Collaborative efforts allow tackling the “virtually impossible” in Duresa LSB

ISSD and partner support to LSB in SNNPR leads to exciting achievements

During the former ISSD phase, Duressa LSB was one of the weak cooperatives that can be characterized by lack members’ trust, divided committee, and poor governance. The woreda cooperative office used to complain about poor management that doesn’t adhere to cooperative principles and guidelines. On the other hand, members used to fear about their collective entity and resources due to poor transparency of committee to members.

However, ISSD team have conducted discussion with LSB executive committee, woreda cooperative office and woreda farm and natural resource office. Woreda level discussion was conducted in aim of addressing the existed challenges of LSB. Sharing of responsibility between LSB, woreda cooperative office, ISSD and woreda farm and natural resource office took place.

Accordingly, the LSB took responsibility of acquiring CoC by contracting 2ha of land and accessing disease free early generation potato seed. Woreda farm and natural resource office have assisted the LSB in getting CoC and seed quality assurance. Woreda cooperative office have audited the cooperative, assisted in carrying out general assembly meeting and contributed to improving the governance of the LSB. ISSD have provided grant to LSB for finishing of store and office construction and coached the effort of the LSB.

As a result of collaborated effort of ISSD, the LSB and local partners, the cooperative have shown tremendous achievements. The LSB have tackled its marketing problem of seed and it has sold its 150quintals of sprouted potato seed for reasonable price because its seed is from disease free initial material and it was trusted due to CoC and certification process. The cooperative have rented 4 hectares of land (double of previous year) and now producing potato seed on the rented land and among members’ field.

Recently, the cooperative was audited and was found profitable and the management committee members are more trusted by members. Members continued monthly saving i.e. the average saving amount per member reaches 1,000ETB. The cooperative is aspiring to produce more crop seed and planning to start by adding wheat as new seed crop on members’ field and on rented land.

At present the cooperative has attracted new members. The woreda cooperative office started appreciating the cooperative for the improvement seen within short period of time. The cooperative is demanding for better supports for store expansion, or new store construction, looking for seed enterprise to link with so that contractual wheat seed production becomes possible.

As the cooperative is wishing to set and attain extensive target, the role of ISSD and its partners turnout to be higher. Enhancing local level linkages and linking with collaborators and service providers and continuing with the granting will become important areas of intervention.