Mailafiya is always looking for opportunities to update and diversify his skills. Because of this, he recently followed a training programme set up by the ILO in Kaduna State on promotion and development of agricultural cooperatives.
The training covered all main areas from governance to marketing, business and financial management.
Mailafiya quickly found an opportunity to practise his new skills when he was invited by an NGO to train a group of women from Sabon Tasha - also in Kaduna State - involved in the making of bar soap. It immediately came up to his mind that they could benefit from setting up a cooperative.
Going through the basics
After explaining the basic principles of a cooperative and the way to operate it, he easily managed to convince the group to create it. He helped the women to go through the whole process, including registration and deciding on a name. They finally went for « Faith Soap Cooperative Society ».
They started with 28 members. Their business has been so successful since they started the cooperative that they have reached 44 members with more expected to join soon.
These women were aware of the concept of cooperatives. Some of them even used it in the past just to access farming facilities from government and NGOs. However, they had never been told about what cooperatives can bring to develop a business.
« My whole perception about cooperatives changed the moment Mr. Mailafiya finished his brief about cooperative societies. I didn’t want to be a member of a cooperative again but this presentation was an eye opener,” explained Comfort Chinde, who has become he cooperative secretary.
Setting up more cooperatives
“The general impact from this training has been overwhelming. Members received the message and embraced the whole process including registration, working hand in hand to reach better living conditions,” Mailafiya said.
“After updating my skills as a trainer on promotion and development of agricultural cooperatives, I have discussed with executive members of our National Association of Small Scale industries on the need to set up more cooperative societies. We need more funding to further share the knowledge around Kaduna State by providing education, information and awareness,” he concluded.
Since he completed the ILO training, Mailafiya already helped to set up three cooperative societies.