Govt exploring ways of making cooperatives self-reliant – Nalumango

Vice President Mutale Nalumango says the new dawn government is looking to realign the cooperative movement away from depending on state coffers.

Ms Nalumango said government was a cooperative movement that will not extend begging bowls.

The Vice President said the UPND Alliance administration will engage India to help build the capacity and turn around cooperatives in the country.

Ms Nalumango said it is imperative that the cooperative movement in the country is helped to grow for it to play a significant role in Zambia’s economic transformation agenda.

She said there are vital lessons Zambia can learn from the progress India’s cooperative movement has made over the last 120 years in impacting the economy.

The Vice President was speaking after touring the US$ 5 billion Anand Milk Union Limited (AMUL) dairy cooperative plant.

Ms Nalumango said the Amul Cooperative society model is a clear cut framework that can help Zambia’s cooperative movement arise from slumber and effectively participate and contribute to the country’s economic development.

“your organization, the way you run things, we would like to tap into that, help us set up, we are not saying, we want cooperatives that will have the hand of government, we would like to follow this model” said Ms Nalumango. 

Amul Managing Director Rupinder Sodhi explained that micro level participation of members is cardinal to the effective operation of a cooperative society.

Mr Signh said that every member of Amul is treated equal regardless of their shareholding status.

“The famers cooperative model is based on self-sufficient, business Enterprise, …and it has to be operated from bottom to up, You need very dedicated selfless farmers’ leadership…” Said Mr Sodhi.

He stressed that leadership and management styles of top to bottom are a recipe for cooperatives to fail.

The Amul Dairy cooperative was founded in 1946 to address  and has over 18,000 farmers as members supplying the plant with milk used to make various dairy products.