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Re: With Technology and Elite capture - Are Cooperatives Relevant today?

EconomistViews On-The-Go University of Guyana, Guyana

It is our view that cooperatives definitely still have a place in the world of agriculture. Granted, the increased use of mobile technology in Uganda might be seen as the death of cooperatives but we do not see it this way. According to UN Deputy Secretary General Asha-Rose Migiro cooperatives possess three very important values i.e. sustainability, solidarity and inclusiveness. These three values are key especially in the case of small scale farmers where these farmers do not have as much market power as their larger scale competitors. Farmers are known for being slow to adapt to new technologies so although statistics show this increase in use of mobile technology it might very well be the case that these statistics are not very representative of farming families. This then shows why sustainability of cooperatives is important for it will be the means by which these farmers who are slow to adapt the mobile technology, will gain access to the up to date agriculture related information that is disseminated through these mobile networks. The increased use of these mobile technologies should be seen as a means of enhancing the existence of cooperatives instead of rendering them obsolete.