Musanze - The Parliamentary Committee on Trade and Commerce, yesterday toured over 23 cooperatives in the five districts of the Northern Province, to assess their impact among the local population, especially in poverty eradication.
The committee’s chairperson, Julian Kantengwa, noted that the progress of cooperatives was highly affected by poor management, lack of ownership among members, and failure to administer them in accordance with their legal framework.
The MPs visited Pyrethrum Grower’s Cooperative-COOTEM in Kinigi Sector, a successful hand craft cooperative-KOABIKI-MARARA, an association of former poachers-Ibyiwacu, before addressing their problems.
“The biggest challenge we have is lack of fertilisers, good seeds and the problem of crop raiding. Besides that, since we started this cooperative, we haven’t realised any benefits. We contributed during its opening; we have shares but nothing has trickled down to us,’’ Ezekiel Sebigori, a member of COOTEM told the MPs.
Kantengwa pointed out they had realised several challenges that undermine the work of cooperatives.
“Members lack a cooperative spirit and ownership of what the cooperatives stand for, there is a gap between the administrators and members, especially as they don’t get quick direct benefits,’’ Kantengwa said.
The committee is divided into two groups to assess the performance, weaknesses, and the social-economic impact of cooperatives among the population nationally.
The lawmakers also visited savings and credit cooperatives-SACCOs, to assess their financial status and performance.