Roles of Cooperatives in Economic and Rural Empowerment in Imo State, Nigeria


  • Okwara M. O Department of Agricultural Economics Federal University of Technology, Owerri
  • Uhuegbulem I. J Department of Agricultural Economics Federal University of Technology, Owerri


Rural Empowerment, Cooperatives, Economic Empowerment.


The paper examines the role cooperatives play in economic and rural empowerment. The purpose is to investigate ways in which cooperatives act as tools towards sustainable rural and economic empowerment in Imo state, Nigeria. The research method adopted is exploratory and reveals that cooperatives have alternative business models for local businesses that are both responsive to rural needs which can stimulate economic development by giving people control over their livelihoods create job opportunities and provide a channel for the overall growth of the Nigerian economy. The results show that cooperatives contribute to economic and rural empowerment through the procurement of farm inputs for members, giving vocational skills and fighting social exclusion in the rural areas. The results also reveal that the gains of cooperation have not been fully realised in the study area especially in job creation. It was concluded therefore that employment planners, cooperative promotion agencies, social partners, donor organisations and agencies should take advantage of the investment opportunities that lie fallow in the study area so that the rural dwellers can feel a change in their quality of life through the provision of amenities such as electricity, water, markets, education, roads and provision of adequate infrastructure, income, food production and employment thus eliminating the rural- urban divide. 


[1]. Aregawi T. and H. Tadele (2013): The role of cooperative Societies in Promoting the Socio-economic empowerment of women: evidence from multipurpose cooperatives in South-eastern zone of Tigray, Ethiopia. International journal of community development, Vol.1,No.1, 2013, 1-11
[2]. Babalola Y.A and R. Tiamiyu (2013): Cooperative Enterprises: A panacea for job creation and Economic empowerment, Journal of Information and Management, Vol.3 No5, 2013.
[3]. Bailey, D. (1992). Using participatory research in community consortia development and evaluation: lessons from the beginning of a story. American Sociologist.
[4]. Chambers R (1997). Rural Development: Putting the Last First. Essex, England: Longmans Scientific and technical Publishers; New york:John Wiley
[5]. Dogarawa, A.B( 2013): Role of cooperative societies in Economic development .Journal of publicAdministration, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria Nigeria.
[6]. Doug Peacock. "Social strife: The birth of the co-op". Cotton Times, understanding the industrial revolution. p. 2. Retrieved 2008-06-26.
[7]. Federal ministry of Agriculture and Rural development (FMA&RD 2002). Cooperative policy for Nigeria, Abuja, Government printer.
[8]. Gibson, R (2005): The Role of Cooperatives in Community Economic Development, RDI Working Paper # 2005-3
[9]. Henehan, B (1997): Cooperating for Sustainability, USA: Cornell University. International Economic Development Council (IEDC) at www.
[10]. Hoyt, A. (1997): And Then There Were Seven: Cooperative Principles Updated, at
[11]. ILO/ICA (2003). The Role of Cooperatives in Designing and Implementing Improved Socio-economic Conditions of Beneficiaries in South-western Nigeria. University of Ibadan, Nigeria.
[12]. Levin, M. (2002): The Promotion of Cooperatives, ILO Cooperative Branch, at
[13]. Moseley, Malcolm J. (2003). Rural development: principles and practice (1. publ. ed.). London [u.a.]: SAGE. p. 5.
[14]. Mullen J (1995). Poverty Alleviation Approach of an International Financial Nigeria. Inaugural Lecture Delivered at University of Ibadan Nigeria.
[15]. Osusu, O.O and Odenu Iyede R.O., 2006. Cooperatives as Agents of development in Nigeria. Journal of Agriculture and Social research ( JASR) Vol.6 No.1
[16]. Schumpeter, J. & Backhaus, U., 2003. The Theory of Economic Development. In Joseph Alois Schumpeter. pp. 61–116. Available at: [Accessed December 17, 2013].
[17]. Somavia, J. (2002): ILO Recommendations No 193 on Cooperatives at
[18]. Sumelius J, Teneav S (2008). Cooperatives As a tool for Poverty
[19]. Wikipedia (2015): Cooperative, at
[20]. Iheanacho A.C, Ojo C.O, Bila Y (2012). Women Accessibility to resources of agricultural productivity in borno State, Nigeria. Journal of Economic and Sustainable Development. 2222-2555, Volume 3.
[21]. Udoh E.(2011): An Examination of public Expenditure, Public Investment and Agricultural Sector growth in Nigeria: ‘Broad Testing Approach’’ Journal of Business and Social sciences. Vol. 2(1), 285-292
[22]. Imo State Tripod Vision (2006): State Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (SEEDS): Published by the state planning and economic empowerment development commission, Imo State.
[23]. Tanzania Federation of Cooperatives (2006). A simplified guide to the cooperatives development policy and cooperatives societies Act of Tanzania.
[24]. Ministry of commerce, industry and Tourism (2005). The Investment Opportunities in Imo State. Ministry’s yearly Report.
[25]. Chikaire, J., Nnadi F.N, Osuagwu C.O., Oguegbuchulam M.N, Oparajiaku J., Jamilu A.A and Osigwe, T. Cooperatives: A vehicle for Rural Development: The Case of Ahiazu Mbaise of Imo State, Nigeria (2011). Nature and Science Journal 9(11)




How to Cite

M. O, O., & I. J, U. (2017). Roles of Cooperatives in Economic and Rural Empowerment in Imo State, Nigeria. American Scientific Research Journal for Engineering, Technology, and Sciences, 33(1), 146–154. Retrieved from