COVID-19 Impact on Agricultural Cooperatives: Round One Brief

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This brief summarizes the key findings from the first of three data collection rounds for the COVID-19 impact study, which was designed to determine the effects of COVID-19 on agricultural cooperatives.

COVID-19 is already having an impact on the operations of 95% of the cooperatives polled. Only five of the 93 cooperatives sampled report no negative effects. COVID-19 has not yet had a negative impact on the following countries and value chains: dairy in Kenya, apiculture in Madagascar, and coffee, dairy, and rice in Tanzania.


  • Cooperatives are already experiencing many impacts of COVID-19 on their operations, and these impacts are widely reported across value chains and countries.
  • Cooperatives in Peru and Rwanda appear to be experiencing stricter government regulations in response to COVID-19 as compared to the other countries. Cooperatives in these two countries report more impacts of government restrictions on their operations and on their ability to interact in person with their members.
  • Some impacts of COVID-19 are specific to the characteristics of different value chains. For example, dairy coops reported reduced sales quantities, sales prices and revenue, as well as buyers breaking contract agreements. These problems may reflect that the dairy sector depends on the daily marketing of their product. Conversely, cacao, coffee, maize, and horticulture have more limited marketing seasons, and their marketing activities may not yet have been strongly affected by COVID-19.
  • A widely reported coping strategy in response to COVID-19 is members dropping out of cooperative activities. Overall, 45% of coops reported this response on the part of some of their members.
  • The most critical needs for additional support for coops at this stage is access to financing and personal protective equipment for coop staff and members.

For more information, please open usaid_cd4_v37_covid-impact-survey-round-one_brief