Call to bring back co-op societies

Momase, Normal

The National, Thursday, May 26th 2011

CO-OPERATIVE societies should be reintroduced to help people take part meaningfully in bringing services and developments into villages and communities, a co-operative society executive says.
Momase regional coordinator of co-operative societies Bul Dulau said village and community level schemes like co-operative societies, stret pasin stoa and others were once the “vehicle to alleviate poverty”.
But Dulau said these schemes had been dissolved and the people, especially in rural areas, had been left to fend for themselves.
He said the schemes had motivated the people to get involved in small to medium-sized businesses that was bringing in development  services to their communities.
He made the remarks after witnessing the launching of the Ale-Ivala Co-operative Society at Lingbate, in the Burum-Kuat local level government (LLG), Finschhafen district, Morobe, recently.
Dulau said co-operative societies thrived in the 1960s and early 1970s before being dissolved in 1974, a year before independence.
He said the schemes had worked well in the country when first introduced.
Dulau said successful companies like the Mainland Holdings in Lae and the once popular Native Marketing Supplies Ltd started as co-operative societies.
He said when scheme was dissolved, almost 1,000 societies went down and that 280 of those cooperatives had been from Morobe.
 “Going by the ideas discussed at the Indigenous Business summit in Kokopo, I believe such schemes like co-operative societies, stret pasin stoa and others, be revived so that we bring money back to our rural people,” Dalau, who is based in Madang, said.
The Lingbate people have formed the Ale-Ivila co-operative society with the theme “bringim kopi ikam bek” (bring back coffee) to revive coffee plots abandoned many years ago.
The Coffee Industry Corporation is preparing 15,000 coffee seedlings to distribute to the farmers there as well as tools for pruning of old coffee trees.