Operation Wealth Creation Chief Coordinator tips cooperatives on value addition

KASESE, Uganda: The success of any cooperatives depends on the unity and democracy exhibited by the members. Rtd Gen. Caleb Akandwanaho aka Salim Saleh, the Chief Coordinator of Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) has said.

Addressing hundreds of farmers united as cooperatives in Kasese on Monday, Saleh urged the cooperatives to be objective and have a goal that they seek to achieve.

He said successful cooperatives are those that narrow their mandate to specific objectives and targets and go ahead and address them.

The Gen. who has of late pitched camp in the Rwenzori region told the Rugendabara maize farmers that most cooperatives in Uganda collapsed because members did not stick to the internationally recognized principles of voluntary membership, Democratic member control, member economic participation, Autonomy, and Independence.

He urged the members to also ensure that the principal of education, training, information, and cooperation among cooperatives themselves and concern for the community is strictly observed.

He emphasized the need for cooperators to redefine their capacity and cooperatives and create viable synergies and add value to what they produce.

“It is suicidal for any cooperative movement to fail to define the capacity of its activities. Successful cooperatives are those that avoided being everywhere but nowhere.

Kasese has been known for having a bumper harvest of maize with Rugenbendara having a storage capacity of over 10,000 metric tonnes of maize. The silos were constructed by the Afgri, a firm that was formed in 1923 by local farmers in the area.

Mandala Mpafu, the Afgri Uganda Country Manager said Afgri was started by farmers to add value to their products. “We understand our farmers better, and that is the reason we are still together all these years,” said Mandala.

The chairperson Uganda Grain Council Chris Kaijuka hailed Sale for bringing together, both public and private sector players in the farming industry.

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