Journal of
Development and Agricultural Economics

  • Abbreviation: J. Dev. Agric. Econ.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-9774
  • DOI: 10.5897/JDAE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 553


Reviewing theory, practices and dynamics of agricultural cooperatives: Understanding cooperatives’ development in Namibia

Benisiu Thomas* and Martha Mweneni Hangula
Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Namibia, Namibia.
Email: [email protected]., [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 02 December 2011
  •  Published: 26 December 2011


This paper reviews the principles of cooperatives as outlined by the International Cooperative Alliance. The evolution of agricultural cooperative thought, theory, and purpose as well as problems associated with cooperatives are reviewed from the standpoint of how cooperatives can provide benefits to their members. Globally economists, social theorists, and politicians have drawn considerable attention to the early dynamic development of cooperatives for their achievement of self-help through group action. Given the new perspectives on cooperative theory and the scope of changes in how cooperatives operate and are structured, cooperatives have even greater potential for coordinating self-help actions, but this potential needs the support of cooperative education services. The development and growth of cooperatives in Namibia, as in many other countries worldwide, have gone through substantial structural transitions in an effort to adjust to a rapidly changing economic environment characterised by increasing globalisation, economic crises, environmental uncertainties and agricultural industrialisation. The main problems and future of cooperatives, specifically agricultural organisations, are also highlighted in this paper.


Key words: Agricultural cooperatives in Namibia, new institutional economics, transaction costs, property rights, agent theory.