Contribution posted on behalf of Edwin Tamasese
The most important thing for a cooperative to work sustainably is not to form it from the outset. Cooperatives form on common need. When a cooperative is formed too early in the piece it does not allow the participants to gain relevant insight into why, how and into what areas they can work together. Creating a cooperative based on common need it therefore critical. Too many times cooperatives get formed for political rather then common need reasons. Yes, pooling resources together is a much more effective method of ensuring good wealth distribution, but this must be combined with the ability to work with the natural psychology of participants which is personal benefit. The key is creating a group vision where the individual identifies personal benefit in a forum which creates group benefit. I am currently building this with several groups in Samoa. End of the day, results will speak for themselves, but the best way to test a theory is to put it into practice.
Soil Health Pacific Ltd
Read more about the facilitators
Related links and resources:
FAO's website on cooperatives and producers organisations
World Food Day
Good practices in building innovative rural institutions to increase food security
Agricultural cooperatives: paving the way for food security and rural development (Brochure)
My.Coop - Managing your agricultural cooperatives
The Group Promoter's Resource Book
The Group Enterprise Resource Book
The Group Savings Resource Book
The Inter-Group Association Resource Book
New Strategies for Mobilizing Capital in Agricultural Cooperatives
Computerizing Agricultural Cooperatives: Practical Guidelines
Cooperatives: Has their Time Come or Gone?
Agricultural cooperative development - A manual for trainers
Capital Formation in Kenyan Farmer-owned Cooperatives: a case study
The FSN Forum is supported by the project Coherent food security responses: incorporating right to food into global and regional food security initiatives.