Posted: Friday, February 25, 2022. 7:13 pm CST.
By Rubén Morales Iglesias:
An Orange Walk beekeepers group is gearing up to become a cooperative by April.
Last week, the Cooperatives Department in the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise held a training workshop for 19 beekeepers at the Orange Walk Agriculture Station in Yo Creek.
Registrar of Cooperatives Gareth Murillo said the group has operated for a number of years, but they have been marketing their product individually. Now they want to formalize their status as a cooperative.
“They have been into the business of beekeeping and honey producing for a while. They are all experienced beekeepers, but they took a decision a couple years back to come together and organize themselves into a cooperative,” Murillo said.
The COVID-19 pandemic put a stop to the process, but they have now picked up speed once again.
“Since that time, we have renewed the work. We have seen some renewed interest and motivation from them,” he said.
The Registrar said late last year they decided to have them registered during April.
“The training is really what we utilize as their curriculum towards their registration as a cooperative. We are hoping to have them registered before the end of April. That is our target.”
Murillo said that a number of beekeepers are joining the group and will be present for the next training session.
“We should be going there next week Thursday, March 3, for a follow up training with them. With the target set, we need to have an intervention, some discussions, and continue to have workshops with them every other week,” Murillo said.
For now, Murillo said that the group must agree on how many will be founding members and they also need to present the production data for all so that the Department of Cooperatives can have an accurate count of what their production is.
“They are producers, they are selling, but they have been doing so as individuals. That’s why they want to take it to another level. They want to be able to produce and market as a group,” Murillo noted.
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