The Cooperative movement in Dominica continues to make a significant contribution to the Dominican economy, according to the Cooperative Division.
That point was emphasized as the Division launched its new magazine “Insight” on Wednesday.
Registrar of Cooperatives Mariet Canoville, making reference to the non-financial cooperatives, singled out the Dominica Essential Oils and Spices Cooperative.
She said that cooperative and its 562 members contribute over “$3 million in sales per year, bringing in foreign exchange to this country”.
Canoville said while she did not have available figures for other thriving cooperatives, she could confirm that they were also making a tangible annual contribution, including the “Believers Cooperative” with their coconut oil, and another group working on exporting honey to the neighboring French islands.
According to the registrar the fisheries cooperatives are among those also making a significant contribution.
The cooperative movement’s assets are said to be well over EC$400 million, with a significant amount of that money held by the country’s credit unions.
Credit Union League official Aaron Dyrample says the loan portfolio of the credit unions stands at $300 million.
According to Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit the cooperative movement is critical to Dominica’s future.
“In terms of employment generation, in terms of the direct and indirect impact on the economy of Dominica and particularly so with regards to rural economy,” the prime minister said.
“If we were to remove the presence of cooperatives in Dominica, one can appreciate the tremendous negative impact that would have on the way of life of several hundreds of families across Dominica,” Skerrit said while underscoring the importance of the movement.
The Cooperative Division and the island’s cooperatives are trying to draw attention to their contribution to the country’s development as Dominica observes 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives with a range of activities throughout the year.
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