This paper aims to investigate the effect of cooperative societies on household food security in six villages of Northern Ethiopia. Cooperative societies have significant contribution to the food security and poverty reduction. However, limited empirical studies exist in the study areas about the roles of cooperative societies on food security.
Primary cross-sectional data were collected from randomly selected 400 households. The study also gathered secondary data from the cooperative associations and government offices for comparison purposes. The paper applied Heckman two-stage model to capture the effect of cooperative societies on household food security.
The probability of the households to join cooperative societies and also ensure food security depends on various determining factors like institutional factors, demographic variables and rural functions. The paired sample t-test shows that the mean income and expenditure of the cooperative member households were 70 and 40 per cent higher in 2010 and 2011, respectively, than in the baseline. The two-sample independent t-test indicates that the mean income and expenditure of the member households were 47 and 32 per cent higher than the counterpart households. The Heckman model explains that cooperative societies have statistically significant, positive and robust effects on household food security at 1 per cent level.
A few variables might suffer from endogeneity problem, although theoretically insignificant and have no sound justification. The study also considers only two indicators of food security (income and expenditure), but the findings of the study would have been good and sound with several and composite food security index.
Such impact studies on cooperative societies are limited in the study areas. Thus, this study helps decision-makers, cooperative analysts and other concerned bodies to give priority for cooperative societies so as to curtail the food insecurity problem. It can also make meaningful contributions to bridge the gap in the cooperative literature.
The present study can improve the understanding of cooperative societies in the country. The finding of this paper can serve as an input for university students, decision-makers and cooperative analysts. The result can also strengthen the economic justification for policy intervention on cooperative societies.
Most studies in the areas address the financial performance, historical movement and opportunities and challenges of cooperative societies. This implies that more work is necessary to obtain a clear picture and broad spectrum about cooperative societies, and thus, this study addresses the effect of cooperative societies on household food security.
Zeweld, W., Van Huylenbroeck, G. and Buysse, J. (2015), "Household food security through cooperative societies in northern Ethiopia", International Journal of Development Issues, Vol. 14 No. 1, pp. 60-72. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJDI-02-2014-0014Download as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited