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Ministry of Agriculture observes International Day of Cooperatives 2023 on Saturday with Mini Expo at San Ignacio Welcome Center

Posted: Saturday, July 1, 2023. 12:04 pm CST.

Photo Credit: MAFSE

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The Ministry of Agriculture’s Department of Co-operatives is on Saturday observing International Day of Cooperatives 2023 with a mini expo at the San Ignacio Welcome Center.

“On Saturday, which is the official International Day of Cooperatives, we are going to have a short ceremony commemorating the day,” Registrar of Co-operatives Gareth Murillo said.

That ceremony will then be followed by a mini expo of cooperatives and other invited agencies to display and to sell their products and commodities.”

The Cooperatives Mini Expo runs until 3:00 pm.

Registrar of Cooperatives Gareth Murillo (Photo: MAFSE’s Department of Cooperatives)

This year’s International Day of Cooperatives is observed under the theme ‘Cooperatives: partners for accelerated sustainable development.

“United by the slogan ‘Cooperatives for sustainable development’, we will show how the cooperative way of working, inspired by the cooperative values and principles, has the accomplishment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) as part of its DNA,” says the invitation by the Department of Cooperatives for the Information Day and Mini Expo planned for Saturday when the day is officially celebrated worldwide.

The slogan ‘Cooperatives for sustainable development’ was the salient phrase at a Rapid Response Project Workshop held on Friday by the Ministry of Agriculture’s Department of Co-operatives at the San Ignacio Welcome Center. Twelve cooperatives participated in the workshop.

The participants during Saturday’s ceremony heard from the President of the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) and the Director General of the International Labour Organization (ILO), San Ignacio-Santa Elena Mayor Earl Trapp, Acting Chief Agriculture Officer Dr Victoriano Pascual, and Senior Cooperative Officer Armando Aban. .

Acting Chief Agriculture Officer Dr Victoriano Pascual (at podium) and San Ignacio-Santa Elena Mayor Earl Trapp (sitting). (Photo: MAFSE’s Department of Cooperatives)


The International Day of Cooperatives has been observed by cooperatives worldwide since 1923 and officially by the United Nations General Assembly in 1995, which marked the centenary of the International Cooperative Alliance that was established in 1895.

According to Murillo, cooperatives provide benefits that single farmers cannot meet due to the changes they face.

“A small producer or a small service provider on their own, they face very significant challenges,” Murillo said.

“These challenges can come when we speak of accessing capital. It comes when they have experiences with fluctuating commodity prices. Oftentimes in farming the products are highly perishable in that the shelf life is very short. Of course, there are intensive labour requirements, and we all face the current climate change conditions at the moment.”














































According to Murillo, cooperatives are open organizations open to both men and women with no maximum or minimum limit of each.

“Cooperatives operate under certain legally agreed upon principles and values. The first principle has to do with voluntary and open membership,” Registrar Murillo said.

In 2022, the International Day of Cooperatives activities were held at Fort Cairns Market Plaza in Orange Walk Town.



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