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Forum to address challenges facing coops to be formed in Teso

SOROTI, December 27, 2023 – A section of cooperators in Teso Sub-region have agreed to establish a forum that will help them address challenges affecting cooperatives.

This was decided on during a consultative meeting organised recently by Community Integrated Development Initiatives [CIDI ] in partnership with leaders of the cooperatives. The meeting took place at Nurture Gardens in Soroti.

Among the issues that were highlighted to be affecting cooperatives in Teso Sub-region include; lack of market, lack of access to agricultural credit loans, bad governance, lack of cash crops among others.

Grace Amongin, Manager of Women Cooperative Union Soroti said that farmers have challenges that hinder their development, which calls for formation of cooperatives.

She said farmers in Teso need  to establish cash crops that they can base on to address issues such as household poverty, and that cooperatives are the best vehicles to address this challenge.

“For now farmers in Teso are growing crops regardless of their market and at the end  it all they incur losses,” she said.

John Bosco Otim, Manager Teso Cooperative Union, appreciated CIDI, a non-governmental organisation, for bringing up the idea to from a forum for cooperatives, saying that it would improve the livelihoods of farmers.

He said if the forum is established they will appeal to government to directly to financially support cooperatives so that they can implement their various activities.

“Farmers have not been able to access finances from banks, which has affected the growth of cooperatives,” Otim said.

Otim appealed to government to subsidise prices of machines so that farmers engage in value addition.

Samuel Musisi, the Team Leader CIDI Soroti Branch said farmers need to work together through cooperatives if they want to develop.

Talking about the importance of forming a forum for cooperatives, he added: “We felt that there can be a vehicle geared towards development which will improve the lives of farmers through cooperatives which emphasise unity.”

He noted that many cooperatives for long have never changed their leaders, adding that this is the reason why they are not performing well.

Musisi advised cooperatives to elect their leaders as stipulated by law to address the issue of governance so that they can be stable and survive.

Musisi also asked the farmers to mobilise membership and also fundraise for their cooperatives by buying shares.

“Mobilse for membership but also endeavour to fundraise your cooperatives by buying shares,” he said.

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