From the Editors,
As we welcome all of you to 2012, we would like to use the first Rural Finance Learning Centre (RFLC) newsletter of the year to highlight cooperatives. This is in support of the fact that the United Nations has proclaimed 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives (IYC) with the slogan “Cooperative enterprises build a better world. The aim is to increase and promote awareness on the socio-economic impact of cooperatives, to promote the autonomous formation and growth of cooperatives, and to encourage governments and regulatory bodies to establish appropriate policies. Also, it is acknowledged by the international community that cooperatives drive the economy, respond to social change, are resilient to the global economic crisis and are serious, successful businesses creating jobs in all sectors. The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated that "Cooperatives are a reminder to the international community that it is possible to pursue both economic viability and social responsibility”.
Cooperatives is not a new topic for the RFLC. One can find useful material in the library section, under cooperatives, in the Service Provision area or under cooperation in the Client advice area as well as in the training and video sections. In training, we would like to point out self study guide on Agricultural Cooperative Management particularly Basic Economics of an Agricultural Cooperative. This is a self study manual that was published by ILO as a MATCOM Learning Element. It introduces the core economic principles that underpin the operation of farmers’ marketing and supply co-operatives. Also, there is a new ILO source book titled Innovative Cooperative Training: A Trainer’s Source Book. This publication aims to change the way we think about training in the cooperative context. It speaks of new organizational and training paradigms. It hopes to introduce innovation in cooperatives through helping trainers become more innovative themselves. It also aims at making a qualitative change in the way the trainer sees him or herself and use that knowledge to dramatically improve training methods. It hopes to build on the competencies that trainers already have and help them develop the “spark” that will really make a difference.
In the multimedia section we would like to guide you to two videos on cooperatives. The first one is on the official International Year of Cooperatives IYC video and a second one is a video on Agricultural cooperatives. In an effort to raise awareness on the contribution of agricultural cooperatives to food security and poverty alleviation, FAO, the World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Fund for Agricultural development (IFAD), took part in the official launch of The International Year of Cooperatives (IYC) 2012. The three Rome-based agencies of the UN jointly organized a side event entitled, "Agricultural cooperatives: a means to achieving food security" to discuss the links between food security and the cooperative business model. To listen and watch their proclamations, please click here.
To all of our readers, we ask that you please share your publications, events and key information that your organizations are doing to promote or support rural and agricultural finance through the use of cooperatives.
Best wishes to all of your and wishing you a happy, prosperous and cooperative 2012.
The RFLC editorial team