A cooperative union working for the good of farmers

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Dansha, 3 December 2013 (WIC) – Four years into its operations, Dansha Awraro cooperative union enjoys much success.

Based in western Tigray, the cooperative is striving to better the lives of farmers in the area by finding markets for their produce, investing in social services and stabilizing the market.

“We believe the cooperative is playing its part in the country’s ongoing development,” said Birhane Mezgebo, Tsegede Woreda cooperative union work process coordinator.

The cooperative union also extends loans to farmers who, in the past, have been victims of loan sharks. It has, so far, extended 727 million birr in loans to farmers, enabling them to maximize the quality and quantity of their products.

Farmers in the area predominantly produce sesames, maize and spices. The farmers are no longer concerned about lack of market as the cooperative union buys their produce with a bigger profit margin. 

“We are also encouraging and assisting them to maintain the quality of their produce to meet export standards,” acting manager Hagos Mamo said. He said the union has already started exporting the agricultural outputs to China.

With the cooperative union’s effort, whose capital has risen from 40,000 birr when it started to 14.3 million bir, some farmers are starting a small-scale mechanized farming, using tractors instead of oxen to plough their plot.  

Their success is also acknowledged by the government. Egri Mitkal Multipurpose Farmers’ Cooperative Union, a member of the Dansha Awraro, has received an award for best practice.

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