Analysis of Strategies for Reviving Coffee Production in Cooperative Societies in Meru County Kenya
Sabari, Eliphus Muchunku
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Coffee farming has shown to be two to four times more effective in raising the incomes of the poor than non-agricultural activities. However, the full potential of coffee production has been facing several challenges. This study analyzed strategies for reviving coffee production in cooperative societies in Meru county Kenya. The objectives of the study were to evaluate the influence of land ownership, coffee financing, coffee pricing, and corporate governance in cooperative societies on reviving coffee production in cooperative societies in Meru county Kenya. Three theories that were adopted in this study were the entitlement theory which guided inquiries into land ownership; stakeholder theory which guided inquiries into both coffee financing and marketing, while agency theory-guided inquiries into corporate governance. A descriptive survey research design was used in the study. The respondents were the coffee farmers and managers from coffee cooperative societies. A sample of 42 cooperative societies in Meru county was considered. Coffee farmers were sampled using simple random sampling for those who met inclusion and exclusion criteria, while all managers in all the sampled cooperative societies participated in the study. Both managers and coffee farmers were selected by simple random sampling technique. Data collection was done using closed-ended questionnaires and interviews which was applied to coffee farmers and managers respectively in the coffee cooperative societies in Meru county Kenya. To ensure validity and reliability, pre-testing of questionnaires was done on 10 active coffee farmers, while pre-test interviews were administered to 5 managers from Kamuthi housing cooperative society of Murang’ a county. Coded data in SPSS 24.0 computer program was analyzed quantitatively using descriptive statistics such as mean, percentage, and standard deviation. Univariate regression and multiple regression were used to test the hypothesis of the study. Tables, graphs, and detailed explanations were used to present the final results of the study. The study found that land ownership did not significantly influence reviving coffee production in cooperative societies in Meru county Kenya. The size and ownership structure of land were not very important but how it was utilized in coffee production. However, the study further found out that coffee financing, coffee pricing, and corporate governance significantly influenced reviving coffee production in cooperative societies in Meru county Kenya. Results implicate on government policies should also be to ensure that coffee-growing zones are protected to reduce encroachment by the real estate sector. This study contributed new knowledge and increased coffee knowledge in strengthening policies by discovering that the four strategies when combined were positive and significant towards the revival of coffee production in cooperative societies of Meru County.