My.COOP offers a training package and programme on the management of agricultural cooperatives that is a result of a collaborative effort involving a wide range of partners such as cooperative development agencies, cooperative colleges and universities, cooperative and producer organizations, knowledge institutes and agencies of the United Nations. Initiated by the ILO Cooperative Facility for Africa and the ILO`s Cooperative Branch, the partnership involves: Agriterra, FAO, the International Training Centre of the ILO, the Royal Tropical Institute and the Wageningen University and Research Centre, among others.
The My.COOP trainings help existing and potential managers of agricultural cooperatives to offer high quality, efficient and effective services to the cooperative members. The training and programme are based on high level know how originating from many years of training activities for trainers and trainees as well as experiences in the development of cooperatives, food security and agriculture, support to the organization of farmers, sustainable development, youth involvement in the development process, decent work and social dialogue.
The training package includes1 trainer`s manual, 4 modules and a mobile learning toolkit:
I. The trainer's manual. A series of learning activities for each Module and a sample training programme
II. Module 1. Basics of agricultural cooperatives: basics of agricultural cooperatives; challenges for cooperatives; cooperative governance; management, capital formation and finance
III. Module 2. Cooperative service provision: what are the needs of the members? ; what services to provide? ; who will provide the service?
IV. Module 3. Supply of farm inputs: procurements of inputs; storage and stock management; selling the service
V. Module 4. Cooperative marketing: marketing services; strategic marketing; certification
VI. The mobile learning toolkit. Learning activities using the mobile phone to enhance classroom training before, during or after the event.
My.COOP also promotes a distance learning programme through:
- My.COOP platform to enhance e-learning and to enable opportunities for sharing and mutual learning
- Information technologies: internet and social networking.
Translating of My.COOP materials to understandable local languages is a key element of the package. This ensures that the material can be widely used for different audiences.
Materials are also often adapted to the local context, including references to local legislation and specificities as well as adopting an adequate visual appearance. Some countries have included a completely separate module about national legislation on cooperatives.
- Agriterra - Netherlands, Centre for International Development Issues Nijmegen, CIDIN - Netherlands,
- The Cooperative College of Kenya (CCK) - Kenya
- Empowering Smallholder Farmers in Markets (ESFIM), a partnership between national farmers` organizations from eleven countries and AGRINATURA.
- ILO (Cooperatives Unit)
- The International Training Centre of the ILO (ITC-ILO)
- National Federation of Agricultural Producers, KENFAP - Kenya
- Moshi University College of Cooperative and Business Studies (MUCCOBS) - Tanzania
- Nigerian Cooperative Development Center, NCDC - Nigeria.
- The Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) in Amsterdam - Netherlands.
- Uganda Cooperative Alliance Ltd. (UCA) - Uganda.
- Wageningen University & Research Centre (WUR) - Netherlands
In addition, there are other countries where My.COOP has been used and/or adapted to projects with local partners, including Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, China, Nepal, Egypt, South Africa, etc.
Alaoui Solaimani Youssef, Cooperatives and Social Economy Expert