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Agricultural Cooperatives I: History, Theory and Problems

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  • Ortmann, Gerald F.
  • King, Robert P.

Abstract

This paper presents the principles of cooperation and briefly describes the history and development of agricultural cooperatives in developed and less-developed countries, with particular emphasis on South Africa. A new Cooperatives Act, based on international principles of cooperation, was promulgated in South Africa in August 2005. The theory of cooperatives, and new institutional economics theory (NIE) (including transaction cost economics, agency theory and property rights theory) and its applicability to the cooperative organizational form, are also presented, as are the inherent problems of conventional cooperatives, namely free-rider, horizon, portfolio, control and influence cost problems caused by vaguely defined property rights. An analysis of the future of cooperatives in general, based on a NIE approach, suggests a life cycle for cooperatives (formation, growth, reorganization or exit) as they adapt to a changing economic environment characterized by technological change, industrialization of agriculture and growing individualism.

Suggested Citation

  • Ortmann, Gerald F. & King, Robert P., 2007. "Agricultural Cooperatives I: History, Theory and Problems," Agrekon, Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA), vol. 46(1), March.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:agreko:10129
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    Cited by:

    1. Nowak, Piotr & GORLACH, KRZYSZTOF, 0. "Rolnicy I Spółdzielczość W Polsce: Stary Czy Nowy Ruch Społeczny?," Village and Agriculture (WieÅ› i Rolnictwo), Polish Academy of Sciences (IRWiR PAN), Institute of Rural and Agricultural Development, issue 1.1.
    2. Ševarlić, Miladin M. & Nikolić, Marija M., 2013. "Agricultural Cooperatives – Examples Of Good Practise In The World And Serbia," 50th Anniversary Seminar, Agriculture and Rural Development: Challenges of Transition and Integration Processes, September 27, 2013 161799, University of Belgrade, Department of Agricultural Economics, Faculty of Agriculture.
    3. Agbo, Maxime & Rousselière, Damien & Salanié, Julien, 2015. "Agricultural marketing cooperatives with direct selling: A cooperative–non-cooperative game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 56-71.
    4. Nabahungu, N.L. & Visser, S.M., 2011. "Contribution of wetland agriculture to farmers' livelihood in Rwanda," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 4-12.
    5. Mojo, Dagne & Fischer, Christian & Degefa, Terefe, 2015. "Who benefits from collective action? Determinants and economic impacts of coffee farmer cooperatives in Ethiopia," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 211889, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    6. Anna Carbone, 2017. "Food supply chains: coordination governance and other shaping forces," Agricultural and Food Economics, Springer;Italian Society of Agricultural Economics (SIDEA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-23, December.
    7. Viergutz, Tim & Zubek, Nana & Schulze-Ehlers, Birgit, 2016. "How Spatial Pricing Affects Cooperative Members’ Switching Decisions," 149th Seminar, October 27-28, 2016, Rennes, France 244772, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    8. Maxime Agbo & Damien Rousselière & Julien Salanié, 2013. "A Theory of Agricultural Marketing Cooperatives with Direct selling," Working Papers halshs-00906894, HAL.
    9. Teresa Hooks & Áine Macken-Walsh & Olive McCarthy & Carol Power, 2017. "The Impact of a Values-Based Supply Chain (VBSC) on Farm-Level Viability, Sustainability and Resilience: Case Study Evidence," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(2), pages 1-19, February.
    10. Chibanda, M. & Ortmann, Gerald F. & Lyne, Michael C., 2009. "Institutional and governance factors influencing the performance of selected smallholder agricultural cooperatives in KwaZulu-Natal," Agrekon, Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA), vol. 48(3), September.
    11. Liang, Q.X. & Hendrikse, G.W.J., 2012. "Cooperative CEO Identity and Efficient Governance: Member or Outside CEO?," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2012-019-ORG, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
    12. Mujawamariya, Gaudiose & D’Haese, Marijke & Speelman, Stijn, 2013. "Exploring double side-selling in cooperatives, case study of four coffee cooperatives in Rwanda," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 72-83.
    13. repec:hal:journl:halshs-01098762 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. repec:gam:jlands:v:7:y:2018:i:1:p:18-:d:128854 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Natália P. Monteiro & Odd Rune Straume, 2016. "Are cooperatives more productive than investor-owned firms? Cross-industry evidence from Portugal," NIPE Working Papers 9/2016, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
    16. Mabuza, Majola Lawrence & Ortmann, Gerald F. & Wale, Edilegnaw Zegeye, 2012. "Collective action in commercial mushroom production: the role of social capital in the management of informal farmer groups in Swaziland," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 126764, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    17. Ortmann, Gerald F. & King, Robert P., 2007. "Agricultural cooperatives II: Can they facilitate access of small-scale farmers in South Africa to input and product markets?," Agrekon, Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA), vol. 46(2), June.
    18. Carías Vega, Dora E. & Keenan, Rodney J., 2016. "Situating community forestry enterprises within New Institutional Economic theory: What are the implications for their organization?," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 1-13.
    19. Zahir Dossa, 2012. "Cooperatives: A Development Strategy? An Analysis of Argan Oil Cooperatives in Southwest Morocco," Euricse Working Papers 1229, Euricse (European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises).
    20. Chagwiza, Clarietta & Muradian, Roldan & Ruben, Ruerd, 2016. "Cooperative membership and dairy performance among smallholders in Ethiopia," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 165-173.
    21. repec:oup:erevae:v:45:y:2018:i:1:p:27-56. is not listed on IDEAS

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