By Stephen Ojacor
At least 10 new farmers’ cooperative groups have been formed in Serere county, Serere district, to improve livelihoods.
The program dubbed Serere Parish Development Model is an initiative of Okabe Foundation, a developmental and non-government organization.
Area local leaders revealed that this program has come during the time when their communities are hit by famine resulting from prolonged drought that has affected food production.
The 10 newly formed cooperative groups include; Omagara Sacco, Ocupo savings and credit Sacco, Muteebe Sacco, Agurur saving cooperative group, Agirigiroi farmers’ Sacco, Okodo Sacco, Akoroi B Cooperative, Abokony Farmers saving group, Akoroi A saving and credit Sacco and Okodo B Sacco.
Each group has 100 registered members and its executive committee to administer, according to him.
Bishop Patrick Okabe the MP for Serere County, also the founder of Okabe Foundation applauded the locals for their move to focus on cooperative groups as the major answer to poverty that had crippled his communities.
“I am happy that you have made a mindset change and asserted your efforts to cooperatives in a very organized manner. This is good news not only to me but mostly to the NRM government and President Museveni who is currently championing the move to build more cooperatives,” Okabe said.
Okabe highlighted his vision to economically uplift the local communities, especially the youth now that they are the champions of economic war in his constituency.
While flagging off the ten cooperative groups, he cautioned their leadership against careless administration and implored them to consciously administer their groups and stick to the principles of the cooperatives.
Annet Akello, the Serere commercial officer praised the initiative.
“This initiative shall now ease government’s efforts in supporting the farmers. We as the technical people shall now recommend those active groups to process loans from the bank in order for individual member farmers to grow their small scale businesses during the dry season as they wait for the rainy season,” Akello said.
Peter Emaru, the chairperson of Okodo Sacco, called for more support from other well-wishers in order to empower them financially.