THE CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETY IN RURAL DEVELOPMENT
Generally, cooperative data traced back to nineteenth century has spread to the whole world including Nigeria. The main objective of the movement is to improve or meet the common need by mutual assistance and improving both the social and economic of the masses of the countries of the nation through increased production and mutual understanding.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In all the countries of the world toady both developed and developing countries the efforts of the government is geared towards the socio- economic development of the masses. The common task which the government and the citizens is on how the communities development is to be achieved. In pursuing this goal, one of the tools used is the formation of the co-operative societies.
The cooperative societies can be seen from perspective be seen from many directions. But in words of Beko (1989) defined cooperative as an association of persons, with variable membership and variable capital who have pooled themselves and their resources together on mutual or self help basks to form a business enterprises which seeks to solve the socio- economic problems of there members by directly providing goods and services to them in their capacity as either owner/ customer or owner/ employee of the cooperative. We will observe certain important points. One is that membership of the society is voluntary and the perspective members must be free unlike the factory system which is known as the capitalist system brought along with it many evils both from green land vans on the factory workers and the society as a whole. The working class suffered many hardship both from green land various factors owners and from traders and also the middlemen.
The hardship suffered by the factory worker industry were very low wages long hours work, industry living and working conditions high price of goods, adulteration of goods and short weight and measures. As a result of all the problems directed on the working class the only option left for them was to form an association that would cater for their common problems. This resulted in formation of cooperative societies.
In Nigeria the history of cooperative movement dates to the 1930s the main aim of the colonial masters them was to organize farm land where farmers would cultivate on and produce cash crops like plan cocoa, and rubber. These farm land were cater organized into registered group after acquiring the required legislation. The purpose of increasing production. Processing and marketing of their product which at that time was major foreign exchange for the government.
Later, cooperative thrift and credit society was introduced in the other part of the country. Since then the cooperative movement has witnessed tremendous growth. It is now more apartment than ever before that cooperative are not social units that exists at the mercy of the government but actually are forms of business which aimed at being liable economic units. Indeed cooperative societies have become well known as an instrument of community development. In our rural communities, there are different types of cooperative societies that exist depending on the needs of the members and the bye- low that guide such societies some of these societies are:
(1) FARMERS COOPERATIVE SOCIETY: This form of cooperative involves the cultivation land by rural farmers and farming is together as price.
(2) MARKETING COOPERATIVE SOCIETY: Rural farmers whose need is to market their produce usually form this kind of cooperative. Marketing cooperative undertakes the assembly processing grading storage and selling of form produce of all types.
(3) CONSUMER COOPERATIVE: This involves the establishment of consumer sops where of the basic essential needs of the members are sold on the them at a relatively cheap price.
(4) COOPERATIVE THRIFT AND CREDIT SOCIETY: This type of cooperative society engage in the mobilization of funds from the rural people and disserving to the need members to enable them carry out their agricultural activities.
(5) MULTIPURPOSE COOPERATIVE SOCIETY: As the name goes, it is a society that is empowered by bye- laws to lenders multiple service to its members.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
In recent times and other interested organization have made various source of rural area because they see such organization as one of the major paths to the socio- economics. Development plan of 08075 the sum total of 184.22 million was earmarked for the running of all the enormous funds being spent on cooperatives whom are supposed to use the finds for the socio- economic up liftmen of their members. A list of problems still exist and it is the purpose of this research work to identify and find solution to then such problems are:
(a) Lack of cooperative among the rural people
(b) Problems of literacy as most of the rural people are for development
(c) The land tenure system here the rural people prefer to cultivate on their lands than donate them for development activities
(e) Because of these facts that cooperative here are government organized they have little fund to embark on project. This is due to the delay in release of funds when they contribute on their own they raise very small amount of money.
(f) Lack of infrastructure like god roads, electricity, pipe borne water hospital and schools to allow easy accessibility
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
In working at the Nigeria rural scene that is not ruled by project and programme for rural development. The cattle of such organization project and programme are majority centered at the urban area which the rural are as not enjoying maximum privilege. They are deprived the benefit of such arrangement then cooperative societies have been introduced to aid privilege as the urban area. So, the major aim of these research work is to
(a) Determine the role the cooperative societies have played in promoting economic activities in the rural areas
(b) Finding out whether these projects are adequate and what they have contributed so for to development of these areas
(c) Finding out avenue of economic activities available to rural area, but not presently utilized by them
(d) Finding out whether these projects are of improvement
(e) Investigating the cooperative assistance and assessing the adequacy and effectiveness in chancing proper economic development in mutual area. This will allow us to know the project they have implemented or completed.
(f) Examining the various difficulties encountered by cooperative societies in raising sufficient finds for their business activities
(g) To suggest solution to problem these developments have in assisting rural areas in these developments.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
(1) Do cooperative provide functions, education and employment opportunities to members and citizens of Orji- river local government area?
(2) Have people made or cooperative made any contribution to the in frastructure and agricultural development of Orji- river local government Areas?
1.5 SIGINFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This research work is aimed at highlighting the significance of cooperative societies in the socio- economic development of Orji- rive local government Area Anambra state. And also, the study will help to eliminate doubts as to whether or not cooperative are of any significance in rural development of Orji- river local government area. The study will also help find solution to some problems associated with cooperative in particular and rural development on general. It will help the rural come to understand more importance of farming women’s cooperative activities like family support programme in their rural area.
Furthermore, It’s significance would be noticed on the socio- economic amenities provided for the up- keeping of the rural area where these cooperative may include construction of goods to the community development planers and expose them to the area that need urgent attention. Finally, the study of this will be meaningful to other scholars who will carryout further research in these fields. It could also be useful to the following.
(c) Cooperative societies
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope of this study is that it should taken care of economic development in Orji- river local government. Due to limited resources and time available for this work, the time given for the study was too short. A research of this nature require a concentration of time and effort of enable the research came up with an exhaustive result.
1.7 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This work has some major constraint to the research work is the unwillingness of the cooperative staff in local government area to release certain documents which contain vital information for the work. Due to finance and time constraint, the research limited his literature review to that which is obtainable from libraries in Anambra and Enugu state.
1.8 DEFINITION OF THE TERMS
For more classification and early understanding some of the terms used for the researcher are defined below: cooperative society. This is defined as collection of persons who have voluntarily found together their resources and having as its primary objectives the promotion of the socio- economic needs of the members through self help efforts members in line with agreed cooperative principles democratically married such an association.
MOVEMENT: According to the long man dictionary of contemporary English, movement is a group of people who share the same ideas of belief and work together to achieve a particular aim.
POPULATION: For the purpose of this study it is the selected group of people that will represent the entire population. Such population sample usually has most of the characteristics of the entire population.
BYE LAWS: These are the laws by the members of a particular cooperative society. But such bye- law of the society would be regulation government the activities of the cooperative in the area.