The International Labor Organization (ILO), Agriterra and VECO Indonesia ran a training for trainers (Tot) for farmer cooperatives on 25-28 February, in Denpasar, Bali. Attending the training were 20 participants from farmer organisations, farmer cooperatives, VECO Indonesia, and local government cooperative agencies. They came from Aceh, Bandung, Surabaya, and other places in Indonesia.
The aim of this ToT was to build the capacity of the participants in MyCoop. They were are also expected to become trainers for farmer organisations in developing farming cooperatives.
For four days, the two facilitators – Tom Wambeke from ILO and Christian Gouet from the farmer organisatin Agriterra – supported the participants to learn about MyCoop. MyCoop is an abbreviation for managing your agricultural cooperative.
Tendi Gunawan from ILO Jakarta says that the MyCoop ToT is a new thing for ILO, although this organisation does much to support small and medium enterprises in Indonesia. “We want the participants of this ToT to be able to train other farmers to manage cooperatives,” said Tendi.
In his address, Rogier Eijkens, VECO Indonesia Regional Representative, explained that this training was a part of VECO Indonesia’s efforts to create farmer cooperatives in Indonesia. VECO Indonesia is focusing more and more on supporting farmers to operate as businesses. Cooperatives are one form these businesses might take.
About MyCoop MyCoop, or managing your agricultural cooperative, is a short training course to strengthen management of farmer cooperatives to enable them to provide their members high quality, efficient and effective services.
The MyCoop module consists of four parts: 1. Introduction to Farmer Cooperatives, 2. Criteria for Cooperative Services, 3. Supply of Agricultural Inputs, and 4. Cooperative Marketing. During the training, the participants study all these materials, including how to teach them to farmers.
This learning package is bead on a successful ILO training series developed between 1978 and early 1990. MyCoop is designed for cooperative managers and members who are involved in management. The MyCoop material involves men and women who have practical experience with farmer cooperatives. The material is not designed for those who are new to cooperatives.
Farmer cooperatives are an important part of the cooperatives sector, along with others, such as school and news agency cooperatives. Agriculture is a key sector in global development, because at the end of the day it is farmers who feed the world.