Politics on the Growth and Development of the Agricultural Marketing Co-operatives in Tanganyika, c. 1920s -1930s

Somo M.L. Seimu


This article examines the politics and passage of the co-operative legislation in 1932 that led to the suffocation and eventual strangulation of the Kilimanjaro Native Planters Association (KNPA). In Kilimanjaro, Agricultural Marketing Co-operatives (AMCOs) were registered from 1933 onwards to market coffee. This similarly happened in Ngara District and Ruvuma Region. In Kilimanjaro, the colonial authorities as a whole were responsible for the introduction of AMCOs while in Ngara and Ruvuma the AMCOs were promoted by local colonial officials. In other parts of the country, senior colonial officials deprived support and undermined emerging interests for co-operatives. Additionally, the Registrar’s efforts to promote co-operatives was undermined. Consequently, limited development of co-operative undertakings was evident in the territory during interwar years including in areas that produced cash crops. Generally, the promotion of AMCOs lacked central coordination. Political interests dominated the decisions regarding the promotion of AMCOs.


Tanganyika, co-operatives, colonial politics, Kilimanjaro, agricultural marketing.

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