Impacts of Saving and Credit Cooperatives in Sustaining the Livelihoods of its Members in Elfeta Woreda, Oromia region, Ethiopia

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Mulugeta Tadesse Bekele

Abstract

Saving and credit cooperatives play a great role in the livelihood of rural communities. Yet their role varies across cooperatives and places. Thus, the objective of this study was to assess the impacts of saving and credit cooperatives in improving the livelihoods of its mem- bers' in Elfeta district. The study employed descriptive research design, and both primary and secondary data were collected. Primary data were collected from 146 members through scheduled interview and 3 key informant interviews. The result of the study indicated that the major source of livelihoods of respondents was agriculture alone (i.e.,62.32%). The coop- erative in the study area were established mainly for delivering credit services to its mem- bers', with the role of poverty reduction followed by employment creation. The study also indicated that saving and credit cooperatives were facing lack of awareness and knowl- edge, lack of access to credit facilities and poor management as major challenges hindering their role in poverty alleviation. There!ore, the government and the other financial sectors should provide support to cooperatives, which could allow them to expand and diversify their business operations.

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