NW Regional Assembly, NWCA strike working relationship


Regional Assembly members with GM of NWCA


The North West Cooperative Association, NWCA and the North West Regional Assembly have established a working relationship.

The ground works to a more fruitful partnership between the assembly and the cooperative was laid down Tuesday June 22nd by the Commissioner of Economic Development for the North West , Ghejung Awunti and the General Manager of NWCA, Timothy Waindim.

NWCA has as principal mission to encourage the cultivation and marketing of Coffee in the region through the formation of cooperative societies.

Founded in 1950, the association champions the commercialisation of Coffee in the region and beyond until falling market prices in the coffee sector. This saw a sharp fall in the production of coffee in the region. NWCA today produces 600 tons of Arabica coffee annually. The cooperative is also encouraging the production of robusta coffee and cocoa cultivation.

At a demonstration farm at NWCA

NWCA currently has 35 000 peasant farmers across the 34 subdivisions that make up the North West and impacts the lives of 350 000 persons in the region according to statistics from the cooperative.

It is its ability to create wealth, impact lives and enhance the economic development of the region that Ghejung Awunti, Commissioner for Economic development decided to visit the structure.

Modern Parceling machine at NWCA

In a guided tour round the premises, the Commissioner was thrilled with works done by the cooperative in areas of cultivation, seed delivery, seed drying, packaging and eventual commercialisation to the local and foreign markets.

Timothy Waindim says "farmers earn more when value is added to the coffee beans. NWCA is here to ensure that value is added to the beans for the good and welfare of the farmers." and thus requires the regional council to help open doors where they can reach potential buyers.

Kola Coffee ready for consumption 

From 2014, NWCA received a boast in its activities and today prides itself with Kola Coffee, a flavoured coffee which is readily available for consumption.

NWCA seeks to partner with the Regional assembly to encourage young persons to engage in the cultivation of coffee trees whose duration has dropped from 6 years to 3 years that is from planting to first harvesting.

Godlove Mbilifang, education extension manager in charge of farms lamented that the fruits bare very well at the start but falls drastically during the harvest period largely because the farmers cannot procure farm inputs and some insecticides

"we rely mainly on the Ministry of Agriculture. At times before some of these inputs reach us, it is harvesting time."

Ghejung Awunti, middle

The cooperative also received a giant equipment from GP-DERUDEP that can process 1 ton of coffee in an hour. Godlove Njeshu, Production Manager encouraged more farmers to get back to their farms. This he says the machine cannot be put to effective use with a turnover at 600 tons only.

With its principal mission, to give back to the farmers, the North West cooperative Association runs on a very tight budget and sees its activities funded mainly through loana from microfinance institutions. The cooperative's GM cried that the interest on the loans is too high and thus requires better avenue for finances so the farmers can get back proceeds from their farm products. The association has also paid back some 200 million FCFA to farmers over the last few years.

Timothy Waindim, GM of NWCA

This was possible thanks to a revolving fund of 560 million put at their disposal by MIDENO through GP-DERUDEP.

NWCA faces challenges from local buyers who do not pay taxes but smuggle their way to meet that farmers directly. This has led to a good chunk of coffee beans to leave the region and bolster the industry elsewhere. Timothy Waindim insists that NWCA must be used because of level of quality control.

The structure also has the roof of its warehouse seriously licking, an analogue scale to measure produce from the farm, some 160 000 tons lying in fallow in Oku because of lack of electricity as some measure setbacks.


Modern roaster 


Ghejung Awunti appreciated the frank exchanges and noted that worries and demands of the cooperative will be tabled to his hierarchy for approciate response.

IDPs handpicking the coffee beans 

He was accompanied to NWCA by Kalak Flavius Boteh, 1st Secretary of the regional executive council

By

Ndi Tsembom Elvis 

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