Amanah farmer cooperative association held its annual general meeting (AGM) last week in Polewali Mandar (Polman), West Sulawesi, Indonesia.
Around 600 Amanah members attended the AGM. They discussed two main agendas: the financial report and the activity plan for 2013-2014.
Representatives of all the cooperatives that are Amanah members attended the meeting. The eight member cooperatives come from various subdistricts in Polman. Currently, 909 farmers are associated through Amanah.
At the AGM, the board presented the financial report of the assets of the association, its debts and capital. The association’s assets include cash, receivables, inventory and savings. During the past year, according to Amanah Chair, Hassani, the association has an operating surplus of IDR 39 million.
Currently, Amanah manages total assets of around IDR 1.9 billion, which includes all its business units. As well as being an association of eight farmer cooperatives, Amanah itself is also a multi-business cooperative.
At the AGM, the Amanah board also presented performance awards to several of its members. Hassani explained that the aim of these awards is to encourage Amanah members to work even harder as members of the Amanah cooperative.
There are three member performance indicators. First, the members have built and developed their business with Amanah. Second, the members have also encouraged other farmers to join Amanah. And third, the members have fulfilled all their obligations as members, such as paying fees on time.
The performance awards included sarongs, fans and other small items. “They might be small, but these awards are a token of appreciation to our members to encourage them to perform even better in the future,” explained Hassani.
Hassani also remarked on several points of note from this year’s AGM. First, the enthusiasm of the Amanah members, which helped the meeting to run smoothly. Second, the AGM confirmed to farmer members that being part of a cooperative can improve farmers’ incomes. For that reason, a growing number of farmers who are not yet members are asking Amanah to explain how to become a member.
Third, Hassani continued, women are becoming more involved too. “More and more women are on the boards of our member cooperatives,” he said.
Most of the members of the Amanah farmer cooperative are cocoa farmers. This farmer cooperative is one of VECO Indonesia’s partners in West Sulawesi that is supported by VECO Indonesia and local NGO, Wahana Sukses Pertanian Terpandang (Wasiat). VECO Indonesia and Wasiat support focuses on capacity building for farmers and farmer organisations. As well as activities such as field schools, support is also given for Internal Control Systems (ICS) and farmer cooperatives.