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Ugandan Government To Support Collapsing Cooperative Unions

Pallisa — State Minister for Cooperatives Fred Ngobi Gume has revealed that government is considering financially supporting cooperative unions that had collapsed due to various reasons.

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“Many cooperative Unions are on death bed and need recapitalisation.

This is why government is considering bailing them out financially in a bid to empower farmers as a way of collectively bargaining for fair prices,” he said while handing over an assortment of equipment in Pallisa District recently.

He, however, called upon farmers in the district to form Saccos or join cooperative societies to easily address the issue of markets for their produce.

“The challenge is that our people produce in small quantities and prefer to sell individually fetching no bargains for fair price. Let people produce in small quantities but collectively market in large quantities. They face the problem of market because they are not attached to any organized cooperative” Mr Gume said

The Ministry of trade and Pallisa District on Sept 24 2012 signed a Memorandum of understanding for the implementation of the district commercial services support project, which was piloted in the 25 districts.

“As a ministry, we are encouraging farmers to embrace cooperatives or Saccos to easily market their produce and get a fair price compared to selling individually. This is the way to go because it will cut off middle men who may wish to take up the marketing gaps” Mr Gume explained

He added: “By joining these organised groups (cooperatives), it is always automatically that organised farmers will access ready market but political leaders should encourage our people to embrace this approach and short of that, we may time decades to get our people out poverty”.

Mr Gume also revealed that government, through the Ministry of Trade and Industry, has made the development of cooperatives a priority intervention for Social-economic transformation towards the poverty fight.

Source: Monitor

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