the area is established against the background of development needs in the district. This has shown that agricultural cooperatives are limited in their performance in the area due to a variety of problems. It is seen that cooperatives are poorly distributed/most of the existing cooperatives are weak and cover only small number of members. The cooperatives are administered by two different ministries. Their management has remaiined poor partly due to the existing education pattern for the movement.