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Don urges autonomous cooperatives

Prof. Suleiman Chambo, the former Principal of Moshi University College of Co-operative and Business Studies (MUCCoBS) said that an independent promotion agency was crucial in distancing the government from the daily running of cooperative bodies and instilling the sense of ownership of the bodies to the peasants.

“Give autonomy to the cooperatives and they will grow. The government needs only to support and let them become independent,” he said in a presentation at the 19th Annual Research Workshop of Research for Poverty Alleviation (REPOA) that ended in Dar es Salaam.

He said new autonomous agencies were crucial for a comprehensive transformation of cooperatives to become organisations which are member owned and controlled, competitive, viable, sustainable and with capability of fulfilling members’ economic and social needs.

Prof. Chambo said studies show that peasants could perform wonders if they are left with their autonomous primary societies. “Give them autonomy and they will perform miracles,” he said.

He later told the ‘Daily News’ that they presented the views for an independent promotion agency in the process to write a new legislation on cooperative union but was not sure if they were taken on board.

The new law on cooperative union was supposed to be out early this year. Prof. Chambo said stronger cooperative bodies were vital in efforts to promote inclusive growth as they are closer to the people.

“Stronger cooperative unions were kingpins of development interventions aiming to alleviate poverty of the small holder farmers,” he said. “A well functioning cooperative body is a good partner to the government.

It provides services to the people more efficiently and at relatively low operational cost.”

According to him most of development interventions by the government for instance distribution of power tillers in Kilimo Kwanza initiative would have been carried out more efficiently by strong cooperative bodies.

Cooperatives have played a vital role in social and economic development of the country throughout their history which is dated back in 1920’s.

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Author: HENRY LYIMO

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