National Conference on Agri-Cooperative Building and Agri-Enterprises

PAKISAMA organized a National Conference on Agri-Cooperative Building and Agri-Enterprises on August 28, 2015 in Quezon City to discuss the importance of forming a national agricooperative federation. A total of 21 leaders from 18 primary cooperative-members of PAKISAMA already doing agri-business and providing services to members, 16 staff, and agri-agency and network partners (45% women) attended the Conference.

For the past 29 years, PAKISAMA has mainly performed the role of an advocate for agrarian reform and rural development. PAKISAMA, however, also has to attend to the economic needs of most of its members. Since 2010, PAKISAMA has been providing value-chain services directly to 3,000 farmers in 12 provinces organized by 60 primary cooperatives and associations. In 2014, PAKISAMA concluded that given the experience over the past five years, agri-cooperatives provide tremendous opportunities for individual farmers and fishers to grow their farm businesses and increase their income. In the June 2015 National Assembly of PAKISAMA, the primary coops there agreed that it was time for PAKISAMA work towards the establishment of a National Federation of Agri-Cooperatives.

Rep. Cres Paez of NATCCO Partylist and USec Orlan Ravanera, Chairperson of the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), were invited as keynote speakers and resource persons. Rep. Paez emphasized that a cooperative should be viewed as a business and a bargaining organization that will need both strength in numbers and capital. If PAKISAMA and its partners wanted bargaining power, they should merge, consolidate, or build a federated structure. Usec Ravanera expressed his strong support for a national federation of agri-coops, saying this is a gap in the cooperative movement. The participants agreed to work towards forming a national federation and proposed actions on how to move forward, e.g., a Technical Working Group be created, research/profiling/mapping done.

The conference was organized in partnership with the Asian Farmers Association (AFA), Asian Partnership for the Development of Human Resources in Rural Asia (AsiaDHRRA), Foundation for a Sustainable Society (FSSI) and Collectif Strategies Alimentaries (CSA).


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *