Less than 10% of the registered agriculture cooperatives in Mkushi district are said to be activily sustainable in income generation business entities.
Mkushi District Agriculture Coordination Officer (DACO) Patrick Mutale disclosed this to ZANIS on today.
Mr Mutale said that less than 80 out of a total of 817 Cooperatives in Mkushi and Luano districts had been operating as business ventures over the past 3 years.
He described the situation as retrogressive to the macro-economy of the district, adding that most of the cooperatives became active for the convenience of benefiting fertiliser and seed from government’s Farmer Input Support Program (FISP).
Mr Mutale said that owing to this situation, his office had been applying concerted efforts to train Cooperative members about the essence of running such organisations as business ventures.
He admitted that much work was needed in these efforts during the course of this year, saying that the task was daunting but achievable.
In a related contribution, Agriculture Minister Robert Sichinga has reiterated government’s objective of re-energising the cooperatives.
Mr Sichinga stated this during his tour of Mkushi district, saying Cooperatives that are perennially sustained as business ventures added a lot of impetus to agriculture as a livelihood.
He said that it is for such reasons that government had accorded much attention towards the department of cooperatives.
He observed that the efforts aimed at consolidating the Cooperatives would impact positively on the distribution performance of government’s Farmer Input Support Program.
Mr Sichinga further mentioned that to this effect, he had embarked on physical inspection tour of the FISP fertiliser and seed inputs distribution performance for Mkushi and Luano districts.