First ever cooperative federation in Bhutan
A workshop was held in Gelephu, Bhutan from 3-5 June, 2013 with the main objective to form a Federation of Poultry Cooperatives.
The workshop was organised by the Department of Agricultural Marketing & Cooperatives (DAMC), with support from the Department of Livestock (DoL), SNV and UNDP Bhutan.
While an independent study is currently being undertaken in the east of Bhutan to assess the potential of forming farmer federations, SNV and its partners, DAMC and DoL, decided to initiate the first steps to form the first ever farmer federation with the amalgamation of the Poultry Cooperatives of Tsirang and Sarpang Dzongkhags.
The three day workshop comprised of presentations, open discussions, group work and elections. At the end of the workshop, the poultry cooperatives decided to come together and form the first ever Federation of Poultry Cooperatives in Bhutan.
Participants were briefed on all aspects ranging from their assigned roles and responsibilities, to their business operations and management. At the end of the workshop, the Poultry Cooperatives of Tsirang and Sarpang decided to form the first ever Poultry Federation in Bhutan. The board of directors for the federation was also elected, as were the chair, vice chair, secretary and treasurer of the federation.
The federation started their business plan formulation and drafting of by-laws during the course of the workshop. A timeline has been created to complete all the formalities and compilation of documentation, so that the Federation is registered soon.
The five members of the federation are:
- Dunglagang Broiler Cooperative
- Tsirang Poultry Cooperative;
- Sarpang Broiler Cooperative
- Sarpang Poultry Cooperative;
- Chuzergang Agriculture Farmers' Cooperative.
“We have established numbers of farmers group and cooperatives in the country and it’s time now that these scattered cooperatives and farmers group come together for a federation for self-help and to sustain themselves,” said Yonten Jamtsho, the Chief Cooperatives Officer of DAMC. He also said “From this workshop, we are confident that a federation can do a lot to solve the issues that each member cooperative is facing.”
The poultry cooperatives decided that they will also allow other Cooperatives like rice, dairy and fishery to be members of the federation so that every cooperative can grow together. Farmers felt cooperatives can help each other in case of disease outbreak or during difficulties and maintain a uniform price in the market.
“Through this federation we want to do away with middleman or have some limited number of middle man so that both the producers and consumers are benefitted,” said the Secretary Sarpang Broiler Cooperative, Yugal Chandra Rasaily.