SUPPORTING UWAMALE COOPERATIVE SOCIETIES TO IMPROVE ITS RICE BUSINESS
UWAMALE is a cooperative of rice farmers in the Lekitatu basin located in Usa River ward in the small town of Usa River, Meru district in Arusha Region. The association was formed on May 18, 1998 and get registered in the same year with the registration number AR 341. UWAMALE is an acronym for THREE WATER IRRIGATORS. Despite the existence of opportunities for the cultivation of other commercial crops such as maize, beans and vegetables and sorghum, Lekitatu Basin is famous for its rice cultivation. The basin has an area of 826.58 hectares which is equivalent to the size of 2,066.45 acres.
Prior to 1961, Lekitatu Basin was known as Lekitatu Manyata Village. By 1975, Lekitau Manayata village was divided into two villages and occupied by Laketatu and Manyata villages. The main development activities for the period were pastoral and irrigated agriculture in traditional ways in small agricultural areas depending on the existing infrastructure. After irrigated agriculture with natural methods became more productive for many farmers in all areas within the Lekitatu Basin, by 2001, under the auspices of the World Bank, the administration and the canal management team in collaboration with all local farmers of the Third Basin were constructed for irrigation canals under the direction of the RBMIIP Consumer. The Lekitatu Basin currently has irrigation infrastructure and the infrastructure is located within the villages of Magadini and Mlima sioni. In fact, more than 72% of all infrastructure within the basin requires major renovation and 24% requires minimal overhaul.
STAWI has been contracted by VECO – Rikolto to capacitate UWAMALE Cooperative Society to attain potential business growth into new business heights and levels. UWAMALE is a Cooperative Society based at Lekitatu Irrigation Scheme in USA RIVER – Meru Arusha. The Cooperative has 250 registered members and aims to provide services to over 1000 farmers cultivating rice, beans and maize in the Lekitatu basin. Rikolto has worked with UWAMALE since 2016 and this assignment has been established to train, coach and mentor UWAMALE farmers and its member groups to attain adequate business capacity in order to improve its rice business in Tanzania. Below is the scope of work
1. Improve the UWAMALE Cooperative internal management:
i. Reviewed constitution with clear roles for the executive committee, sub committees and the staff as well as personnel manual
ii. Management structure in the constitution that is all inclusive with clear delegation of responsibilities to the grass root structures.
iii. KPIs/performance indicators formulated targets detailed in quarterly, annual, multi-year plans and business plans.
iv. Management guidelines and policies on marketing, finance, employment, procurement (among others) that stipulate the level and type of authority given to each organ of the cooperative.
v. Reviewed constitution with guidelines clearly stipulates the positions and communication channels in all aspects of the organization
vi. Revised personnel management manual that stipulates clearly human resource requirements, key KPIs, strategies and tools
vii. Updated farmers master list and record keeping system
viii. Setting of the short term/six months (2021) and long-term targets/KPIs
2. Support UWAMALE to improve its Supply and marketing:
i. The business plan is revised in accordance to the business model and changing business context
ii. UWAMALE business units are fully operational as per the business plans
iii. Supply management system, policy, manual and guidelines reviewed and includes a procurement policy and guidelines on procurement of inputs in place.
iv. Clear guidelines and systems on collective selling including and transparent price determination mechanism based on prevailing market prices in place.
v. Marketing plan and strategy that ensures the farmers organization gains and retains multiple off-takers that helps in bargaining power is in place.
vi. Quality management system in place and implemented including coaching of members into abiding to the quality required by the market
vii. UWAMALE maintains and /updates the farmer master list with records and data base on farm and business information about the farmers and their businesses.
viii. The association has a production calendar and harvesting chart to enable the groups to plan and forecast volumes
3. Support UWAMALE improve Financial management: –
i. Management committee is able to identify its roles in guiding UWAMALE and the groups in all aspects financial management, financial planning & budgeting, financial risk management, record keeping and monitoring.
ii. financial systems, including cash handling, cash inflow, book of accounts and book reconciliation are put in place
iii. UWAMALE has put in place measures for full statutory and financial compliance
iv. Existing financial management manual reviewed and internalized including internalization of roles of each party
v. Adopt cooperative format of financial reporting and AGM preparation
vi. Strategy on access to finance from financial institutions and mobilizing of own funds in place
vii. Asset register in place
4. Support UWAMALE to improve its relationship with Enablers:
i. Management committee aware (and adhere to the laws and regulation guiding cooperatives
ii. Guidelines and strategies on relations with business development services providers NGO’s, and Government institutions are in place
RICE FOR THE LIFE