The impact of policy changes on the cooperative movement in Tanzania

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University of Dar es Salaam
In agricultural third world countries like Tanzania. Agricultural produce is the only major source of a limited surplus for the country's development. There are no other institution better placed than cooperatives for the realization of the above objective. Cooperatives on the one hand are supposed to be initiated. controlled and managed by the members (Peasants) themselves. They are, therefore, a means through which the people could develop themselves. On the other hand they are a means through which the state could mobilize the agricultural surplus. Primarily because of the latter. the Tanzanian state has heavily involved itself in the cooperative movement. It has been from time to time experimenting various contradictory cooperative policies as it was grappling with a transition to socialism. Hardly did cooperatives begin to implement a certain policy than they are told to abandon it and implement a new one quite different from the former. So frequent were those changes that they led to implementation by crisis. It is against this background that the study has been carried out. It aimed at showing how the cooperative societies were negatively impacted upon by those frequent changes of policies. Chapter one discusses the problem and significance of the study. In Chapter Two we gave a critical examination of the factors that have been pointed out by various analysts as causes of poor performance of the cooperative movement in the country. We argued that the problems identified though real are proximate causes. The root cause lies somewhere ease in the policies. The Chapter also presents the methodology employed in the study, Chapter Three presents the case studies: The findings from them revealed that cooperative societies were negatively impacted upon by the frequent policy chances. Chapter Four discusses the wider issues to be taken into account in the whole philosophy. principles and practice of cooperation through cooperatives. Chapter Five concludes the study by making relevant suggestions and recommendations which if implemented by the po licy makers may help to do away with the problems we have identified. In the light of our case studies, we were able to conclude that in absence of a stable cooperative policy, an exercise of promoting cooperatives in the country will end up in vain.
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Co-operative societies, Tanzania, Policy science
Dimoso, A.S (1993) The impact of policy changes on the cooperative movement in Tanzania, masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at (