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Ministry to celebrate Cooperative Month


THE Ministry of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs is celebrating Cooperative Month this month.

There will be a number of events throughout the month, as a partnership between the Department of Cooperative Development within the Ministry and the Bahamas Cooperative League.

The celebration begins with a church service at St Francis Xavier Church at 8.30am today.

Other events include a Fun Run Walk on June 18 at 6am from Montague Beach; a lecture on June 20 at 6.30pm at the National Training Centre; Cooperative Educational Forums in New Providence, Eleuthera, Mayaguana and Grand Bahama; Cooperative Farmers & Craft Markets; Open Houses in New Providence and Grand Bahama and a Cooperative Employees Fun Day.

In a statement, the Ministry said: “Since 1974, the cooperative movement, which comprises of credit unions and producer supplier cooperatives has significantly grown to over $474m in assets and contributed 4.2% to GDP in 2021.

“With more than 47,000 members, cooperatives generate income, employment, empower Bahamians through home ownership, business start-ups, provide funding for education, and fuel the economy thus creating social and economic impact within communities throughout The Bahamas.”

Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs Clay Sweeting acknowledged the significance of cooperatives throughout the country.

“Cooperatives provide a wide-range of financial solutions for many Bahamians. They provide capital for entrepreneurial ventures, build homes, encourage food security and empower social change. We are proud to celebrate the vital role of cooperatives in building our Bahamian economy and look forward to its exponential and sustainable growth in the future,” he said.

Director of Cooperative Societies Cheryl Bowe-Moss noted key performance indicators strongly suggest that people are interested in being economically empowered as the total number of registered cooperatives has grown significantly during the past two years; especially during COVID.

“Cooperatives play a vital role in the continued development of our economy; and this year we need the need to bring the entire sector together to create awareness as well as increase our membership in both credit union membership and producer-supplier cooperatives. This is one of our strategic initiatives to propel the sector forward,” she said.