THE ROLE OF AGRICULTURE COOPERATIVE SOCIETIES IN FOOD PRODUCTION
Modern form of Co-operative leaves their origin in the tension and opportunities created by industrialization and urbanization in the nineteenth Century in Europe. Much of the early interested in co-operative structure seemed from deep regards to the social consequence of industrial capitalism, critics of the new order not simply a framework for business organisation but also as a vehicle for the reutilization of radical social and political goals. However, much concepts of c-operative have been erased the claims of earlier social prophets, a residual belief remains that co-operators are motivated by group interest as well as self interest, and that non-economic as well as economic objectives may be pursued. Other of these propositions present difficulties through not inseparable one’s in terms of applying economic analysis to the study of applying economic analysis to the study of Co-operatives, it is pertinently imperative and a restrictive device of immense capacity that co-operative organizations have paid the way for the new economic and social order not only for those, ‘depressed’ in the economy who (mostly of less privileged) are at the receiving end, the logical and social justice, which they embody, but in our ability to translate them concretely and realistically from social theory into social fact and to make them effective in our daily live. We must always remember that co-operative are organizations of by and for members therefore they are designed to respond to the needs of members. Agricultural Co-operative has created for the economic charge, for increasing in food produce, for building a better or a more just and equitable society. They serve to give individuals through voluntary co-operation and mutual assistance, control or bit of their destiny to make people in some way asters of their own fate, subjects and not objects of their history. Co-operatives are of course pragmatic institution noted in reality of concerts goals.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Agriculture, from the beginning of time, the first concern of man has been food clothing and shelter in that order. Agriculture being one of the oldest industries, its origin can be traced to the earliest human societies. The existence of man from the prehistoric era up to the era ancient civilization depended on the ability of the individual to hunt and gather food for consumption. Food was, however the basic source of life which provided him energy in his wondering and constant struggle for survival. However, with the realization that food was basic need for survival, efforts were made by early man to cultivate crops. In spite of the limitations which agriculture is facing, it still remained the most important sector of the world economy.
Agriculture is a basic industry that supports all industries and all aspects of needs can justify from its role and contributions to nation building. Between 75 – 80% of working population in rural areas engage in agriculture production (farming). Some are provide jobs in the industries e.g. textile industry, Breweries and shoe industry. Agriculture aids in rural development, with the location of industries that utilize agricultural produce in an area other investors go to rural areas to set up factories trade and operate business centers people are employed and paid to earn their living. Agricultural provides industrial raw material, textile mills required cotton, and plastic industries use rubber/latex.
Agricultural involves operational clearing of the land and the breaking-up of surface soil, the sowing for seeds, the removal of the weeds from the farm, the harvesting and storage of crops which are disposed of by marketing and the breeding and rearing of animals. All these Co-operatives can do in a number of different, which involve amounts of labour, time, expense and productivity. Agricultural education is an area in agriculture that a concern with helping people to develop a desire to learn and teach agriculture. This is a change of behaviour towards agricultural practices.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Agricultural co-operatives are greatly involved in food production so as to improve the social and economic life of the members and the country as a whole.
In spite of these, agricultural co-operative are still experience low food production owning to some distributing factors.
1. High financial commitment in the formation of the agricultural co-operative of different size and types.
2. Members neglecting their obligations, participating in-group farm work in the farmland weeding, planting, harvesting and marketing of farm produce.
3. Procurement of farm inputs like high yielding seeds, stem and seeding, agro-chemical disinfectants and fertilizer.
4. Problems of marketing of produce and efficiently distribution and returns to inputs utilized.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF STUDY
In food production the study is aimed all examining the role of Agriculture Co-operative food production so as to benefit members and the society at large . The purposes of this study are:
i. To identify the factor that can cause low food production in agriculture co-operative in (Enugu) south.
ii. To investigate whether problem identified are associated with the agriculture co-operative society.
iii. To investigate the farms of supports and incentives provided by the government to the agriculture co-operatives if there are any.
iv. To find out the ways and methods that can be used in solving the problems of low food productivity.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
To achieve the purpose or objectives of this study the following research questions were formulated.
i. What are the causes of the low food production among agriculture co-operative in Enugu South Local Government Area?
ii. To what extent are the problem identified applied or associated with the agriculture co-operative societies being studied?
iii. Do agricultural co-operative receive incentives from the government?
iv. What form does the incentives from government take?
v. What are the ways/methods that can afford possible solutions to the problems of low food production?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The findings of this research work will enable the society to know what to do in order to improve or enhance the economic activities of the society. This research work will equally help the Federal government whose set objective is to use co-operative in rural development and increasing the production capacity of the country. The producer of agricultural products will also benefit because their effective production will be assured through the effective and efficient management of the agricultural co-operatives in food production and there will be an increase in food supply and production in the country thereby leading to a fall in price of goods. When this is achieved, the consumers and the general public will benefit.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
1. ENTERPRISE: This is institution of businesses that perform services and provides good for its members.=
2. INTEGRATION: This is the act and measure towards influencing the level of enlightenment, understanding and consequently, personal emotional feeling of the member towards co-operative in a positive direction.
3. PATRONAGE REFUNDS: These are special rights accrued to members in terms of surplus in proportion to the individual members turnover under payment in marketing co-operative.
4. CO-OPERATIVE EFFECT: The degree of extra satisfaction, which a member derives as a result of participation in the co-operative as compared to working done.
5. SOCIOLOGICAL GROUP: This group of people with different roles, commons identify common value, internal structure, good level of communication etc.
6. RESERVE FUNDS
Reserve funds are funds created and maintained with the co-operative business enterprise for different reasons but especially as a form of security against negative eventualities.
7. CO-OPERATIVE NISUS
The functional relationship between members of business units, and co-operative business unit or the degree of integration between the private unit and the co-operative business enterprise.
8. RETURNS: These are monetary values resulting from the sale of output of the enterprise.
9. STATUTORY RESERVES: They are reserves that are created by low whether members like it or not.
10. VOLUNTARY RESERVES: They are reserves by the act of free will of the members.
11. SHARE CAPITAL: This is the money contributed by members in other to make their co-operative functional, usually on their acquisition of membership.
12. LOAN BONDS: These are loan agreements, which every borrower has to sign for the co-operative enterprise.
13. QUORUM: This is the minimum number of co-operative members allowed in the byelaw to make decision for the society.