Registrar and Director of Cooperatives, Ridley Joseph says under the new Cooperative Policy, the name Vanuatu Cooperative Federation will be changed to Vanuatu Cooperative Business Network.
In the wake of setting up a business network, the Director says his Department is mandated to work in partnership with everyone that is willing to work with them. “Along those lines the Department and Ministry of Agriculture in the programme of production, will become a strong partners for us,” he says.
While the Department stands as a cooperative body to link producer cooperatives, he says, “It does not stop us from having working partnership agreements with other stakeholders as well including associations and the private sector to work together.
“It all depends how we link the zig saw puzzle together especially when it comes to market access, sharing markets and ensuring that farmers and cooperatives have access to market plus value addition.
“We anticipate the Department of Agriculture to be one of our solid partners when we work on those products which we can produce locally to help us in our market domestically and when we have excess then we can look at international markets.
The Vanuatu Cooperative Network is currently on Tanna supporting the potato programme which was launched and harvested through the Ministry of Agriculture.
As this year is the Year of Agri-Tourism, both Ministries of Trade and Tourism and Agriculture are working together to ensure that the year is fruitful in its activities in production and marketing and supply and demand.
In addition, the Cooperatives Network is also taking part in the Agri Tourim Week next month. This is in partnership between the Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Trade.
“From the Director’s Desk, it is a good programme and we need to lock in on all the networks where we can so that everyone runs in alignment with the programmes they are doing so that the programme runs smoothly”, he says.
“My Department is looking forward to setting up the Interim Apex Body of the Vanuatu Cooperative Network very soon to get it appointed by the Deputy Prime Minister.
The Interim Apex Body with the Vanuatu Cooperatives Business Network are going to work on their own while the Department of Cooperatives maintains its regulatory role as mandated by the new Cooperative Policy.