My.Coop gets a provincial adaptation in Peru

For the first time since it was launched in 2012, the My.Coop – Managing your agricultural cooperative training package was adapted at the provincial level in the San Martín region of Peru.

Noticia | 23 de agosto de 2017
MyCoop in San Martin, Peru
In July 2017, Cuso International and the Cooperativa Agraria Cafetalera Oro Verde completed the contextualization and adaptation of the My.Coop training programme for use by coffee and cacao farmers in the Amazon region of San Martín, Peru. This is the first time My.Coop has been adapted to the provincial level, as all the previous adaptations have been at the country level.

The adaptation is part of a project aiming to create a network of trainers and facilitators in the region through a pilot cooperative school. This school will train cooperative leaders and directors, who can then translate the tools and knowledge back to their respective cooperatives and communities. The project involves several organizations including the Asociación Verde Amazónica (AVA), the Cooperativa Agraria Cacaotera ACOPAGRO, the Cooperativa Agraria Allima Cacao, and the Cooperativa Agraria Cafetalera Oro Verde. After this pilot initiative to train trainers, My.Coop will be rolled out in the region to reach out to a number of coffee and cacao cooperatives in order to support them toward better management practices.

Cooperative leaders
The adaptation was designed to suit to a variety of learning styles, and its objective is to empower cooperatives to identify and address their key management challenges. My.Coop also seeks to ensure adequate governance, provision of cooperative services, provision of agricultural inputs and cooperative marketing practices.

"A well-managed agricultural cooperative can contribute to the promotion of broader aspects of development, such as food security, sustainable management of natural resources, creation of decent jobs, and increased democratic participation," said Josu Mozos, the value chain programme manager at Cuso International. "In this context, the adaptation of My.Coop represents a practical resource that responds to the challenges, training needs, and strengthening of the cooperative principles of agricultural cooperatives in the region," he added.

A validation workshop
The process of adapting My.Coop began with building a good understanding of the regional context and the specific needs and challenges of cocoa and coffee cooperatives. The background study comprised of a comprehensive review of cooperative statutes and regulations, as well as data collection through surveys and focus groups on the specific nature of cooperatives. This study formed a basis for the My.Coop adaptation, which took into account the alignment with the language, including gender-inclusiveness, and the general situation of the region. The adapted materials include a set of case studies related to the cocoa and coffee cooperatives in the region of San Martín. These case studies, created collaboratively with the cooperative members, constitute reference cases for the study and analysis of specific aspects of the functioning of the cocoa and coffee cooperatives.

A coffee cooperative in San Martin
Once the modules were adapted, a validation workshop was organized by the Cooperativa Agraria Cafetalera Oro Verde within the framework of a cooperative leadership school. A pilot training was conducted and, subsequently, some minor adjustments were made to the modules and the trainers’ manual.

"We are convinced that the learning on My.Coop and having My.Coop facilitators in the cooperative will make us much stronger and we will be able to work to provide better services to our partners and better products to the market," said Tomás Córdova, chairman of the board of directors of Cooperativa Agraria Cafetalera Oro Verde, after conclusion of the validation workshop.

For more information on the My.Coop and its adaptation, see the Guide for Potential Users.