By Victor Faison

SALIMA-(MaraviPost)-Farm Income Diversification Programme (FIDP) on Thursday drilled cooperatives at a farmer’s conference held in Salima whose major aim is to map the way forward in the areas of group formation and management.

The conferences will be held throughout the country to strengthen the already existing governance structures in farmers’ cooperatives as FIDP project’s life span appears to be coming to an end with no any donor commitment available.

Speaking to the Maravi Post, one of the facilitators of the conference who is also Assistant Chief Extension Agricultural Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Development, Noel Limbani bemoaned the lack of independence and transparency among farmers’ cooperatives.

Limbani noted that most of the leaders of the farmers’ cooperatives have overstayed in their positions and do not follow procedures which is derailing the work FIDP has been doing.

“We have noted that in most groups there is a problem of governance. If you follow governance issues in these groups, you will find out they are supposed to follow their constitution. They are supposed to conduct elections according to what their constitution says but they are not doing that,” said Limbani.

Limbani also urged farmers to be self-reliant and not depend on government to assist them every time claiming there are other things like Field days that the farmers cooperatives can organize without government assistance.

The Farm Income Diversification Programme (FIDP) is a Government of Malawi Programme implemented with Financial and Technical support from the European Union since 2005 aimed at uplifting the livelihoods of communities in rural areas.

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