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Agriterra professionalises cooperatives in Myanmar

On Tuesday 12 June, Director Kees Blokland of Agriterra concluded an agreement with H.E. Dr. Aung Thu, Minister of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Irrigation of Myanmar to renew and strengthen the cooperative sector there.



Myanmar has more than 40,000 cooperatives. However, the cooperatives there differ from cooperatives as we know them. Where members work together in the Netherlands to strengthen their position in the production chain and to obtain better and cheaper raw materials, cooperatives are mainly established for financial reasons in Myanmar. A cooperative can get a loan from the government more easily.



Agriterra is active in Myanmar at the invitation of the Dutch government. It has an office in Yangon, the former Rangoon, since 2017. The Ministry of Agriculture and the top organisation, Central Cooperative Society (CCS), want Agriterra to advise them in addition to the cooperatives. The big challenge is to strengthen entrepreneurship and professional management. The co-operatives must make the transition from traditionally managed organisations to modern companies where the farmers determine, pay and profit from their companies. The Netherlands, the cooperative and agricultural country par excellence, can be an example.



The delegation that accompanies the Minister from Myanmar is in the Netherlands from 10 to 15 June. Tuesday afternoon, June 12, Agriterra explained the importance of cooperatives in the Netherlands. In addition, they visited a dairy farm and the Friesland-Campina Innovation Centre in Wageningen. A Memorandum of Understanding, in which both parties expressed their wish to cooperate, was signed in Zwolle later that afternoon. Agriterra focuses on sharing knowledge and experiences in realising its objective to strengthen the cooperatives.

For more information:
Agriterra
agriterra@agriterra.org
www.agriterra.org

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