Performance Evaluation of Hashenge Cooperative Union and its Affiliates: Ofla Woreda, Tigray, Ethiopia
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Cooperation is a way of living, a philosophy of life, and has been the very basis for human civilization. The roots of formal Cooperation can be traced to ancient times. Cooperatives are believed to enable the rural and urban poor to meet their economic, social, and cultural needs collectively, which is often difficult to achieve individually. So, this paper is concerned with evaluating the performance of Hashenge Cooperative Union and its Affiliates (found in Ofla Woreda of the Southern Zone of Tigray State) in meeting their members’ needs. To this end, primary data, from 200 randomly selected member and non-member respondents, and secondary data, from the Union’s documents, were collected and analyzed using Tables and Percentages, Financial Ratios, ANOVA, t-Test, OLS Regression, Logistic Regression, and Chi-Square Analysis with the help of MINITAB, a statistical package. It was found that membership and financial performance of the Cooperative Union under study showed an improving trend over the study period. Membership to a Cooperative was found to promote awareness and/or income of members. This was manifested in the improvement of livestock and house ownership, quality of clothing and food consumed, and attitude towards modern health services and education. A household, among the urban community, was found to save, on the average, Birr 13 per month provided it purchases sampled items from the Union instead of from traders. The study also came out with a range of perspectives on the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats of the Cooperatives under study. Good customer handling, poor time management, increasing number of qualified professionals in the area of Cooperation, and unhealthy competition from traders were among the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats respectively.