PERFORMANCE OF FARMERS’ MULTIPURPOSE COOPERATIVE SOCIETIES IN ENUGU NORTH AGRICULTURAL ZONE OF ENUGU STATE, NIGERIA
The study examined the Performance of Farmers’ Multipurpose Cooperative Societies (FMCS) in Enugu North Agricultural zone of Enugu State, Nigeria. Purposive and proportional sampling techniques were used to collect primary data from 30 FMCS through their chairmen. The analytical techniques involved both descriptive and inferential statistics. It was revealed that 46.7% of the cooperative had between 31 and 50 members (i.e. cooperators). About 47% of FMCS had less than N 200,000.00 annual savings from members. About 37% of the selected FMCS had between 16 and 20 years of existence (i.e. cooperative age). The greatest percentage (93.3%) of the selected FMCS was registered with the appropriate Government agency. About 43% of the FMCS had a total share of not more than N 1,000,000.00. Many of the FMCS (60%) in the study area received assistance one time or the other from government. Majority of the leaders of FMCS (73.3%) were males and 83.3% of them had formal education. It was revealed that 33.3% of the selected FMCS had good performance, 40% of them performed poorly and 26.7% of the FMCS performed moderately. The multinomial logit regression analysis comparing moderate performance as base outcome, showed that cooperative years of existence (i.e. cooperative prage) , and years of formal education of the chairmen had positive and significant relationship with good/high performance at (p<0.001) and (p<0.0.05) respectively. Government assistance had negative and significant relationship with poor/low performance of the FMCS at (p<.0.05). The study also looked into the constraints hindering effective performance of FMCS in the study area. These constraints were inadequate storage facilities, inadequate capital, inadequate commitment of members, too much intervention of Government and poor management by officials among others. Therefore, any assistance inform of training and other support from government and NGOs should be based on the issue of years of existence of the FMCS and not on political affiliations as it seems to be presently for the FMCS to perform optimally in the study area.