- Only two co-ops have taken advantage of the product
- Product can loan co-ops up to P50m
Poor marketing has resulted in cooperatives across are reportedly being sluggish in their taking uptake of a special Cooperative Product four months after it was launched, CEDA Communications Manager, Neo Tumelo, has said in an interview.
The product, which aims to finance projects run by cooperatives by up to P50 million, was introduced by the Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency in November last year but to-date only two projects have been funded for just over P500 000 altogether.
Tumelo said that a loan of P271 000 was issued to Serowe Printers Cooperatives Society that employs eight people while P370 000 went to Mmogo Re Ka Dira Multipurpose Cooperative in Otse that also employs eight people.
The Chairman of Botswana Cooperative Association (BCA), Thatayotlhe Mpule, believes that the slow uptake of the special programme could be due to ineffective marketing to members. Mpule disclosed that BCA is currently in dialogue with CEDA about hyping up the programme.
“A few cooperatives have shown interest,” he told The Botswana Gazette. “This has not taken off as we had anticipated. However, we are hoping that things will take a turn for the better soon.”
Mpule told the media in an interview in Gaborone that cooperatives in Botswana have 300 000 members who can be lifted out of poverty. Cooperatives used to be the lifeline of many communities, especially women who are often the breadwinners of families in rural areas.
Mpule noted that economic revival is especially important in the aftermath of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. “We have realised that most people are not aware of the product because outreach have not been sufficient,” he said.