Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): Minister of Environment and Cooperatives, the Honourable Eric Evelyn, said that the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis will continue to promote stronger collaboration among cooperatives as cooperatives are recognized as important partners that promote democracy, enhance income, foster social inclusion and care for the environment.
“We want to continue to promote more collaboration among the cooperatives. I can see a good collaboration so far… the synergies are there, the collaboration is there, and we want to push that,” said Minister Evelyn on Friday, December 18, day four of the Budget Debate. “We want to build the cooperatives with strong internal management protocols. We are going to continue to work with the Cooperatives. We are going to continue to ensure they have their monthly meetings, their books are up-to-date, ensure that their financial statements are in order and have their society business plans as well.”
Minister Evelyn said cooperatives are required to document their meetings because they “must go according to the Cooperatives Act and the by-laws of the society.”
The Cooperatives Minister said that the government will continue to lend support to the organizations.
“We are going to be pushing the cooperatives to run sustainable and successful businesses which could lead to growth. And so, we are going to assist the cooperatives with their project writing [because] once you are a part of a cooperative you can access money sometimes, that the government can’t access but you have to be able to write proper proposals, and so we are going to be helping them with that,” he said. “The cooperatives will also be trained in business-related areas and constant training and retraining of members of the different cooperatives [will also be organized].”
Equally important, the minister encouraged more young people to be a part of the movement, adding that that was one of the reasons why the ministry spent so much time ensuring that the Junior Saving Cooperatives were operational.
There are 13 Cooperative Societies in St. Kitts. These include the St. Kitts Schools Apex Cooperative Society Ltd; St. Kitts Farmers Cooperative Society Ltd; Liamigua Agricultural Cooperative Society Ltd; Gideon Force Agricultural Cooperative Society Ltd; St. Kitts Agro Processors Cooperative Society Ltd; Fahies Agricultural Women Cooperative Society Ltd; St. Kitts Taxi Cooperative Society Ltd; St. Kitts Beekeepers Cooperative Society Ltd; Capisterre Fishermen’s Cooperative Society Ltd; Old Road Fishermen’s Cooperative Society Ltd; Newtown Fishermen’s Cooperative Society Ltd; Sandy Point Agricultural Cooperative Society Ltd, and the St. Kitts Nevis National Cooperative League Ltd.