Rural development through co-operatives: the case of Njombe, Ludewa, Makete Co-operative Union

No Thumbnail Available
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Dar es Salaam
This study set out to examine the performance of co-operatives in Tanzania as rural development agents. In this sense, chapter one provides a general theoretical as well as methodological framework. These are accompanied by study limitations. Chapter two deals with the historical development of co-operatives in the West. Here, it is argued that co-operatives have operated both in capitalist as well as socialist countries. Under capitalism co-operatives further the interests of private individuals who aim at profit making. Under socialism, they are regarded as important institutions for the socio-economic transformation. Chapter three makes a historical overview of the development of co-operatives in Tanzania. The chapter underscores the fact that for the colonialists cooperatives were seen as institutions through which cheap raw materials especially cash crops would be efficiently marketed and transported to the metropole. But for the Africans, cooperatives were started to fight the Asian middlement who exploited them in the marketing process. During independence and after, co-operatives were regarded as the main agents for rural development and the raising of the standards of living of the rural farmer. In chapter four, the performance of cooperatives as viewed by the peasants is analysed. Njombe, Ludewa and Makete Districts are taken as our study case. Available data show that peasants have a negative attitude towards co-operatives, the party and government because they have failed to deliver both the economic as well as social gains. This accounts for their current poor standards of living. This state of affairs is seen to be a consequence of the government's and ruling party policy changes on the movement which have always acted against the peasants' welfare. On the other hand co-operatives have operated on business terms thus the. Relations between them and the peasants have been that of patron and client. This has in turn led to peasant's low participation in cash crop production as well as rural development. As our conclusion, in chapter five we argue that unless the government changes its policy towards co-operatives in favour of the rural people, which entails the restoration of the principles of democracy and voluntarism, rural development through co-operatives, is bound to remain a dream.
Available in print form
Co-operative societies, Tanzania, Iringa region, Ludewa district
Sanga, A. J. (1991) Rural development through co-operatives: the case of Njombe, Ludewa, Makete Co-operative Union, Masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at (