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Re: Enabling rural cooperatives and producer organizations to thrive as sustainable business enterprises

Lizzy Nneka Igbine Nigerian Women Farmers Association, Nigeria
Lizzy Nneka

Enabling rural cooperatives and producers organizations to thrive is to enable the rural population feel the presence of governance and thriving means improvement in their living standard.
Most of the time this group is forgotten and abandoned, the only aspect they are remembered for is producing cheap foods which are consumed by urban dwellers and the reward is low income of farmers. The high prices of food in the urban goes to sharp practices of middlemen.
To have an enabled rural cooperative is a good project that if supported will go a long way. The term cooperative have been a functional aspect of community life , ie self help but the issue is how effective , and at what capacity are they operating.
It then means that this aspect should be exploited to the benefit of all parties, including the rural farmers and the food consumers. How can this be done?
Research has proven that farmers if encouraged always do more. It is well known that major challenge of farmers especially in rural areas is low funding and low capacity.
This issue has been a long standing one and should be addressed if we are ready to feed the world’s population.
Enabling rural cooperatives should be a priority in Agriculture Governance, and this could be tackled by:
a) Adequate knowledge of the Farming population in a particular area.
b)Proper Organisation of the farmers into separate cooperatives.
c)Training and education of the cooperative groups.
d)Government promulgation of laws to encourage savings with good returns and low interests for cooperative , agricultural loans.
e)Proper management and disbursement of funds budgeted for agriculture and timely and honest practice from politicians, their aids, civil servants and all who manage agricultural funds.
Cooperatives if properly harnessed will put not only money in the hands of farmers but POWER and wellbeing.
I am an advocate of farmers cooperative and open and good governance in Agricultural funding and Farmers integration to Agriculture as a Business.
lizzy Igbine (mrs).
National President,
Nigerian women AA farmers association.