Sembabule farmers tipped on Cooperatives

Sembabule: Coffee and dairy farmers’ groups in Sembabule district have been urged to embrace cooperatives as a way of generating sustainable wealth.

Addressing at least 80 leaders from different farmers’ groups across the district on Thursday, Leonard Okello, the Chief Executive Officer at Uhuru Institute for Social Development asked the participants to faithfully contribute to the growth of their respective cooperatives, by embracing individual and collective responsibility.

“Don’t allow these cooperatives to be managed as properties of the leaders. Each of the members should be ready to devotedly participate in the affairs of his or her cooperative and make a direct contribution to its growth,” he challenged them.

Speaking ahead of Mr. Okello, Simon Peter Ddundu, the Sembabule District Commercial Officer had noted that despite the formation of several cooperative societies in the area, many of them were still lacking in proper management competencies, necessitating the outsourcing of trainers to orient them through cooperatives best practices.

According to Ddungu, Sembabule has at least 58 registered farmers’ cooperatives. “But the numbers are not translating into empowered farmers or significant benefits for them,” he said.

Okello called upon the cooperators to refrain from the habit of running the cooperatives as begging associations, arguing that that makes them more susceptible to manipulation by selfish donors or politicians, precipitating their collapse.

He challenged the participants to be resilient and generate business-minded ideas which they can integrate into their cooperatives for purposes of expanding them.

“One way of building and growing your cooperative is for you to religiously contribute your share of its essential capital. Don’t expect miracles from these cooperatives. But when you build and nurture them, you can be sure of reaping big from its honest values and efficient services,” he added.

Okello implored the cooperators to be foresighted and envision a strong network of cooperatives in the area, through which they can negotiate for better markets for their produce.

Among other aspects, the farmers were trained in the modalities of establishing clear loan and accounts management systems, democratic members’ controls, as best practices that can propel cooperatives’ growth.

Richard Ssempijja, the Programs Coordinator at the Uganda Cooperative Alliance coffee project, noted that the training has come at an opportune time when farmers need to get better organized to generate substantial wealth from their enterprises.

Moving a vote of thanks, Nathan Mwesigye, the chairperson Kyeera Dairy Farmers Cooperative appreciated the breadth of the training, saying it had awakened the members’ awareness on the need to cooperate deliberately, and take their cooperatives’ responsibilities seriously.

The post Sembabule farmers tipped on Cooperatives appeared first on The Cooperator News.

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