Knowledge of social capital vital

The National,Thursday June 30th, 2016

UNDERSTANDING social capital and group dynamics is the key to successful associations, a farming group in Morobe was told last Friday.
Thomas Tseng from Taiwan Technical Mission at Bubia, outside Lae, told members of the Sumu Farming Group from Erap in a workshop that individuals coming together to form groups for any purpose needed to appreciate the fact that each has a different set of attributes to contribute.
The technical mission is working with the business group in establishing a multi-cropping community garden project.
Tseng said the workshop last Friday was the first for the villagers and it was focused on organising farm groups.
He said understanding the capacity of social capital and managing group dynamics were some of the factors often not understood by community cooperative societies, because member’s did not collaborate and combine the attributes of each and every member of the group.
He said most group members created unnecessary competition within groups which resulted in them falling apart.
To demonstrate his point, Tseng used the analogy of the gearbox saying that each cog was custom built as an example.
“It comes in different sizes to perform different functions to complementing others to output force required for the vehicle to move,” Tseng said.
“And individuals are like that and do not realise thus demand too much from each other without realising that there are limitations.
“And they should appreciate any contribution and encourage each other to build strengths and it can be knowledge, skills and resources in whatever form.”
He said the villagers discussed with the technical mission in how the groups in the village would be organised.
“There will be several more workshops to mentor the group leaders to understand the concept of farm organisations,” Tseng said.