Huon Gulf revives co-operative society after 43-year relapse

National, Normal

The National, Thursday 15th December 2011

A 43-YEAR-old co-operative society, one of the oldest in the country, is making a resurgence in the Huon Gulf district of Morobe.
 The Homiya Co-operative Society was last week given K42,000 by Huon Gulf MP Sasa Zibe to revitalise its ope­rations at Bukop village in Sala­maua.
At its peak in the early 1970s, the co-op had a membership of 822 and was involved in trade store operations, coffee and cocoa growing and marketing.
It also had a shared capital of A$9,000 (K18,218), A$2,000 (K4,048) of which was invested in native marketing and supplies (Namasu Trading).
The transfer of those shares is now the subject of a court battle with the buyer. The next of kin of the shareholders believe they have shares worth K47,000 with the major company. 
The co-op has now reverted to the basic and is now operating a trade store at the Bukop village.
Its members have been trained by a New Zealand government-funded NGO, Bris Kanda, in all aspects of cocoa and coffee business and co-operative society management.
Paying tribute to Australian kiap Werner Noll for setting the foundation for the cooperative on March 24,1969, the community and leaders of the Homiya co-operative were urged to transfer the titles of the shares and to achieve the vision set by their parents.