Innovative Cooperation and Collaboration: A Study on Rwandan Coffee Cooperatives
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The purpose of this study is to describe and examine the attitudes of coffee cooperative members towards the ownership of the SPREAD cooperatives in relation to cooperative sustainability. In addition this study identifies barriers faced by member farmers and subsequently provides recommendations on ways in which SPREAD can help its member farmers achieve a more sustainable livelihood. Previous analysis of the SPREAD project and its member cooperatives has suggested that coffee cooperative members do not feel ownership of the cooperative and have not benefited from the cooperatives, leaving the sustainability of the cooperatives to question. The research questions used for this study focused on issues of sustainability, ownership and organizational impact and barriers. All of the cooperatives studied over the course of this project receive funds from the USAID funded project SPREAD. The population of interest comprised members from three of the fourteen cooperatives receiving aid from the SPREAD project. A sample of 52 individuals participated in the study, with the data being collected from mid-July to mid-August, 2009. Quantitative data were collected using a close-ended category-scale questionnaire. The close-ended category-scale questionnaires were analyzed based on the frequency and percentage of responses. Major findings of this study included that coffee cooperative members felt that in the absence of SPREAD, the coffee cooperatives would be unable to function. In regards to ownership, members felt as if they owned the cooperatives. The disparity between these two constructs shows that once SPREAD no longer supports the cooperatives, then sustainability is to question and further they are more susceptible to collapse.
Stellbauer, Robert Matthew (2010). Innovative Cooperation and Collaboration: A Study on Rwandan Coffee Cooperatives. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from