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Registration of Young Farmers’ Society

In 2015, JEN founded a new agricultural cooperative in Othiyamalai, Mullaitive District. This cooperative aimed to support community rehabilitation for the people who had evacuated and returned after the civil war. In last term’s project, we provided this cooperative with machines to make dried foods, so that the cooperative can increase its income by selling these foods made from agricultural produce raised with water from the newly built agricultural wells.

It took a very long time to have the cooperative officially registered and authorized as a local residents’ organization. The Othiyamalai cooperative, which entered the registration process as Young Farmer’s Society (YFS) last June, finally received the official registration certificate last month.

To be registered as YFS, all management members of the cooperative have to be 35 years old or younger. Since many of the families in the community that JEN is supporting are led by elderly members, we first asked them to select younger residents who are interested in agriculture and community building, as well as those who have potential to take leadership in the local community.

Then all members of the cooperative joined a discussion on what kind of processed product should be produced. Factors such as the demand for various processed goods, whether a market exists for the product, and price settings were considered, and then we decided to produce dried foods in Othiyamalai. Having the members involved in decision-making from the beginning allowed them to carry on their production activities even without the presence of JEN.

There are various conditions that have to be met to be registered as YFS. The first one is to hold regular meetings.

For all members of the YFS to cooperate in community building, they gather at least once a month to discuss issues and solutions related to dried food production, which are recorded in the meeting minutes.

Secondly, fixed fees have to be collected from each member and paid into the bank account managed by the YFS. At the last stage of the registration process, an expert on agriculture from the District Department of Agriculture visits the YFS, and the documents are handed over to the Department of Agriculture. Following the submission, it may take several months before the official approval is given.

JEN has established agricultural cooperatives in 7 districts so far. In Visuwamadu East and Visuwamad West, which were supported in 2013, the cooperatives are making compost. The sales from the compost along with the accumulated membership fees have increased the income of the cooperative, thereby helping to strengthen the community.

【Members of the agricultural cooperative at Othiyamalai】

【YFS certificate of registration】

【JEN is now accepting donations. Your help would be very much appreciated.

September 23, 2016 in Sri Lanka |