Supporting communities through supporting cooperatives
Professional agricultural cooperatives can have a significant impact on their surrounding community. Together with the Nuru Collective, we have worked with many cooperatives in Ethiopia and Kenya. Mella Kaysha, a Nuru Ethiopia-supported cooperative, provides a perfect example of the positive impact cooperatives can have on their surrounding community.
Professional cooperatives can provide more benefits to their community
In many countries, smallholder farmers organize themselves into cooperatives. This can provide them with many benefits. Cooperatives have better bargaining power than individual smallholders, improve livelihoods for their members, and help their members cope with potential shocks.
The benefits of a cooperative can also expand to others in the community outside of the cooperative members. When a cooperative is thriving, it can become a central part of the local infrastructure. The cooperative creates new jobs and begins to link to larger value chains. This supports the entire community. This is an essential part of the Nuru model.
The success of Mella Kaysha in Ethiopia
The Mella Kaysha Cooperative was founded in 2020 in southern Ethiopia, in the Zala woreda. Nuru Ethiopia provided early training to the cooperative, which was targeted based on findings from SCOPE assessments conducted on other cooperatives in the area.
After the training, the Mella Kaysha Cooperative was assessed with the SCOPE Basic in 2022. Thanks to their training, they performed very successfully. The cooperative’s score was equal to or higher than 97% of all assessments in the SCOPEinsight database. It was also approximately 10% higher than the average cooperative assessed by Nuru Ethiopia.
After the assessment, Nuru created a summary report and shared it with the cooperative. This allowed the cooperative to understand its strengths and weaknesses and what the market needed from it. The cooperative managers and leaders received further coaching based on these strengths and weaknesses, and they then passed the insights on to the cooperative members.
The impact of Mella Kaysha on the community
Thanks to its success, Mella Kaysha won Nuru Ethiopia’s 2022 Agribusiness Award over thirty-one other cooperatives. In addition to providing notable value to its members, Mella Kaysha Cooperative has also worked to have an impact on the surrounding community. Thanks to the cooperative’s support, member farmers and their families have had more opportunities, which has helped the overall community. Mella Kaysha also invested in a local school. Biruk Abayneh, the Cooperative and Agribusiness Development Manager for Nuru Ethiopia, says that Mella Kaysha became a local “center of gravity” and prompted “remarkable change” in the area.
Many agricultural cooperatives in southern Ethiopia struggle to provide farmers with the profession business tools and resources they need to compete within the local market. Through Mella Kaysha’s success, the local people became more supportive of cooperatives and came to see their worth. The benefits of professionalism became obvious to the community, which will hopefully lead to the creation of more professional cooperatives in the area. Through supporting cooperatives like Mella Kaysha, Nuru creates a stronger, more resilient agricultural sector in Ethiopia. As Abayneh says, “Nuru is building a new history.”
Are you interested in replicating Nuru’s results with Mella Kaysha in your own program? Contact us today, and we can see how we can work together.Back to news