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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Farmers' Organization in Africa: A Case Study of the Zambia Cooperative Federation (ZCF)
Author:Mwape, Bonard L.
Periodical:African Rural and Urban Studies
Geographic term:Zambia
Subjects:farmers' associations
agricultural cooperatives
agricultural policy
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Development and Technology
Economics and Trade
Abstract:One of the major reasons for failure in the agricultural sector in Zambia and in Africa in general is that agricultural policies are usually made without consulting the majority of producers. Many so-called farmers' cooperatives are neither cooperative nor independent organizations, but an extension of the government. Most farmers' cooperatives rely on the government for policy and tactical support. As a result, instead of acting as interest groups to represent farmers' interests, most farmers' organizations are tools to implement government policies. Many of these policies are detrimental to the operations of the farmers' organization itself and to its members. In most cases, their policies are out of tune with the socioeconomic, environmental, and political reality facing small-scale farmers. This paper examines the major organizational, managerial, financial, and political dimensions of the cooperative movement in Zambia, with a specific focus on the Zambia Cooperative Federation (ZCF), from 1964 onward. The paper concludes that, with increases in business activities and the commercialization of the activities of ZCF, its developmental and representational roles appear to be taking a secondary position. Furthermore, ZCF's beginning as a government-initiated body created one of the major obstacles to it becoming an independent non-governmental institution. Bibliogr.