ProCISA, Southwest Cocoa Cooperatives Review Best Practices

2nd Exchange Meeting of NGCs at Semme Beach Hotel, Limbe on 24th February 2022

2nd Exchange Meeting of NGCs at Semme Beach Hotel, Limbe on 24th February 2022.

By Danjuma Munkfu Bongi

The Green Innovation Centres for the Agri-Food Sector (GIZ ProCISA) is actively working within three value chains, including cocoa.

Since September 2020, ProCISA has been building the functioning capacities of Cooperative Management Organs (in governance, compliance, services to members, networking and sustainability); training on Cooperative Business School, CBS, and transformation of cocoa mostly by women in Cooperatives. Six Cocoa Cooperatives otherwise dubbed New Generation Cooperatives, NGCs, have benefitted including BAFIAFCOOP (Bafia); KONAFCOOP (Konye); RASEAFCOOP (Ebonji); TAFCOOP (Tombel); UBIAFCOOP (Tinto) and UNAMAFCOOP (Mbonge). On February 24, 2022, at the SEME Beach Hotel, ProCISA organised the 2nd Exchange Meeting that brought together 27 participants including eight women and representatives from the Regional Delegation of Agriculture (MINADER) and five observer Cooperatives drawn from Fako and Meme Divisions. The meeting was coordinated by Gilbert Fomukom (Senior Advisor, ProCISA Yaounde) and facilitated by Charlie Mbonteh (Team Leader, MUDEC group, Buea).

The objectives of the meeting were: to assess the functioning of NGCs using tools acquired during coaching; to exchange ideas on Best Practices & Learning Organizations; to review the Status of Women Transformation Activities and to elaborate strategies for effective functioning in the future. A key result of the deliberations was that NGCs appreciate their current levels of functioning and elaborate actions for reinforcement of their management organs.

The meeting was very engaging with heated debates, especially on the low economic participation of members of Cocoa Cooperatives. Before the meeting rose the following resolutions were agreed upon: each NGC should clearly define the Terms of Reference of the Women Transformation Unit/Committee, latest March 30, 2024; NGCs should solicit support from GIZ ProCISA for Training of Trainers (ToT) on Cocoa Transformation for Representatives of Women Transformation Committees/Units; NGCs should solicit support from MINADER to train Supervisory Committee Members and Managers as well as provide support for external audits of NGCs; enhance the functioning of the NGC Self-regulatory mechanism by instituting a 3-member Coordination Team including one President, one Manager and one Woman Cocoa Transformation Coordinator latest by March 30, 2022; NGCs should type and send their Business Plans to ProCISA latest March 30, 2022 and TAFCOOP and UNAMAFCOOP should resolve their respective internal challenges and give feedback to ProCISA by March 30, 2022.

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