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International Day Of Cooperatives: PM Lauds Solidarity And Resilience Of Cooperative Movement

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For many years, the cooperative movement has significantly contributed to the development of our country. It has benefited families, including my own. By being members of a cooperative, we benefit from unity and the collective energy that drives us forward together.

This statement was made by the Prime Minister, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, yesterday, at the Gathering of Cooperators held at the Indira Gandhi Centre for Indian Culture in Phoenix. The gathering, an initiative of the Cooperatives Division of the Ministry of Industrial Development, SMEs and Cooperatives, aimed to mark the International Day of Cooperatives celebrated every first Saturday of July each year.

The theme chosen for this year by the United Nations (UN) is “Cooperatives Building a Better Future for All” which aligns with the objectives of the upcoming UN Summit of the Future, emphasising inclusive and sustainable growth, environmental protection, and climate change mitigation.

The Minister of Industrial Development, SMEs and Cooperatives, Ms Naveena Ramyad; the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Protection, Mrs Marie Christiane Dorine Chukowry; Parliamentary Private Secretary, Mr Soobeersingh Dhunoo, and other personalities were present at the event.

PM Jugnauth on International Day Of Cooperatives

In his keynote address, Prime Minister Jugnauth enumerated on the recent progress made by the cooperative movement in Mauritius and Rodrigues, praising cooperators’ dedication and commitment to national development. He underscored the challenges faced by this sector and emphasised the new developments being introduced. He further stressed the Government’s commitment to strengthening and enhancing the resilience of the cooperative sector.

Additionally, the Prime Minister noted that while the global recognition of the value and importance of cooperative movements has come recently only, Mauritius has had a well-established cooperative system predating many other regions. He spoke of three longstanding cooperative societies in Mauritius, namely Medine Camp de Masque Cooperative Credit Society (registered in 1914), La Ferme St-Martin Marketing Cooperative Society (registered in 1919), and Fond du Sac Cooperative Credit Society (registered in 1913).

Mr Jugnauth assured continued Government support for cooperative societies to facilitate their growth across various economic sectors and encouraged them to maximise on available Government schemes and programmes.

For her part, Ms Ramyad highlighted the unique and vibrant presence of cooperatives throughout every corner and region of Mauritius. Reflecting on this year’s theme, she affirmed its relevance, asserting that cooperatives indeed have a promising future.

PM Jugnauth on International Day Of Cooperatives

Recalling the evolution from the first cooperative in the sugar cane sector to today’s 1,390 cooperative societies operating across diverse economic sectors with an annual turnover of Rs 4.3 billion and 91,000 members, she underscored their role in promoting inclusivity and community engagement.

Furthermore, she outlined the significant contributions of cooperatives to food production, public transport, and finance through credit unions. Minister Ramyad stressed the importance of attracting youth to join the cooperative movement, affirming her Ministry’s commitment to supporting their entrepreneurial endeavors. She detailed the educational initiatives offered through the National Cooperative College, including specialised courses in agriculture, fisheries, and management.

The Minister announced various grants and schemes aimed at supporting cooperatives, such as the Boost to Local Production Scheme encompassing livestock farming, seedling production, zero-budget natural farming, and goat farming.  The year 2025 will be a remarkable year, as it has been declared the International Year of Cooperatives, announced the Minister.

The event included a cultural programme, featuring a sketch and a dance performance. It was followed by a symbolic handing over of cheques, shields and letter of acceptance to 15 beneficiaries of cooperative societies under the different grant schemes provided by the Ministry of Industrial Development, SMEs, and Cooperatives.

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