Many heads are better than one: The story of Ngolowindo Co-operative

    | May 5, 2014

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    Like the co-operative featured in this week’s story from Tanzania, the co-op in our script of the week has been in existence for some time, in this case since 2001.

    The script focuses on Ngolowindo Co-operative in Malawi – how it started, its achievements and challenges. It highlights the strengths and the benefits of co-operatives. If broadcast on your station, the script could encourage co-operatives, clubs, associations and individuals to learn how to reduce some of their fears and problems and maximize their profits, while remaining sustainable.

    The script touches on a major problem faced by many co-operatives: financial worries. It also talks about business plans for co-operatives.

    Here’s one tip from the script: A good co-operative business plan should ensure that rates paid for electricity and rates charged on loan repayments are covered by the costs of equipment depreciation. This will ensure that, for example, pumps can be replaced as necessary. Also, when equipment is donated, it is especially important to ensure that co-operatives thoroughly consider how they will sustain it, including the costs of maintaining and replacing these assets. Perhaps the co-operative could obtain a long-term loan and ensure that loan repayment rates are set so that the co-op can cover the loan and other overhead costs.