Date of Award

1993

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

Thomas J. Durant, Jr

Abstract

Cooperative fish farming not only insures a wider distribution of land and fish farming technology resources to larger segments of the population, but also makes possible the integration of limited individual resources into sizable and economically more viable production and marketing units. On the basis that more efficient internal organization can lead to greater cooperative performance, the purpose of this study is to identify organizational attributes and practices associated with effectiveness of fish farming cooperatives in Rwanda. Data for the study were obtained from a sample of 200 fish farm groups selected in the prefectures of Butare and Gikongoro, Rwanda. Information on the characteristics of each group was gathered from three of its leaders. Regression analyses were used to test the association between structural characteristics and organizational practices and the performance of the cooperatives. Given the magnitude of the Beta coefficients, the following variables were found to significantly and positively affect production levels: (1) the length of time groups have been together doing fish farming business; (2) democratic leadership style; (3) the extent to which each member does all pond management operations, on a rotational basis; (4) the frequency of reports made by the control and supervision boards; (5) the number of members who are 26-45 years old; (6) the degree of family ties among members; (7) membership size; and (8) the extent to which groups implement arrangements designed to compensate for failure to provide labor contributions. In order of their importance, the following variables were found to influence sustainability: (1) the extent to which each member does all pond management operations on a rotational basis; (2) the frequency of general assembly meetings; (3) the length of time members have been together doing fish farming business; (4) the number of 25-46 years old members; (5) membership size; and (6) the extent of friendship among members. A number of recommendations for the development and improvement of fish farm cooperatives were derived from the findings of the study.

Pages

220

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