—-Chief Chitambo of the LaLa people in Chitambo district has urged co-operatives to be resourceful and supply their farm products to boarding schools and hospitals in order to raise funds and be self-reliant.
Speaking at the Co-operative Day held at Mukando Secondary School, Chief Chitambo said co-operatives should register with various schools and hospitals in order to supply various products to them.
He urged them to desist from waiting for fertilizer from government but plant various products because the market for the sale of those products is vast.
“Do not have the attitude of waiting for fertilizer from government but use everything you can to plant various products because the market is vast,” he said.
And speaking at the same function Chitambo District Commissioner, David Kaseba, said sustainable development can be achieved if people work together by way of forming cooperative enterprises.
Mr Kaseba said cooperatives offer men, women and the youth an opportunity to participate in and have influence over economic activities and through this participation members gain self-reliance and self-esteem.
“Cooperatives are engines for achieving sustainable development and they provide an opportunity for men, women and the youth to attain self-reliance and self-esteem,” he said.
Mr Kaseba also assured all farmers that government has put in place measures to ensure that all of them receive all their farming inputs on time under the Farmers Input Support Programme (FISP) for the 2014/2015 farming season.
And District Cooperative Union Chairperson, David Shibwela, said despite the cooperative developments being in existence for 66 years now, the effects of poor financial status in various cooperatives have made it impossible to reach the intended purposes of cooperative development in Zambia.
Mr Shibwela said many cooperative societies carry out their operations under trees as they lack proper infrastructure from which to operate.
“For 66 years now the intended purposes of cooperative development have not been achieved due to the effects of poor financial status and lack of proper infrastructure for many cooperatives,” he said.
Mr. Shibwela also urged cooperatives to desist from being active only during the FISP exercise but should implement other micro enterprise development programmes to attain economic growth.
He urged cooperative societies to register with the Chitambo District Cooperative Union or risk being deregistered.
Mr. Shibwela made an earnest appeal to government to start a cooperative college to train the board members representatives and the cooperative union staff on cooperative development in Zambia.
Every year, a day in the month of July is set aside to commemorate the International Cooperative Day and the theme for this year was; ‘Cooperative Enterprises, Achieve Sustainable Development for all’.