Cooperation Among Ugandan Farmers: Cultivating Social Capital

Cooperation among Ugandan FarmersRESEARCH ARTICLE: 
J.L. Morrow, Jr., Richard Patrick Joyce III, William J. McMahon, Antonio M. DeMaia,
S. Caleb McVicker, Ashley E. Parsons, and Kristin Wilcox

Abstract

A survey was administered to 183 Ugandan farmers in August 2014 to assess the factors that influence their willingness to become members of a proposed new agricultural cooperative. In particular, we were interested in a better understanding of how farmers viewed the social benefits associated with cooperation. These social benefits have the potential to become valuable sources of social capital. Four valid and reliable measures of social benefits were identified. Social benefits that farmers may use to get by (bonding networks) had two dimensions: emotional support and social support. Social benefits that farmers may use to get ahead (bridging networks) also had two dimensions: tangible and intangible resource sharing. The desire to gain these social benefits from cooperation (except for emotional support) emerged as strong predictors of farmers’ willingness to cooperate in a proposed new agricultural cooperative. Surprisingly, the expected economic benefits of cooperation did not have a significant effect on willingness to cooperate. Implications and suggestions for future research and cooperative development and management are also discussed.

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