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BENEFIT-ISSD Conducted Training of Trainers

 

The BENEFIT-ISSD East Oromia Unit organized and conducted a two-day training of trainers (TOT) on Cooperative Organizational and Financial Management, Marketing, and Business Plan Development for partners and stakeholders at Harar city from 14-15August 2017.

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A total of 13 trainees from Haramaya and Oda Bultum universities, Chercher Oda Bultum Union, Fedis Agricultural Research Center, East and West Hararghe Zones Cooperative Agencies and Woreda Cooperative Agencies from (Babile, Kersa, Habro, Oda Bultum and Mieso) participated in the training.

During the opening ceremony, Dr. Mengistu Ketema, Director for Research Extension and Publication Directorate of Haramaya University, stated the objectives of the project and recommended that the trainees attend the training with a purpose to ensure the transfer of knowledge and skills to partner’s on Seed Producers’ Cooperatives (SPCs) levels.

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According to Dr. Mengistu, lack of knowledge and skill in the areas of organisational and financial management, marketing, and business plan development were found to be the most serious gaps affecting primary cooperatives in Hararghe zones in general and SPCs in particular. Hence, capacity building of partners and stakeholders working with SPCs is indispensable.

Capacitating experts and focal persons on cooperative organizational and financial management, marketing, and business plan development; strengthening linkage and collaboration with regional, zonal and woreda cooperative agencies; transferring knowledge and skills to partners and stakeholders of seed producers cooperatives; and ensuring state-of-the-art of the organizational and seed business development and management approach in SPCs were points of focus in the training.

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In the two days training briefing of cooperative organisation management, concept of good governance in cooperative, power and role of boards of directors in cooperative governance, Cooperative leadership and its challenge, Basic values and ethics in cooperatives, membership and gender participation (women, men and youth participation), and Women participation in cooperative leadership ; Principles and mechanisms of quality seed marketing, seed value chain actors in seed production and marketing, standard store and seed management, principles of quality seeds production and marketing, major problems of poor quality seed in marketing, and recommendation to put in place to solve quality seed problems were covered during the training.

Participants were also informed of financial management in primary cooperatives in order to be able to plan for the future in such a way that they develop knowledge and skills for financial planning and budgeting, financial analysis and financial decision-making. Record keeping and documentation through the argument “ink doesn’t rot” one individual’s experience in life was briefly addressed.

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The training also covered; internal and external sources of cooperatives funds to develop capital and investments that help to promote the welfare of all the members and also principles and mechanisms of quality seed marketing, seed value chain actors in seed production and marketing, standard store and seed management, principles of quality seeds production and marketing, major problems of poor quality seed in marketing, and recommendation to put in place to solve quality seed problems.

During the general discussion, trainees raised issues they consider to be of importance and the way forward was indicated. Awareness creation to top officials on seed producers’ development and marketing to get buy-in was recommended, and it was also mentioned that SPCs partners such as universities role to effectively incorporate the technical quadrant of LSB development where the other quadrant could be supported by cooperative agencies and unions. In addition, it was pointed out that the training could have included primary agricultural cooperatives other than supported by ISSD. The training created a sense of ownership among zone and woreda cooperative agencies representatives.

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Mr. Mergia Beyene, BENEFIT-ISSD Project Manager, made a closing remark and appreciated the trainees’ active participation in the training and emphasized the importance of the project in the efforts being made towards sustainable seed business development in the country-wide to attain household income security and economic development.

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