By Edna Mekonnen, business advisor Ethiopia
At the beginning of 2021, Agriterra began collaborating with the Felagot Dairy Cooperative in Ethiopia as a part of the SNV BRIDGE initiative.
The cooperative had no office when we went for a scoping assignment, so we conducted it in the Kebele administration office. Agriterra discovered that the board members and hired personnel were highly committed to changing the cooperative's image, so we decided to proceed with the assessment by considering the cooperative's bright future. The cooperative has 206 members and gathers 2100 liters of milk per day during the assessment period.
Felagot Dairy Cooperative has good development potential, but one of the main reasons they aren't working on member mobilisation is because they are worried about how to proceed. They also don't have any specific plans to develop into a cooperative that will be competitive.
The project officers hired a manager to support with various tasks based on these two major challenges. The cooperative then recruited more than 100 additional members in a three-month time span. Additionally, exchange trips were organised to help adopt a more ambitious outlook on the future of the cooperative.
During the exchange trips, the Felagot cooperative visited strong primary cooperatives with their own milk processing factory with a capacity of 2000 liters per day. The cooperative also increased milk collection from 1000 liters per day to 6000 liters per day within a year by expanding their milk collection centers up to 12.
Following the exchange visits, the Felagot cooperative began urging the government to grant land. After that, over the course of seven months, the cooperative mobilised 665,495 Birr to build offices, stores, and shops.
A variety of business and public stakeholders, as well as members, were invited to the cooperative construction. By presenting certificates and other prizes, the cooperative has honored members, employees, and other stakeholders who have made significant contributions to the transition. The significant contribution we make as Agriterra in such a short period of time has been acknowledged as well.