Uganda will on July 7, celebrate international day of cooperatives at civil service collage Jinja as it strives to achieve middle status income.
Years down the road, cooperatives member were able to save, and acquire low interest loans from various cooperative unions and fund numerous productive activates a move that had elevated their financial status.
Under the theme, ‘sustainable consumption and production of goods and services’, the day is aimed at increasing public awareness on cooperatives and highlighting complementary goals of United Nations and cooperative movements.
At the peak of cooperative movements in Uganda, the country had both primary and secondary cooperative societies that served the interests of ordinary citizens. Of the then established numerous cooperative unions, only Bugisu cooperative union (BCU) has managed to wither the storm.
Heavy infrastructure such as cooperative bank that were closed down in 1999 for having become insolvent, cooperative training collage in Kigumba, Uganda cooperatives transport union (UCTU) and its ultramodern and mechanical workshop that were had been established to empower cooperative societies were all wasted.
However, farmers among small medium enterprises were left to battle with market forces that comprises of continuous importation of both low and quality products, high interest rates on loans that is at 17 percent, hiking prices for agricultural equipment.
At the commemoration of the 94th international day of cooperatives that was held in Nakaseke, the minister for trade and cooperatives vowed the government will compensate all who lost their property during the bush war however till now Bugisu cooperative as cooperative Union that was promised shs19 billion, Banyankole Kweterana Cooperative Union Shs2 billion among others have not received it.
Despite the introduction of National Agricultural Advisory Services Organization (NAADs), Savings and Credit Cooperative Organization (SACCO) Operations wealth creation, the functioning of cooperative societies/ Unions is definitely descending leading to unsustainable financial inclusion.
NAADs/ operation wealth creation, SACCOs that would serve the purpose for thriving of cooperative movements, deliver unsuitable seeds compared to nature of soils, as others fail to sprout.
Even though government introduced Buy Uganda Build Uganda (BUBU) policy to promote local products, it has failed to protect local manufacturers from continuous importation of goods.
Therefore as the country commemorates international day cooperatives, farmers and small medium enterprise (SME)’s concerns ranging from production, processing, marketing, branding must be put under consideration through the in lowering of interest rates to at least seven per cent, for economic transformation and attaining of middle status income that has become the song of the day.