By Vasinatta Yama – EMTV News, Mt Hagen
A total of 281 cooperative societies in the Anglimp-South Waghi area of Jiwaka Province have registered to do business. This will see a lot of grassroots people in Jiwaka engaging in small to medium enterprise (SMEs) businesses. Their certificates were presented to them by the Department of Trade and Commerce, last Friday.
These cooperative groups will join the already established 6000 cooperative societies in Papua New Guinea, and the 1.2 billion registered members worldwide. Joining a cooperative society means one must agree to pool together resources to undertake economic activities such as poultry, piggery, and agricultural projects for a common good.
Last Friday Cooperative Societies Registrar, Stephen Sallun, presented the certificates, marking a milestone for the local people to work to improve their livelihoods. Trade and Commerce Minister, Wera Mori, who was also present at the presentation, says starting next year, consultative meetings and trainings for cooperative societies will be conducted to support Small and Medium Enterprise activities in the country. Minister Mori says this will encourage little people to be engaged in economic activities like agriculture, to strengthen PNG’s economy.
Anglimp South Waghi MP, Joe Kuli through the electorate’s District Services Improvement Program Funds, funded K1.7 Million as seed capital to the Cooperative Societies. Kuli said he did this to see improvement in people’s lives, as well as help them sustain their living. However, if the societies fail to acquit their funding, the District Development Authority will stop supporting them.
Minister Mori said his department will fund cooperative societies in Jiwaka Province to make it become an economic centre.
He said this calls for the reviving of coffee and tea plantations in the province.