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Research Paper | Arts and Humanities | Rwanda | Volume 7 Issue 10, October 2018
The Role of Coffee Cooperative Membership to Improve Livelihoods of Rural Farmers in Ruhango District: A Case Study Southern Province in Rwanda
Bernard Habimana | Dr. Patrick Mulyungi 
Abstract: Rural farmers are engaged coffee farming and their livelihood depend on and the sector directly and indirectly supports over 6 million people, making it one of the leading sources of livelihood in the country. In fact of the importance of coffee farming sector to the economy of Rwanda and availability of government policies and initiatives to promote and support coffee farmers. The sector is a top foreign exchange earner coming fourth after tourism, tea and horticulture. This study therefore assessed the role of coffee cooperative membership to improve Livelihoods of Rural farmers in Ruhango district, Rwanda. The Study has guided by four objectives, to find out the extent to which the coffee cooperative membership is improving the rural farmers livelihoods, examination of the socio-economic and demographic profiles of the cooperative members. Analysis the challenge facing of rural coffee cooperatives and their members to elaborate the recommendations. The study used both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. The research design used was a probability sampling that giving to all equal chance to be selected and represented which covered 51 respondents included 40 rural farmers who is cooperative members and 11 keys informants and a focus group discussions composed by 15 peoples were conducted for better understanding of their views. Data was collected through questionnaires, interviews, direct field observation and document analysis. The data was analyzed using descriptive statistics involving frequencies and percentages by an appropriated statistical software namely SPSS and excel pivot tables. The study analysis revealed that 66.9 % of farmers agreed that a cooperative helped them to be employed and their income has been improved and 33.1 % of members has been improved their meal status and some members could earn at least 60 USD per month. With this amount, they can pay for food, school fees for their children and health service. Regarding to this, 72.7 % they have family health insurance (Mutuelle de sant), and 27.3 % of respondents are able to pay the insurance of their children. The researcher realized that medical insurance assistance have been improved to the members after joined to cooperative. Despite the various challenges and low adherence membership, cooperative has a significant influence in improving the livelihoods of rural famers by generating employment, health services and access to income.
Keywords: Ruhango District, Rwanda
Edition: Volume 7 Issue 10, October 2018,
Pages: 613 - 617