The contribution of savings and credit cooperative societies to income poverty reduction: A case study of Mbozi District, Tanzania

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This paper explores the contribution of Savings and credit cooperative societies (SACCOS) in reduction of rural households’ income poverty. Specifically, the paper looks at; activities undertaken by SACCOS that can lead to reduction of income poverty; comparing income levels between SACCO’s members and non-members; determining the impact of SACCOS to household’s income poverty reduction, and exploring community’s attitude towards SACCOS. A total of 160 respondents were involved in the study on which this paper is based; 80 SACCOS members and 80 non-members. Data were collected using a structured questionnaire, focus group discussions and key informant interviews. Quantitative data were analysed using SPSS where descriptive and inferential statistics were determined: qualitative data was analysed using content analysis. Study findings show that SACCOS perform different activities in the provision of financial and non-financial services to members. They provide shares, investment opportunities, savings, credit, and training on entrepreneurship skills. T-test analyses show a highly significant difference (p<0.001) between the two groups on income earned from agricultural activities and household expenditures; for the assets owned by household there was also a significant difference (p<0.05). Using MLR analysis, the impact of SACCOS to income poverty reduction was significant (p < 0.05). Generally, the respondents’ attitude towards SACCOS was favourable. The paper concludes that SACCOS play a significant role in improving the conditions of smallholder farmers. The paper recommends that SACCOS be empowered to enable them perform better and provide a range of services to members thereby helping beneficiaries to reduce their income poverty.


Journal of African Studies and Development 2015, Vol. 7(4): PP 99-111


Micro-finance institutions, SACCOS, Poverty and credit., MFIs