Factors affecting the development of dairy cooperatives in Kenya: a case study of Kiambu County
Mugwe, Peter Githinji
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Cooperatives societies are part and parcel of an increasing number of people in formal and informal employment the world over. The study sought to establish factors affecting the development of Dairy Cooperatives in Kiambu County, Kenya. The objectives of the study were to: find out the effect of adoption of technology on the development of Dairy Cooperatives; evaluate the effect of financial access on the development of cooperatives; find out how managerial skills affects the development of Dairy Cooperatives in Kiambu County and; determine how the participation of members affect the development of Dairy Cooperatives in Kiambu County. Grounded on the Social Capital and Resource-Based Theory, this study adopted the descriptive research design. In this study, the target population was 59,635 registered Dairy Cooperative members while the sample size was 398 respondents who were picked via stratified random sampling. Data collection involved questionnaires that contained 5-point scale Likert-type statements. Descriptive and inferential statistics were carried out. In this case, tests such as central tendency (mean), frequencies, percentages, standard deviation in addition to Pearson and regression analysis were utilized. The findings show that the factors under investigation have significant influences on development of dairy cooperatives. This is evidenced by positive and statistically significant relationship between technology adoption, managerial skills & leadership; access to finance; member's participation to the development of dairy cooperatives. These findings show that technology adoption showed the strongest relationship with development of dairy cooperatives. This was followed by member’s participation, access to finance, and managerial skills and leadership in that order. These findings are corroborated by results from multivariate regression analysis that shows that all the IVs statistically significantly predict the DV. These findings lead to the conclusions that the kind of managerial skills and leadership in dairy cooperatives affected their development. Access to finance also affected the level to which cooperatives funded their development activities. Affordable financing and increased member subscriptions affected the success of Cooperatives projects. Increasing members’ participation would also increase their buy in of the development projects of the dairy cooperatives; augmenting their sustainability. This would go on to enhance their development. The study recommends the need for Dairy Cooperatives to have robust management teams staffed with highly competent and experienced managers. The integrity of the firms should be established and regularly assessed to avoid corruption and mismanagement of the finances. Training was also necessary so as to enhance the capacity of managers and employees. This could be done in-house or sponsored in institutions of learning. There was also need to carry out thorough research before starting development projects so as to understand their riskiness and establish the requisite strategies to ensure their success. Partnerships with SMEs was also recommended since it could avail low-cost credit. Member participation should also be strengthened and embedded in all management processes of the Dairy Cooperatives so as to enhance their support of projects. Regular monitoring and evaluation was recommended so as to come up with strategies for correcting deviations from predetermined development objectives.