Evaluating the effectiveness of Akehlulwalutho Pineapple and Vegetables Cooperative toward socio-economic development

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Zululand
The uMkhanyakude District, which consist of KwaNibela area, where people were subjected to forceful evictions, by colonial, imperial and apartheid regimes of the pre-democratic era in South Africa, which is the focal problem of the study. Living in KwaNibela, people established agricultural cooperatives as a means of fighting unemployment and poverty through the land restitution process. This study took place in KwaNibela area of the uMhlabuyalingana Local Municipality to assess the effectiveness of the Akehlulwalutho Pineapple and Vegetable Cooperative in contributing to KwaNibela's socio-economic development. The study uses participatory evaluation to explore the effectiveness of the Akehlulwalutho Pineapple and Vegetable Cooperative to pursue socio-economic development, women empowerment, and building a sustainable land-based living. Participatory evaluation is an approach that involves consulting the stakeholders of a development intervention in the evaluation process. Furthermore, the Organisation of the Economic Cooperation and Development’s Development Assistance Committee (OECD/DAC) criteria for evaluations were used for the evaluation. These were used in conjunction with the Sustainable Livelihood Framework (SLF) to measure the success of the Akehlulwalutho Pineapple and Vegetable Cooperative by assessing the rural livelihoods of the cooperative’s members and community. The key findings of this study such as outlining the initial aim of establishing the cooperative were able to elicit a wide range of people's perspectives and experiences in assessing the cooperative’s success in promoting socio-economic development in KwaNibela area. The findings further reveal that the cooperative is trying to ensure gender equity, in its operations. However, it appears that the cooperative is still headed by women, with women bearing more responsibility. While, the cooperative is having insufficient market to sell the products due to the lack of land to perform agricultural activities. Therefore, the study recommended that Akehlulwalutho Pineapple and Vegetables cooperative should successfully contribute to socioeconomic development in the KwaNibela region by presenting opportunities and taking corrective action in response to problems, which would increase the rate of employment and market. This study suggests that the government and the banking industry help cooperatives financially so that they can expand and diversify their business operations in rural areas. Hence, Future studies should focus on researching the effective ways that the agricultural cooperatives can develop to attain good working relationship with SMEs. Overall, the study recommends that the same study be conducted and constructed in a new context, location, and theoretical framework.
A dissertation submitted to the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Development Studies in the Department of Anthropology and Development Studies at the University of Zululand, South Africa [2023].