An empirical study on the members’ perspectives regarding agricultural cooperative societies in the Punjab, Pakistan
Cooperatives are recognized as symbols of social, cultural, and economic development in many developed and developing countries. This study was conducted to explore the satisfaction of the members regarding services provided by the agricultural cooperative societies. A total of 384 members of the societies and 50 key informants, who were employees of the agricultural cooperatives participated in the study. The study used a mix-method research technique, i.e. both quantitative and qualitative methods of research were used to collect data. The descriptive statistics indicated that the majority of the respondents (64.4%) was ordinary member of the societies. There were no standard criteria of the societies for acquiring their membership. However, agricultural landholding size (x̅=3.67), social networking (x̅=3.39) and financial status (x̅=3.16) were regarded as the criteria to become a member of a cooperative society. Regarding the provision of services and satisfaction of the recipients, guidance regarding farm management and information about the commodity marketing had a statistically significant mean difference (P<0.05). Though, farmers were more satisfied with the loan scheme (x̅=2.69) and access to inputs (x̅=2.67). the regression analysis showed that age, education, the status of membership and land size had a statistically significant impact (P<0.05) on the satisfaction of the farmers. This study urges, the involvement of educated people in agricultural cooperatives, democracy in decisions, strengthening the loan schemes and supporting cooperative farming among farming communities.
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