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EVALUATING FARMERS ACCESS TO PRODUCTIVE RESOURCES THROUGH COOPERATIVE SOCIETIES AND ITS EFFECTS ON THEIR PERFORMANCE IN RURAL COMMUNITIES OF ANAMBRA STATE, NIGERIA
Abstract: The poverty of Nigerian farmers and their inability to increase their output and income above the subsistence level have been identified as one of the factors militating against food production in Nigeria. Yet, agricultural cooperative create the ability for the supply of required agricultural inputs so that production of commodities is done timely to enhance productivity. They also provide an assured market for commodities produced by isolated small farmers in the rural areas. This paper was determined to evaluate the effects of cooperative societies on members’ output. The researchers administered a total of one hundred and twenty-six (126) questionnaires to the respondents with the assistance of the divisional cooperative officers. The hypotheses were analyzed through the use of t-test statistic and regression analysis. Results showed that the various Services rendered by farmers’ cooperative to their members include: agric credit, improved seedlings, fertilizer, and market access. They however disagreed that they received extension services, the cooperative farmers agreed that they have access to the following agricultural services after joining cooperatives: Access to Agric credit, Access to Improved Seedlings, and Access to Fertilizer. They disagree that they have Access to emerging markets and Access to
Extension services. Hence, the need to adopt cooperative as a platform for improving farmers’ productivity and output in Awka South L.G.A of Anambra state. As such, the researchers therefore recommends that the Anambra State government should encourage research, development and provision of adequate extension services to cooperative farmers through the Ministry in charge of cooperative in the state. Through the extension education the farmers will have knowledge of emerging markets, and cooperative farmers should also be encouraged to join cooperative to enable them have access to agricultural credit among others.
Keywords: Formers’ Access; Productive resources and services, Co-operative Platform; Rural Communities.