COOPERATIVE FINALLY ORGANIZED!

Last November 20 (Friday), 127 leaders representing 110 savings groups attended the organizational assembly of the cooperative in Hlaing-bwe. The general assembly signaled the final activity in the cooperative formation process that started in April early this year.

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Dr. Than Naing of CDA and U Lin Khaing of UCS during the general assembly

The assembly formally agreed to form and register a cooperative. A nine-man Board of Directors (BOD) together with two (2) internal auditors were elected. They met after the assembly and elected as the first set of officers of the cooperative:

Chairperson                  U Lwan Kyin
Vice chairperson          U Yan Ngwe
Managing Director      U Hla Win
Secretary                        U Thit Sar Aung
Assistant Secretary      U Thein Zan
Members                        U Saw Ba Nyunt, U Aung Shwe Yin, U Hla Kyaing, U Khin Win
Auditors                          U Saw Win Sein, Daw Khin Saw Myint

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Casting votes on the BOD members, deciding on other issues by voting

 

Among the other decisions of the assembly were:
Name of the cooperative                   Bawa Yae Thouk Myit
Total capital                                           K100 Million
Amount per share                                K5, 000

Four hundred thousand Kyats (K400, 000. equivalent to US$315.) were also collected during the assembly as members started paying for their shares.

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The Board of Directors

PFA and CDA technical people are now assisting the leaders in preparing documents and other requirements for submission to the Ministry of Cooperatives for registration.

An introductory leadership training will be conducted on December 7-8 to orient the new members of the BOD on their roles as leaders of the cooperative.

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First meeting of the Board of Directors

Upscaling Rural Financial Institutions: From Informal Groups to a Formal Institution

 

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SG leaders workshop on cooperative formation

The process of registration into a formal primary cooperative started with the consent given by U Aung Phyu, Director-General of the Department of Cooperatives after the meeting with the team of PlaNet Finance and CDA led by Ron Bevacqua, PF Project Director.

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Ron Bevacqua PF Project Director and U Aung Phyu, Director-General, Department of Cooperatives

As of October 30, there were 105 savings groups organized with 1,136 members and a combined total savings amounting to US$42,435. The registration is the last in the three-stage cooperative development framework used by PlaNet Finance in the Project:

First Stage: Savings group formation
Using a method called Rapid Savings Mobilization Technique (RSMT), savings groups are formed from among the villages in the project area. Savings groups are determined by various elements such as members (not less than 5 and not more than 20 per group), leaders (chairperson, treasurer, and collector), savings policies, regular meeting, and simple recording for financial transactions. The main objective of the savings group is to develop the habit of savings.

Second Stage: CONSOLIDATION
This phase is a transition phase where the leaders of the savings groups are made to know each other. Using a method called Informal Group Consolidation Technique (IGCT), leaders of the group interact in a general meeting once in a month to know each other, share information how they manage their groups and discuss other development issues including the formal registration into a cooperative.

Third Stage: COOPERATIVE FORMATION
The final stage is the formal registration of the consolidated savings groups into one big cooperative. The registration will follow the standard procedures required by the Ministry of Cooperatives. To ensure the strength of the cooperative, a Cooperative Formation Courses (CFC) is conducted for the leaders of the savings groups.

The general assembly of the cooperative will be held on November 20 (Friday), where  organizational will e discussed and the first set of the Board of Directors  selected. After the registration, continuous capacity-building activities will be implemented for the officers and management team of the cooperative to enable them to cope with the work requirements to serve thousands of its members. A wide range of financial services will be designed to meet all the requirements of the members and the public.

Developing models for sustainable rural enterprises

The Project released K7.5 million in support to five enterprises implemented as demonstration activities. Production of selected agricultural commodities and non-agricultural enterprises will be done in the Project area to check on the most profitable economic activities to be supported.

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Representatives of groups signing the agreement and receiving the funds and certificates of participation.

Demonstration activities will focus on those with substantial market demand and good price that will provide significant margin for farmers and entrepreneurs. The support from the Project will represent the amount that can be borrowed from the cooperative. From the different agricultural and non-agri demonstration activities, ten (10) most profitable and most relevant economic activities will be selected as models for the cooperative to prioritize in financing. Farmers and entrepreneurs can continue with the production of the commodity or the enterprise they are doing by accessing loans from the cooperative.

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The mushroom demonstration farm in Daing Pya village

Farmers or entrepreneurs who took part and are successful in the modeling of the economic activities will be trained to become local resource persons. They will be the trainors who will teach other people in the Project area interested in venturing into the commodity production or enterprise.

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Other economic activities: Ginger production and rubber processing

At present, demonstration farm for the production of mushroom, poultry and hogs were already established including enterprises such as garments trading and concrete products. Saw Hein Thet Win, NTC for Enterprise Development is supervising the studies on other commodities such as ginger, turmeric, sesame, peanuts and eggs. Consultations with other saving groups in the villages are continuously being done to identify other economic activities to be included in the modeling exercise.