Name: Reformed Poachers and Batwa Farmers Cooperative Society (REPABFCOS)

 REPABFCOS mission:

 Training and Supporting the cooperative members and shareholders to fight extreme hunger and poverty through sustainable Agri business while conserving the environment.

 

REPABFCOS vision:

A cooperative society with members and shareholders free from poverty and hunger, earning more than 5 US dollars per day.

 REPABFCOS  objectives:

  1. To encourage improved methods of agriculture and to supply expert advice.

  2. To increase the quantity and improve the quality of members crops by better land utilization and better farming methods.

  3. To market and process the agricultural products of members cooperatively.

  4. To purchase the agricultural and building requirements of members cooperatively.

  5. To encourage members to save money by accepting their deposits.

  6. To make loans to members for productive purposes on the security of their agricultural produce.

  7. To do such things as may be necessary for the attainment of these objects.

  8. To encourage in members a spirit of practicing thrift, mutual self-help and education.

 

Achievements and Milestones

  1. REPABFCOS was established because CIBIC was able to train around 400 farmers in Kanungu District, raise funds and created more market and the need to start the cooperative came into force in 2018 by the majority of the farmers.

  2. In February 2019 members were mobilized and sat the first mobilization meeting that made a decision to start the cooperative society. They went a head to hire an operating office, purchased furniture and started preparing to start.

  3. In March 2019, the cooperative members received training from District Commercial Officer (DCO). The Cooperative was able to recruit the staff and have to start in Nkwenda trading centre.

  4. In May 2019 the DCO recommended the cooperative to be registered by the government under the the ministry of trade and economic development. The certificate was awarded and it is now a registered cooperative society with registration no. p.9976/RCS

  5. The cooperative has a hired office, employed staff and motorcycle.

  6. The cooperative had grown to a total number of 109 shareholders and 765 members in 22 VSLAs by the end of 2020

  7. Through Agricultural Extension and field outreach activities, the cooperative has successfully trained all the members and supported them with seed capital to mulpply and grow them-selves into financial stable citizens.

Business Model:

REPABFCOS employs Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA) business model as ways and means to  build  a social business that empowers minority indinous groups to get out of poverty and hunger through offering to them colatral free loans which such individuals cant access from the commercial banks. The Loans offered are risk minmum because the loan is given to the group and group leadership knows their members and they can decide to choose  a loan amount to give to their members according to there capacity. The VSLA leadership is also responsible for collecting money from group members and paying back.

 The cooperative identfies such individuals and sensitises them, and if they accept, they are given conditions to be legible for support.  And these are the conditions 1. To form a VSLA group composed of 15 to 30 people. 2. To organise and choose leadership and 60 percent of  leaders must be women and more chances of big loan share if  a woman is the chairperson. 3. The group must be registered as a Community Based Organisation at the District level so meaning it must have a constitution or governing  laws.

The fully registered groups sstart saving their own money and lending to one another, then the cooperative monitors their perfomances and after 3 month of operation, they are encouraged to apply for a seed loan. The loans committee seat to discuss and approve the loans guided by the loans officer recomendation and data from such groups. The loan can be cash of faming in-puts like seeds, fertiliser, or post harvest handling tools and equipment. The cooperative attach to each an extension worker (Field officer) who must keep visiting these groups for financial litracy, training. The loaned money  can be repaid  between 3 to 6 month. Well paying groups, usuall qualify for much bigger loans. The good news is that 80% of the 22 groups are paying very well.

 

REPABFCOS in numbers as of 2021

The cooperative  is 2 year old, has  109 shareholders,  22 Registered VSLAs  with a total membership of 876 individuals. The Cooperative has 4 full time employees  working on contract including Manager, accountant, cashier and field officer. The coop has an elected board of 9 members leader by the chairman. The cooperative has invested 54,000,000 UGX in loans and recovered 48,050,300 UGX and it has over 5 tones of beans and maize (corn) collected from farmers readt for value addition and selling.  REPABFCOS has sat only 1 Annual General Meeting (AGM) due to covid 19.

Future plans:

  1. Empower farmers so that each plants and harvest atleast 1 tone of maize and beans perseason. 2021 to 2022

  2. Purchase land and build coop stores in 2022

  3. Procure and install a maize (corn) milling and packaging factory for the farmers in 2022

  4. Sign up contract to supplier maize flour and beans to atleast 3 top reputable clients in 2023

  5. Open a new branch in kihembe or mpungu in 2023