Problems of promoting member-based cooperative societies in Tanzania: a case study of Mbinga district

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University of Dar es Salaam
This case study is an attempt to examine critically the major problems encountered in promoting and developing member-based co-operative societies in Mainland Tanzania. It is envisaged that peasants, who were expected to have a direct control over their cooperatives, have developed a sense of suspicion and distrust vis-a-vis the cooperative promoters and their self confidence has been eroded. The study attempts to test some of the general remarks, conclusions arrived at by the members of parliament when they were discussing the 1990 cooperative bill. The existing managerial and operational problems of cooperatives call for members, cooperative leaders, researchers etc. address themselves fully to these issues so that resolute remedial action is taken to promote sustainable cooperative societies. The objectives formulated are concerned with basic information about members awareness of Cooperative Societies Act 1991 as revealed from memory recall, the major problems hindering development of member-based -societies and the most useful media for carrying news about the cooperative education. Mbinga district in Ruvuma region was selected as the field research area. Mbuji and Mpepo wards were the target population for the study. The sample size was arrived at by obtaining the official number of cooperative societies in the area. The findings identified eleven major problems constraining the promotion of autonomous agricultural cooperative societies in the district and and have been discussed in depth. The study further reveals that, in theory, cooperatives are widely presented as peasants' undertakings but in practice their control is in the hands of a middle class bureaucracy. In this regard, the study recommends that savings and credit societies be encouraged to operate at the level of primary cooperative societies and their basic aim is to provide an outlet for savings that would be available as credit to the same group members. The overhauling of the 1991 legislation and some government policies is among the measures recommended
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Tanzania, Mbinga district, Agricultural cooperative Association
Mapunda, K. J. (1996) Problems of promoting member-based cooperative societies in Tanzania: a case study of Mbinga district, Masters’ dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at (