#National News

Master Farmers’ Cooperative Association holds maiden AGM

Jul 5, 2024, 11:13 AM | Article By: Sulayman Waan

The Master Farmers’ Cooperative Association (MaFCA), a registered farmer organisation with a broad membership of men, women and youth across the country recently held its maiden Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the Wellingara Agricultural Centre. The agenda of the AGM was to review its activities, identify its challenges, discuss ways forward and elect a new executive committee that will run the affairs of the association for the next three years.

The association which was established in November 2021 with an objective to establish a credible professional farmer association that aims to transform the agricultural sector of the country to be more attractive through knowledge sharing, improve production with access to inputs and markets. It has a membership criteria of farmers engaged in large-scale production in the areas of crop and livestock production.

Sheikh Drammeh, president of MaFCA said the association’s main aim is to fight poverty through agriculture. He added that despite needing a lot of support from the government, they have since their establishment been trying on their own. He said they have not yet received any support from the government.

“Sometimes the authorities use us (the farmers) to lobby for funds but at the end we (the farmers) will not receive anything from them whilst we were the ones used to lobby for these funds. When funds are lobbied for the farmers, they will most of the time not reach out to us or a good chunk of it goes to the wrong individuals,” he said.

Drammeh therefore, called on the authorities to always ensure that the funds and other resources are given to the rightful individuals or beneficiaries.

He further said that the association’s strategy is to mobilise members’ resources to buy inputs, protect and serve the interest of its members along the agricultural value chain.

“We have both the land and water resources in the country but we are still importing most of what we eat because we are not properly utilising our resources,” he added. He called on the government to give more support to the agricultural sector.  

Sheriff Bojang, president of the National Farmers Platform (NFP), advised members to always put aside political, religious and tribal difference in the affairs of the association, saying that these issues when overlooked can ruin the association.

On his part, the Director of Cooperative, Aba Sankareh, while highlighting the importance of AGMs commended MaFCA for conducting an AGM within five years of their existence. He advised the association to always collaborate with other sister associations.

He also advised members of the associations to not only go after projects, saying that projects have timeline, and therefore, they should embark on sustainable initiatives.