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Njiru Emily Wanjeru - Student of Masters in Arts in Project Planning and Management, University of Nairobi, Kenya

Prof. Charles M. Rambo - School of Open, Distance and E-Learning, University of Nairobi, Kenya


Irrigation cooperatives in the past years were seen as main source of income in communities. Members of these cooperatives depended entirely on cooperatives to cater for health, financial and education needs of their families. Currently people have shifted their focus from these cooperatives to other financial institution while a significant number of irrigation cooperatives have closed down. This study therefore sought to determine the factors that influence performance of irrigation cooperatives. The guiding objectives of the study were to assess how levels of education and training of members and organized marketing of irrigation cooperative produce on the performance of the cooperatives, assessing the influence of governance structure and the influence of technology application on existing cooperatives. Performance of irrigation cooperatives formed the dependent variable while the factors that influence the performance formed the independent variables. This study adopted a descriptive research design. The population of the study was1552 members. Through random sampling a sample of 161 members was obtained and data was collected using questionnaires. Validity of the instruments was ensured through opinions and expert judgments of university experts. Reliability of the instruments was estimated using split half technique through a pilot study in Tharaka Nithi County. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and inferential statistics with the help of the Statistical Package for Social Sciences. The study found that Irrigation cooperatives offers scholarship for the staff and the response in the study indicates that 54.04% strongly agreed while 40.99% agreed. This concludes that 95.03% of the members of the irrigation cooperatives believe scholarship to staff has great impact on the performance. It is further revealed that Cooperatives offering Seminars, workshops and where conferences are open for all members of staff, out of 161 respondents who participated in the study 90.9% strongly agreed, 9.1% agreed. The findings showed that the influence of Product promotion through advertisement whereby out all respondents who participated in the study 64.59% strongly agreed, 27.32% agreed, and these provided a total of 91.92% of the total respondents who agreed that advertisements has great influence towards the performance of irrigation cooperatives. The study showed that governance structure met all legal requirements and out of 161 respondents who participated in the study 60.86% strongly agreed to this and 39.13% agreed. This concludes to a 100% of the respondents agreeing thus the study established that governance functions are very influential on the performance of irrigation cooperatives. The results on how technology influences performance of irrigation cooperatives in Embu County established that systems had been installed to enhance transaction processing, technology enhances accuracy, reliability of irrigation cooperatives and that information systems bring information timeliness, and technology allows for a reduction in transactions costs and timely communication. It is revealed that 78.26% said technology influence on systems enhancing transaction processing is very influential to performance and 21.73% agreed on it being influential. The study concluded that level of education and training, organized marketing for products, governance structure and technology significantly affects the performance of irrigation cooperatives in Embu County. The study recommended that irrigation cooperatives should continuously check on the levels of education and train their members, adopt new forms of organized marketing for products, enhance their governance structure and adopt new and the current forms of technology. This study will be of important to the government and policy makers because they will be able to determine how to sustain and improve operations of existing irrigation cooperatives. This study will also be of immense help to academicians and researchers in providing useful literature.

Full Length Research (PDF Format)