Impact of cooperative membership on farmers’ uptake of technological innovations in Sub-Saharan Africa

There’s no straightforward definition of a farmer network, however, the primary motivation for farmers’ adoption of technological innovations is the improved financial benefits accrued by means of enhanced productivity. There are two main perspectives from which the adoption of technological innovations can be assessed. The first focuses on the factors influencing the decision of farmers to adopt particular technologies, and the second relates to the trends and spread of use in the aftermath of adoption (Feder and Umali 1993). Sometimes, adopted technologies are abandoned after years of experimentations, for various reasons ranging from hazards to economic constraints (Marenya and Barrett 2007).
In comparison, little scholarly attention has been devoted to the impact of social capital on farmers’ adoption of technological innovation, and the effect of social capital on other adoption factors. There is a dearth of data on adoption factors and behaviours in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Agro Coop focuses on developing and implementing agriculture finance strategies and instruments to the crowd-in private sector for agro-cooperatives and groups in enlisting new membership as well as enhancing access to suitable financial services to farmers – particularly smallholders – and agricultural Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as a way to increase agricultural productivity and income and facilitating the consolidation/ integration of production and marketing entities in agriculture to achieve economies of scale and a stronger presence in markets.

Value proposition + USP
• Agro Coop provides the capabilities for cooperatives to Aggregate product demands or supplies at different levels for eventual fulfilment in a most cost-efficient manner
• The embedded tools are designed to assist with registration and data collection, improve training, support business planning, market analysis and monitoring of geo-referenced service delivery.
• The Agro Coop System enables agricultural cooperatives to achieve the following:

Nigeria, with a population of about 150 million people, is the most populous country in Africa, and more than 50% of the population live in rural areas. The total land area is 911,000, and about 80% of this is available for various agricultural purposes, including arable land, permanent crops, pastures, and irrigated land (FAO 2013).

Although Nigeria is the world’s largest producer of cassava, yam, and cowpea, it is still a food-deficit nation and a net importer, and more than 80% of rural dwellers live below the poverty line. Agricultural land is severely underutilized, with less than 50% of land cultivated as of 2009, and less than 7% of irrigable land irrigated (IFAD 2009a)
The history of government interventions in agricultural production in Nigeria has been characterized by a focus on those two important elements highlighted: provision of credit and promotion of technological innovations.
Cooperatives employ several means for the diffusion of innovations. Among others, technical and commercial information can be provided by means of periodic bulletins distributed among members. Talks, meetings, field demonstrations, and educational courses are also arranged for members to learn new production techniques, and cooperatives often appoint some members in their ranks to specialist teams whose responsibility is to explore and design improved methods and subsequently provide feedback and relevant advice for members.
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