Cooperatives key to poverty alleviation

Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism has urged Malawians to embrace the concept of cooperatives which it says is key to poverty alleviation.

Speaking after touring Mtikita Community Savings and Investment Promotion (Comsip) Cooperative in Blantyre, the ministry’s deputy director for cooperatives, Mercy Safarao said cooperatives are making an impact in people’s lives; hence, the need to embrace them.

Safarao: They are changing livelihood

“Cooperatives are changing the livelihood of members but then, it depends on how the members take it. The understanding that a cooperative is a business is most significant and we need to work together to improve lives,” she said.

 Safarao bemoaned lack of governance in some cooperatives in the country which she said stems from a feeling of ownership of the group and choosing leaders on family relations basis.

On her part, Blantyre District Council community development officer Agness Napwanga said Mtikita is among five outstanding cooperatives in her jurisdiction.

Mtikita Comsip cooperative book keeper Iness Solomoni  said plans are underway to establish a butchery, although marketing of their pigs is sometimes problematic due to poor prices offered by the vendors.

Mtikita Comsip, which is located in Mwangata Village in Traditional Authority (TA) Somba in Blantyre, is one of the savings and lending groups formed out of Public Works Programme in 2010.

From their initial capital of K2.5 million, the cooperative has grown its financial position to K11.6 million. With a membership of 42, the group  has grown its finances through rearing pigs, running a grocery and provision of savings and loans services. n

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