By: E Geedahgar Garsuah, Sr.
MONROVIA: The Registrar General of the Cooperative Development Agency (CDA), Madam Regina Sokan Teah has announced that the entity has made tremendous progress in regulating and supervising the establishment of cooperatives across the country.
Madam Sokan-Teah disclosed that CDA, with funding from donor partners and central government has made significant progress in strengthening cooperative development and financial management of cooperatives in the country, covering the period from January-November 2022.
She added that based on intense public awareness campaign, CDA successfully transformed 43 farmers-based associations, with a total membership of 1,780 in five counties into cooperative societies.
The CDA boss named Grand Bassa, Nimba, Lofa, Margibi and Maryland as counties that benefitted from the ongoing CDA transformation initiative.
Madam Sokan-Teah disclosed that Bong County has eight (8) farmer associations, with a membership base of five hundred (500) in vegetables farming and palm oil production.
She said disclosed that Grand Bassa County accounts for two farmer associations with membership of sixty (60) farming in Cassava and vegetables.
She added that a total of fifteen (15) farmer associations are in Nimba County with a membership of nine hundred (900) farming in Cocoa, rice, Cassava and vegetables, while Lofa County accounts for three (3) farmer associations with a membership of ninety (90) persons farming in traditional attire, Cocoa weaving and rice.
Margibi and Maryland Counties account for five (5) farmer’s associations with a membership 150 persons farming in vegetables and cassava, and five (5) farmer’s associations with 80 membership farming in Cocoa and rice.
Madam Sokan-Teah made the disclosure during the Ministry of Information Cultural Affairs (MICAT) regular press briefing held at the headquarters of the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) situated down waterside on Thursday, November 10, 2022.
According her, CDA, under the year (2022) in review, amicably resolved dispute involving members of the Woega Electric Cooperative located in Gbarnway Town, Salayea District, Lofa County.
She also named the good supervisory role CDA played in the election of new board members of the Dokodan Farmer’s Cooperative in Nimba County.
According to Madam Sokan-Teah, in keeping with its statutory mandate to audit all farmer’s cooperatives across the country annually, the CDA conducted nine (9) audits of both Financial and Agricultural Cooperatives.
With funding from International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), under CDA’s Department of Gender and Youth Promotion and Program Development initiative, Madam Sokan-Teah said, the agency has made tremendous gains in Lofa and Nimba counties, covering four thematic areas.
She named the four thematic areas as facilitating democratic leadership election; development of essential financial tools and business and capacity-building plans and training relative to the application of tools; facilitated training in leadership skills, qualities, and type including vision; and conducting financial audits to ensure accountability and transparency.
She disclosed that eight smallholder cocoa farmers’ cooperative societies, with a total membership of 3,500 inclusive of 1,225 women and youth population in Lofa and Nimba Counties benefitted from the initiative.
She referenced CDA’s progress report, in strengthening the capacity of two fishery-based Cooperatives Societies in Rivercess County with the collaborative efforts of Conservative International, under its Blue Ocean Program (BOP).
According to the CDA Boss lady, in collaboration with the Ministry of Mines and Energy, CDA succeeded in transforming five small-scale mining groups into mining cooperatives operating in Lofa, Rivercess and River-gee Counties.
She named the small-scale mining groups as United Mining Cooperative Society, located in Zolowo Town, Zorzor District in Lofa County; KAYTOKEN Mining Agriculture Cooperative Society, based in Jakaken, Rivercess County; Killepo Mining and Agriculture Cooperative Society situated in Killepo Town, River-gee County; Sand Beach Mining and Agriculture Cooperative Society located in Sand Beach, Rivercess County; and ITI Mining Cooperative Society situated in ITI Rivercess County.
She added that the smooth collaboration with Rural Economic Transformation (RETRAP) and Smallholder Agriculture Agribusiness Revitalization Project (STAR-P) and the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) helped immensely in strengthening and improving agribusiness and added value to smallholder farmers across the country.
She also noted that CDA has been working with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) through its I Campus initiative aimed at strengthening and uplifting the capacity of agricultural cooperative societies across Montserrado, Bong, Nimba and Lofa Counties and that such collaboration lead to a tremendous outcome.