Tobacco Association of Malawi (TAMA) got funding from Ministry of Economic Planning and Development/African Capacity Building Foundation (MEPD/ACBF) of US$31, 000 in 2005 to facilitate the establishment of farmer cooperatives.
The initiative was also supported by other cooperating partner such as World University Services of Canada (WUSC) who provided a Cooperative Development Specialist, Clement Gwanyama, whose contract ended in December 2007. Mr. Gwanyama assisted in building capacity of cooperatives in areas of proposal writing and educating them on gender and HIV and AIDS issues.
Some cooperatives have since received grants for various projects.
Members of Utwe Cooperative of Dzaone EPA, Zomba together with Area Operations Manager for the South in a group photo after recording radio programs for ‘Mayi wa Alimi Afodya M’malawi’.
The primary objective of establishing these cooperatives is to strengthen the grassroots structures and to use the structures as a vehicle to deliver TAMA services as well as other interventions of food security, crop diversification, environmental rehabilitation issues, HIV and AIDS, education and economic empowerment to its membership.
The established cooperatives are working in the areas of food security, environmental rehabilitation, promotion of gender equity and HIV and AIDS, activities, and provision of agricultural credits through linkages with Financial Institutions.
In general, the cooperatives have benefited TAMA members in driving the sense of ownership through the acquisition of shares, providing economic empowerment through the access to agricultural loans from Financial Institutions, understanding and partaking in burley contract marketing/growing initiatives being piloted by the tobacco industry, promoting agro-diversification, developed entrepreneurial culture and conducting business for the benefit of their members.
Currently there are 49 cooperatives that have been established and registered with the Malawi Government across the Country.
Participants of a TOT and in front, two facilitators and Head of Marketing and Business Development for TAMA
COOPERATIVES CAPACITY BUILDING
In the year 2013 TAMA members of staff trained cooperative members on various subjects across the country.
In total 38 of the 49 cooperatives TAMA facilitates, received training in leadership, financial management, marketing of products, value addition, record keeping and membership drive among others.
More than 4,200 farmers have benefited from this initiative.
RECORD KEEPING & FINANCIAL REPORTING TRAINING
The government has also approved a program to facilitate training in Bookkeeping and Financial Reporting to the cooperatives. One session has been planned and TAMA Business and Grading Certification Officers (BCGO’s) will continue training other cooperatives thereafter.
COOPERATIVE LEADERS BI-ANNUAL MEETINGS
TAMA has conducted its first ever bi-annual meetings across the country from 12th to 17th June 2013. The first one took place at Mponera catering for all cooperatives in the Central North Area. This was followed by one that took place at the Head Office and it catered for cooperatives from the Central East and Central West Areas. Another meeting took place at Liwonde for all cooperatives from the Southern Region while the last one took place Rumphi for all cooperatives from the Northern Area. Among other issues, the delgates to these meetings chose a leading cooperative to represent all cooperatives from their respective areas to TAMA’s 25th Annual Congress for 2013.
Part of Deliberations at TAMA Head Office.
AGRICULTURE FINANCING 2010-2011 SEASON
TAMA in its quest to empower its grass root members, signed two MOUs under which FDH Bank provided credit to TAMA members. The first MOU is between TAMA and FDH Bank while as the second MOU is between TAMA, FDH and Limbe Leaf Tobacco Company. Over K23, 000, 000 was disbursed under the first credit scheme while as under the second credit scheme, a total of k39, 000, 000 had been lent to the farmers to access agri-inputs for tobacco production. Currently loan recovery is progressing well.
TAMA Cooperative List Download