John Sumelius

Principal Investigator

Researcher info


Department of Economics and Mangement


Agriculture and Forestry

Contact information

co-operatives financial services people centred business poverty societies Tanzania

Research projects

  • Project date 1.3.2013
  • Head of research John Sumelius
  • Language n/a

Marketing channels of agricultural surplus is important for improving food security in most African countries. The cooperative business form offers one way for smallholder and intermediate size farmers to sell their surplus. Twelve Tanzanian cooperatives were studied by semi-structured interviews to find out if the cooperative business model can reduce poverty and address food security. Four types of cooperatives were identified: traditional cooperatives, reforming cooperatives, new cooperatives and co-operatives with some innovations. Both cases of poorly working unions and more recent success stories were found. Features characterizing good cooperative work in Tanzania were identified. Recommendations on policy level how to support cooperative action is given.


John Sumelius; Faustine K. Bee; Suleman A. Chambo; Shimelles Tenaw; Stefan B├Ąckman,