This study was inspired by the need to understand farmers’ cooperatives and related factors that lead to value chain development of maize growing farmers in Masindi district, in Uganda. The aim of the study is to establish the relationship between farmers’ cooperatives and the development of maize value chain in Uganda, focusing on selected farmers’ cooperatives in Masindi district. The study used a mixed method design thereby randomly sampling 111 Rural Producer Organizations (RPOs) and purposely sampling six key informants including 1 district official, two Bomido Area Cooperative Enterprise executive officials, one warehouse operator and two agro-processors. We issued questionnaires to all 111 RPOs and interviewed six key informants. In addition, we reviewed relevant literature for further insight into behavior of variables. We cleaned all data, coded and subjected it to analysis. For quantitative data, descriptive statistics were obtained and carried out spearman’s correlations and linear regression to establish relationships. For qualitative data, we used NVIVO software to map out key informants’ responses. Findings revealed positive correlations between the development of maize value chain and the three predictor variables, i.e., coordination mechanisms (89.8%), corporate governance (67%) and inclusion of farmers groups in rural producer organizations (62.2%). The model predicted up to 85.45% of explained variability of development of maize value chain in Masindi. In addition, all individual predictors were statistically significant (corporate governance t = 4.18, p = 0.000; coordination mechanisms t = 11.01, p = 0.000, and farmer inclusion t = 4.66, p = 0.000) explained variations in the development of the maize value chain. Implications are, that it is imperative that corporate governance requires farmer Rural Producer Organizations’ (RPOs) to engage multiple stakeholders at different levels of the value chains. Also there existed both vertical and horizontal coordination mechanisms in the value chain. This contributed to less chances to use cooperatives for development of maize value chain in Masindi. The findings suggest that farmers were driven by anticipated benefits of collectivization to join cooperatives. Therefore, farmers’ cooperatives can be central players for accessing market and market information, better farming equipment and technology in the maize value chain.
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RUFORUM Working document series