Agricultural Cooperatives and COVID-19 in Southeast Africa. The Role of Managerial Capital for Rural Resilience.

November 2, 2021

Author/Publication Info: Francesconi, Nicola, Fleur Wouterse, and Dorothy Birungi Namuyiga. Sustainability 13 (3): 1046.

This article hypothesizes that collective or organizational resilience is especially significant to smallholders when idiosyncratic risk coping strategies fail. By using pre- and during-shock data from agricultural cooperatives in Southeast Africa, the authors analyzed the resiliency of these smallholder-owned organizations. Many of these organizations went into dormancy due to external stressors and countervailing market-disruptions (COVID-19). One topic of particular focus is collective decision-making. The authors conclude that only a few organizations devised responsive and innovative solutions to maintain the market linkages between rural smallholders, which was related to organizational immaturity, large membership size, elite capture, and limited business-orientation, underscoring a general lack of managerial capital. OCDC was one source that provided the author funding through our Cooperative Development Programming.

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