Language: English

My.Coop – Managing your agricultural cooperative – is here to stay!

Although the UN International Year of Cooperatives has just recently taken off, I believe the launch of the training package My.Coop in Turin – Italy some weeks ago can already be considered as one of the main highlights of this festive coop year. So far many ideas have been brought forward to take the cooperative business model to the front stage again, but as far I know none of them have been so practical, straightforward, useable and desired as this (free available!) package of training modules on cooperative management. My.Coop consists of four easy-to-apply training modules on (1) basics of a cooperative, (2) supply management, (3) cooperative marketing and (4) cooperative service provision.

I’m convinced that My.Coop comes at the right time as it introduces modern business concepts into the cooperative business model. Working with coops in Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia I experience that most old traditional leaders are stepping down and young ambitious managers are taking over with new ideas and envisioning a new business future for their cooperative. My.Coop has been developed with these young professionals in mind and aims to train them to make a next step and to further professionalizing their cooperative company.

But now comes the remarkable part of this story: despite its uniqueness (can you imagine, state of the art training modules free available!) hardly anything has been done to promote My.Coop! Even Agriterra, despite being one of the initiators and contributors, remains silent! Is it because of our agricultural roots (”Just act normal, then you’re acting crazy enough as it is!”) that we are so modest? Why do we shy away from celebrating and communicating exuberantly this kind of achievements? Ok, I agree that the website could be (quite) a bit more fancy and could use some improvements but then again, the My.Coop training material is awesome and I truly hope and believe that soon many many cooperators in the world will make good use of it. So please help us in spreading the news: My.Coop has arrived and is here to stay!

Exposure-4-Development tour

These days Agriterra’s communications team is busy with planning a study tour to Kenya – Africa.  This time not for farmers but for agricultural journalists from the industrialized world! The tour is branded Exposure-4-Development Tour (E4D tour) and is expected to take place later on this year, most probably  in September of October. The initiative for this tour comes  from the  International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ), a worldwide professional association of approx 3,500 communicators, broadcasters, writers, editors and photographers focusing on agriculture. With the E4D Tour IFAJ wants to offer 15 member journalists from around the world the opportunity to have a first-hand look at agricultural issues in de developing world. Main aim is to enable journalists to take a look beyond the hunger and poverty  image of Africa, disclosing a vibrant continent full of  initiatives and business opportunities to boost agricultural production and economic development.

The first tour will be organized under the UN International Year of Cooperatives (IYC). Agriterra has already been granted for the official UN logo. The IYC will give the tour a specific focus by concentrating on the difference that agricultural cooperatives can make in developing countries. The initiative is designed as a three-year pilot project to begin in 2012 and conclude in 2014. More info will follow shortly but if you are an ag journalist and you are interested, just drop me a line.