Villagers hope cooperatives will open doors

Business

By JUNIOR UKAHA
SIX villages in the Onga-Waffa local level government in Markham, Morobe, have formed cooperative groups to go into business.
The groups were formed after the people realised that cooperatives had helped many communities in Morobe improve their lives.
The chairmen of cooperatives representing 7000 people on the other side of the Markham River, bordering Eastern Highlands, were presented their group certificates on Thursday. The groups are Ngadamari, Siwawa, Tombuna, Antir, Arona and Itzingants.
Community leader and initiator Kima Kilau said the cooperatives created business opportunities for local people.
“The purpose of establishing the six cooperative societies is to organise and mobilise local cocoa and coffee farmers to get good returns for their cash crops,” he said.
“It is also about improving the quality of cash crops and increasing quantity.
“We cannot wait for the Government to help us all the time.
“We have to help ourselves through initiatives like this.
“It has taken us just four months to register our cooperatives.
“It goes to show that we are serious about what we want to do.”
Kilau urged cooperative members to respect their executives and work closely with them.
He said the cooperatives would not survive if members were not cooperating with their leaders.
Dickson Timothy, the chairman of the Antir cooperative, thanked Kilau for helping villages register their groups.
Timothy said cooperative societies were new to many people.
“We believe many good things will come about as a result of these cooperative societies,” he said. “We may not see the benefits immediately, but over time we will see a lot of things happening. It’s like a light for us in the darkness.”

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