An award ceremony was organised for some 400 trainees who received their certificates in cooperative entrepreneurship, on 19 December 2019, at the Farmers Service Centre in Rivière du Rempart. The trainees benefitted from coaching in ayurvedic massage, hairstyle, interior decoration, eco-bag manufacturing, paint on glass, and cooperative management.
The aim of the training was to promote the diversified, emerging and innovative cooperatives, and involve more young persons as well as women in the development of the cooperative movement.
Present at the award ceremony, the Minister of Industrial Development, SMEs and Cooperatives, Mr Soomilduth Bholah, encouraged the trainees to develop a culture of cooperatives and to actively participate in the field of cooperatives and entrepreneurship, which eventually contribute to the socio-economic development of the country. Cooperatives, he added, help in integrating the poor and the unemployed in the mainstream of the economy, improve the standard of living, provide access to markets that individually people cannot access, and combat social exclusion.
Minister Bholah pointed out that his Ministry reckons the importance of the cooperative sector and is therefore encouraging the development of the cooperative movement through the creation and provision of favourable environment. He added that several incentives and schemes put in place to facilitate the creation of a cooperative society comprise new co-operative law; encouraging the emergence of new cooperative societies; Cooperative Development Fund Schemes; the creation of Cooperative ICT Centres; and trainings.
Furthermore, he recalled that the Strategic Plan 2018-2020, which was launched in March last year, is now more focussed towards innovation. The objectives of the Plan are to promote the cooperative model of doing business especially among the youth and women; encourage the establishment of cooperatives in poverty regions, and in non-traditional and emerging sectors; and ensure that cooperative societies are abiding to the new cooperative enactments and facilitate their access to market and finance. It also encourages sustainable agriculture as well as proper use of the oceans, empowers cooperatives through digitalisation in their development process and enhances the cooperative sector as a whole.