Celebrating International Day of Cooperatives: Green Gold Cooperative continues to improve farmers’ sustainable livelihood in Shan State
Shan State (Myanmar), 6 July 2020 - The 2020 International Day of Cooperatives, marked on 4 July, is putting a spotlight on the tireless work that has been done by Green Gold Cooperative (GGC) in Shan State, Myanmar.
GGC was established with the support of UNODC in 2015 as part of its Alternative Development programme. Shan and Pao ethnic groups, which historically have been in conflict with each other, are working together to move away from illicit poppy cultivation.
“Seeing our kids playing side by side, I feel safer and closer with my neighbours after working together with Green Gold Cooperative, even though we speak different dialects” Ms. Nang Htwe, one member of Green Gold Cooperative. “I am very happy that we have Green Gold Cooperative to count on to help us grow coffee from the scratch.”
GGC has built confidence for farmers to break away from illicit poppy cultivation to coffee production. Aside from the benefits of income generation, the cooperative is improving farmers' awareness of gender equality and child labour. As a result, GGC has received the Fairtrade Certification, ensuring that all farmer participants receives a fair price for their coffee and an additional premium which can be used for community projects such as education and healthcare. 50% of GGC’s Administration Board is now women.
Quite remarkably, after more than five years since its founding, Green Gold Cooperative is now a mature social organization that can function independently. “We received support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, as well as regular training provided by German Cooperative and Raiffeisen Confederation (DGRV). We have the vision of being able to negotiate international funds to develop the cooperative into a sustainable production model that can be replicated in other regions of Myanmar,” said Sai Han Myo Aung, General Manager of GGC.
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