KAMPALA, April 13 –Cooperatives are instrumental for wealth creation, the reason why government should invest more in them, an expert in cooperatives movement has said.
Ivan Asiimwe said cooperatives are an extension of community development principles into the business sector that facilitate community ownership of business enterprises.
“Cooperatives enhance good governance and wealth creation in communities,” Asiimwe said.
He pointed out that cooperatives as a mechanism for generating community investments and creates employment opportunities to local citizens
“Cooperatives distribute surplus based on the member’s use of services which surplus is ploughed back in business to increase wealth,” Asiimwe told members of cooperatives based in eastern region.
Asiimwe, who is also agribusiness manager of Uganda Cooperative Alliance Limited, was speaking during the training in cooperatives for cooperatives operators at Paxland Motel in Soroti district.
The training organized by The Uhuru Institute aimed at empowering cooperatives operators with knowledge and skills on cooperatives movement.
Asiimwe told participants that cooperatives often use part of their surplus to support other community development projects such as fisheries.
He noted that cooperative maximize retention of surplus to the benefit of its members and the local economy.
He explained that some cooperatives direct funds from profitable activities to less profitable ones to maximize community employment opportunities and wealth creation.
The expert said world statistics show that Cooperatives reach the poorest people and have a substantial economic impact.
Quoting global statistics Asiimwe said globally 1 billion people are members of cooperatives and 100 million people work in cooperatives.
He said 90% of farmers in both Korea and in Japan are members of agricultural cooperatives while in France, 40% of agricultural production is channeled through a cooperative and 60% of retail services are offered by cooperatives.
The ministry of trade, industries and cooperatives report of 2012 indicates that Uganda has over 13,179 registered cooperatives.
Jane Amuge Okello, the advisor of The Uhuru Institute advised cooperatives operators that they should ensure incorporating a business plan in running the cooperatives.
“The business plan in cooperatives promotes the involvement of all members in deciding for cooperative and this enhances participation,” Amuge said.
Julius Ochen the board chairperson of Teso WV Multi-Purpose Cooperative Union Limited stressed the need of training cooperative operators so as to be able to compete favourably in the market and more importantly to create wealth.
The training attracted members of cooperatives from Soroti neighbouring districts including those who started working in cooperatives in 1960s.