State to revive co-operative movement – Lubinda

GOVERNMENT is in the process of coming up with a cooperative policy which will revive the cooperative movement in the country to enhance economic growth through various groupings.
Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Given Lubinda said the policy is expected to be implemented before the end of the year to help build capacity and revive the cooperative movement in the country.
Mr Lubinda said the Zambia Cooperative Federation (ZCF) has since been mandated to revisit the Cooperative Act to spearhead the establishment of the policy.
“In the near future we want to get input from ZCF and other stakeholders in order to come up with the cooperative policy before the end of this year,” he said in an interview over the weekend.
Mr Lubinda said Government is committed to ensuring that cooperative movements are revived.
“Individualistic approach is retarding development in various fields, be it in agriculture or any other ventures,” he said.
Mr Lubinda said there is need for people to be sensitised on the benefit of belonging to a cooperative and ZCF with other stakeholders should play a leading role in taking part in the process.
He said Government provides support to ZCF in terms of training of communities in cooperatives, citing the Farmer Input Support Programme which is channelled through ZCF to cooperatives.
“Cooperatives survive as voluntary groups and can be strong teams as people want them to be,” he said.
Co-operatives strengthen people’s bargaining capacity.
In the late 1970s, the establishment of the Credit Union Savings Association (CUSA) was as a result of a strong cooperative movement in the country.
Mr Lubinda also said the establishment of milling plants will encourage people to form cooperatives.
He expressed concern over the high levels of poverty in some communities due to people failing to work as a business team in various fields.

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