Performance of Agricultural Farmers’ Groups and Cooperatives in Eastern Bhutan

Karma Wangmo, Tashi Dendup, Tshotsho, Sangay Jamtsho & Karma Tenzin

ABSTRACT 

The number of farmers’ groups (FGs) and cooperatives (Coops) increase annually in Bhutan. However, studies on their performance are limited. Thus, this study (1) examined the performance of agricultural FGs and Coops and (2) determined the association between the performance of FGs and Coops and their selected characteristics in six districts of Eastern Bhutan. The results were generated from the data collected through group interviews of 60 groups (53 FGs and 7 Coops) in early 2020. The cooperative performance index was used to divide groups into three performance levels: (1) early transition to growth, (2) mid-transition to growth, and (3) model groups. The results showed that most groups (62%) were in mid-transition to growth, followed by the early transition to growth and model groups with 20% and 18%, respectively. FGs and Coops performed weakly in areas of management, marketing, and retention of members. The frequency of meetings and the number of literate members were positively correlated with the groups’ performance. Overall, this study suggests the requirement of supports in areas of initial institutionalisation of groups, management, marketing, and product diversification to strengthen existing FGs and Coops.

Keywords: Agriculture, Cooperatives, Eastern Bhutan, Farmers’ group, Performance

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