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Masindi SME owners told to form cooperatives

MASINDI, July 1, 2024 – Johnson Abitekaniza, Commissioner Business and Quality Assurance in Ministry of Trade Industry Cooperatives [MTIC] has underscored the need for small and medium enterprises [SMEs] owners to organise themselves into cooperatives.

He was speaking days ago during the SME owners’ training on quality, value addition, record keeping, and business plans which was held at Education Hall.

The entrepreneurs were also taken through the marketing skills, storage, branding, bulking, and packaging.

Abitekaniza noted that cooperative members can capitalise themselves, have bargaining power, bulk, market, and store their products. “What is important is keeping the agreement with the companies. Teamwork and cooperation are the way to go. Also, desist from borrowing from money lenders. Go to formal financial institutions,” he advised.

He also underscored the need for different business owners to formalise their business, noting that it is improper to remain informal. “Record keeping is very key in every business. Business proprietors who have not emphasised record keeping have collapsed,” he said.

He further cautioned the different business proprietors against producing poor quality products, saying they pose health risks to consumers.

“Be mindful about people’s health in whatever you’re doing. Don’t mind about making money only. It’s very bad to make money at the expense of people’s lives. That’s why as a ministry we are trying to build the capacity of local government officials to be able to look into the issues of quality,” he said.

Officially opening the training at Education Hall, Yusufu Nyamayarwo the Secretary for Works who represented the Mayor Masindi Municipality, Ronald Businge Kyomuhendo, commended the trade ministry officials for training the entrepreneurs, especially on quality.

“People are doing business but lacking guidance on what should be done. People are grappling with different illnesses because of the poor quality of products on the market. This training is timely and I am hopeful that it will be able to address a lot of issues along the business line,” said Nyamayarwo.

Patrick Asiimwe, Deputy Town Clerk Masindi Municipality challenged the entrepreneurs to positively change their minds, adding people have remained poor by choice since everything is available for one to be well off.

“We have many opportunities to exploit and get well but our brains are tied. That is why even the parish development model [PDM] has an element of mindset change,” he said.

He also encouraged the people of Masindi to stop selling their products in raw form emphasising the issue of value addition.

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