By Hailat Berhane, business advisor Ethiopia
Across the world, farmers are working together to improve their economic, social and market position. Many of them have formed cooperatives to provide agricultural services for members. The basic functions of these cooperatives include input supply, storage, processing, bulking, and selling members’ produce. Other functions may involve providing credit, training and education.
In Ethiopia, Agriterra has had various success stories related to internal capitalisation, to start with the development of an internal capitalisation manual as an implementation tool, together with the ECC (Ethiopian Cooperative Commission) and Agriterra.
From the starting point, Agriterra has observed very successful achievements among Ethiopian cooperatives. Unions and primary cooperatives collected more than EUR 600,000 and engaged in agro-processing.
In June, Agriterra Ethiopia conducted an internal capitalisation training at Dire Multipurpose Farmers’ cooperative for technical staff of Governments, Board and Controlling committees, member PCs, chairpersons and staff of the union. In total 40 participants.
As an eye opener, at the end of the training day, there was a pledge from the participants to start the internal capitalisation. But it was a remarkable and great gesture from the cooperatives' member and leader, who promised ETB. 841,000 (EUR 15,290) from 27 participants. It was a one-of-a-kind training and mobilisation, with one farmer leader pledging 150,000 ETHB, another 120,000 ETHB, and one participating woman giving one calf in kind and two people promising to give two bulls.
‘’There is no such thing as an impossible task for Small Holder Farmers (SHF); anything is possible”