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Orange Walk Beekeepers Group becomes full-fledged cooperative

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Posted: Friday, May 13, 2022. 10:22 am CST.

Photo Credit: Department of Co-operatives

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The Orange Walk Beekeepers Pre-Cooperative today became the Orange Walk Beekeepers Co-operative Society Ltd, a full-fledged cooperative registered under the Department of Co-operatives.

The official registration ceremony was carried out at the Orange Walk Central Park on Friday morning, May 13. The registration ceremony was witnessed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise (MAFSE) CEO Servulo Baeza and Orange Walk Town Mayor Ladrick Sheppard.

According to the Registrar of Cooperatives Gareth Murillo, the Orange Walk Beekeepers Group as it was originally called, had to undergo eight different training sessions before it was approved to become a cooperative.

Theory and practical sessions were held at the Orange Walk Agriculture Station in Yo Creek and at apiaries in that district.

The curriculum for farmers’ groups to become cooperative underwent the eight training sessions which were subdivided into four broad topics.

The first two sessions look at Organizational Development. This topic includes why to organize into a cooperative, governance, record keeping, financial management, planning, communication and networking, and marketing.

The second block looks at Financial Literacy and Personal Development which includes decision making and goal setting; income and careers; savings, investing, and retirement planning; and principles of money management.

The third block encompasses Entrepreneurial Development. Here the cooperatives’ members are trained in the concepts of entrepreneurship and enterprise plus the mindset and traits of entrepreneurship.

The fourth and final block which lasts four sessions looks at the Structure, Administration, and Finance of the Cooperative Model. This block reviews what a cooperative is. It also looks at the Co-operatives Societies Act, the structure of cooperatives, the roles of members and the Committee, administration, and management, the functions of marketing and supply cooperatives, coordination among cooperatives, and financial procedures.

The Orange Walk Beekeepers Co-operative Society Ltd comprises 25 beekeepers. The group was first founded in 2016.

Murillo said cooperatives, as opposed to farmers’ groups, have added advantages such as being able to qualify for funding from local and international agencies to improve their products.

Apart from the Orange Walk Beekeepers Co-operative Society Ltd, there are two groups in Corozal that will qualify to become cooperatives in early June. They are the Concepcion Vegetable Farmers and the Northern Sustainable Agro Producers of Xaibe.

 

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