Friday, August 31, 2012


With the COOPAG representatives
COOPAG is an agricultural cooperative located in just outside Kigali City. It was started in 2006 with 105 members, but has grown now to 984 members, including 623 female farmers.

On August 29th, 2012, I had an opportunity to visit COOPAG with my colleagues. The purpose of the visit was to understand and learn more about the cooperative in conjunction with a loan request for maize production financing to help 178 farmers in 25 groups. The amount totals approximately $110,000 for all farmers.

Bean seeds
Milk Collection Center under construction
COOPAG members have three key areas of focus for their farming. They are maize seeds, bean seeds and dairy cows. Most of the farmers are engaged in all three sectors, which is unusual. In total, they own 420 ha and have 3,600 cows, including 62 cows of high volume of milk production. They also own numerous sheep and goats, but they are not counted as livestock they own and manage. From cows, they currently collect and sell only 5,000 liters daily but when the milk collection center construction is completed, expected for December 2012, they will be able to increase the capacity easily to 10,000 liters per day and more. They also experiment the growing of soya beans and mushrooms.
Mushrooms growing in the hut

A few dozens of farmers were present and we exchanged ideas and questions during our meeting. We promised to disburse the loan on Monday next week and will explore the ways to expand our relationship.

On the way, I was thinking of applying "biblical community development" approaches for this cooperative and possibly expanded community as an example of holistic community development project.

May the Lord bless us with guidance and wisdom to be able to work with them to build up a strong community based on Christian values and principles. - Jeffrey

No comments: