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11/17/2016

The Establishment of an Agricultural Cooperative

In the current JEN project in Sri Lanka, in addition to promoting agriculture in the construction of wells, we have established an agricultural co-operative association for all members of the community.

The agricultural co-operative introduced at this time is in four of the districts JEN supports. The co-operative’s aim is to revitalize these districts and improve their capacity for self-help by strengthening the cooperation among residents through processing and selling agricultural crops.

The agricultural co-operative is under the jurisdiction of the county co-operative management and agricultural bureau. In order to be an official agricultural cooperative, the numbers of union members.
In addition to the asset management ability of the administration, and the periodic holding of all-member meetings is assessed. Because of this JEN held a workshop last week to strengthen the management ability of agricultural cooperatives in
Kilinochchi District and Mullaitivu District.

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[Participants of the agricultural cooperative management workshop held in Kilinochchi District]

At the workshop, an instructor was brought in from the Cooperative Union Management Division to lecture about the process and terms of registering agricultural cooperatives.

After that, a member of JEN staff discussed rules, how to take the minutes, and how to keep accounts. Besides classroom lectures, participants visited a successful agricultural co-operative in another district and held a meeting to hear about their experiences.


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[People from various districts attended the workshop and discussed agricultural
co-operatives]

The biggest challenge for a newly established agricultural co-operative is to maintain activities like selling and processing goods until they yield a profit. Many members often give up if they cannot turn a profit instantly, a common problem among all agricultural co-operatives.

To profit it is first necessary to make steady improvements in processing items and improving quality of goods.
 Therefore, at the workshop, the co-operative discussed sustainable management: how to maintain activities and how to keep up the motivation of members when they are faced with problems like this.

When we asked members of the co-operative for ideas on product development, unique suggestions like coffee and spice production, in addition to wheat flour and rice flour, were addressed. Our next step in the plan involves granting flour mills to each agricultural co-operative.

JEN looks forward to the future activities of these co-operatives

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[A tour of agricultural co-operative in Mulankavil. This cooperative was established 20 years ago, and now exports dry fruits]

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[Participants were divided into each district and bounced ideas off each other]

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November 17, 2016 in Sri Lanka |