Internship- Cooperative Governance

  • Full Time
  • Choma, Zambia
  • Applications have closed
  • Salary: 00000

Netherlands Development Organization

1.   Background

Substantial growth potential exists in expanding the dairy industry by increasing the involvement of the traditional/smallholder cattle sector in the formal system.  Currently about 80% of all raw milk (253 million litres per annum) produced in the country comes from traditional/smallholder farmers owning mostly local breeds. However, only 20-30% of this milk reaches the formal market. In an effort to respond to this, SNV Zambia is implementing the Zambia Dairy Value Chain Project (ZDVCP) that aims to increase smallholder milk production for the formal market, thereby raising farmer incomes and generating additional wage employment.

To improve the competiveness of small holder dairy farming, the contribution of milk supply from the small holder sector to the formal market has to be improved. Dairy cooperatives operating as milk collection centres can play a crucial role in linking small holder farmers to the formal market. It is important to ensure that such cooperatives have the right commercial orientation, and are governed by good cooperative principles. They need to have the right operational, management and governance structures in place to operate as viable entities capable of engaging effectively in the formal market. This can be achieved through tailored training that meet the cooperative’s capacity development needs. Experience has shown that well positioned Milk Collection Centers (MCC) can offer additional services to their members beyond just bulking and chilling. These can either be offered directly by the MCC or through well-structured business linkages with services providers.

2. Justification

Several factors have hindered the performance of smallholder cooperatives and this may suggests that members do not clearly understand the purpose of a cooperative, values and member  obligations and rights, or how to manage  cooperatives as a business. Cooperatives’ failure to provide understanding of members’ roles is  a main contributory factor.  Most dairy cooperatives not only face  Institutional related problems but  they also have governance related problems that are seemly  linked to  absence of leadership selection, low levels of education, lack of production and management skills training, weak marketing arrangements and consequent low returns to members as clients or investors. Institutional problems  include low levels of equity and debt capital, reliance on external support, low levels of investment, and subsequent loss of members. In an effort to address these problems there is need to  sensitize and create awareness  so that they may have the right commercial orientation, and be aware and be governed by good cooperative principles. This requires knowledge transfer and awareness if performance of dairy cooperatives is to be guarateed.

3.  Scope of Work

The scope of work involves general member sensitisation and awareness creation of 20 cooperatives  in principles of good cooperatives governance.  The intern is expected to be guided by the developed  training and mentorship outline. This  will be developed by an STE and will be based on the respective cooperative strategic plans. The goal is to capacitate the cooperatives  general membership This awareness is expected to be a driver model that will create awareness in good cooperative governance.

4Objectives of the Assignment

The overall objective of the internship is to support 20 cooperatives to achieve their strategic objectives through targeted awareness and sensitization. This will ensure that cooperatives are sensitised  in areas relevant to their business and organizational objectives. The intern is also expected to fit in the cooperative activities and support the cooperative  to implement their planned activities. The  sensitization  is expected to create awareness   in order  to improve  the  general membership s understanding on their roles and obligations ,functions and roles of cooperative board and the management team. It will also to an extent involve capacitating the cooperatives to successfully achieve their strategic objectives. The  approach to be used will be participatory and according to the context of each cooperative.

5.  Specific tasks /Deliverables

  • Conduct sensitisation meetings targeting  cooperatives members on principles of good cooperative governance
  • Sensitise on what a strategic plan is and its main purpose
  • Help cooperatives in basic record keeping
  • Develop work plan for each cooperative assigned
  • Track and monitor progress on the  thematic indicators

6.  Qualifications and other additional competences Requirements

  • You should have completed first degree in agricultural sciences, agricultural economics, agribusiness, development studies or a related field of study.
  • You should have knowledge in the Zambian agricultural sector
  • Previous work experience would be an added advantage e.g. through other internships in the agricultural sector, conducting trainings, facilitations or any extension related assignments
  • Knowledge on Extension approaches  and being able to speak Tonga is a must
  • Have excellent oral and written communication skills in English
  • You should have strong MS Office, organisational and analytical skills
  • Proactive and able to learn quickly.
  • Highly motivated to learn  and able to work with minimum supervision
  • Open-minded, friendly, adaptive, confident and passionate about agriculture but mostly farmer groups.
  • Able to establish mutual trust and respect

If you believe that your credentials meet the outlined profile, we invite you to apply by clicking on the link provided below with a motivational letter and Curriculum Vitae in English on or before the 23rd June,2019.

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