(2) Store these basic food crops during periods of plenty or harvesting season
(3) Market these food crops during periods of shortages at affordable prices.
The mission of this cooperative is to fight hunger through purchase, storage and retail of consumable agric products to its members and the general public at moderate prices.
The lack of a storage facility in Nkwen-Bamenda to store certain food crops like maize, beans, rice groundnuts during seasons of plenty has led to the shortage of these food crops at particular periods of the year, a situation that has brought about an increase in the prices of these crops in the market to the detriment of the consumers whose incomes are too low to meet up with the high prices charged for these food crops.
This cooperative seeks to solving the problems of food shortages and high prices through;
The cooperative shall buy-off basic food crops like maize, beans and rice from rural farmers of the North West region during harvesting seasons. An estimated 50 tons of maize, 50 tons of beans and 50 tons of white rice shall be purchase each year during harvesting season of these crops respectively. In each harvesting season a member of this cooperative shall be delegated to a rural area with financial resources to buy-off farmers produce. This cooperative shall serve as a focal point for rural farmers where they can easily market their crops after harvest.
Storage of agric food cops like maize, beans have always been a problem due to the perishability nature of the crops.
These crops easily weevil few months after harvest and have been one of the reasons why there is always shortage of the food crop in the market. After buying –off these food crops from farmers, the crops shall immediately be transported to the warehouse in Bamenda especially in areas where the farm to market road is accessible. But in areas where the roads are inaccessible during harvesting season, the crops shall be bought and stored in drums that shall be constructed until a time when the roads can be accessible and the crops shall then be transported to Bamenda for marketing.
Storage of these crops shall be done after intense drying of the crops to reduce the rate of humidity to 00. Good storage shall minimize the problem of weevil and shortage of the crop in the market.
Marketing of these products shall be done in Bamenda and beyond. The crops shall be well package, labeled and sold to the consumers. The cooperative shall set attractive prices for its products. The public shall be informed on the availability of these products and their prices through advertisement.
Unlike individual dealers in food provision stores, this cooperative shall be dealing with only particular food crops like maize, beans, rice and groundnuts and other products like fish shall be added in the long run. The cooperative shall apply the “cobweb theorem” in the purchase, storage and marketing of these food crops. Financial resources shall be mobilized from stakeholders like members, and banks to enable the buying of these food crops from farmers during harvesting season.
The cooperative shall determine the prices of each crop depending on the current market prices and fore casted market price of the crops. For example when the price of maize sells at 2000 Frs. per bucket, the cooperative shall fixed it cost price at 1200 Frs. and vice- versa.
These crops shall be purchase and transported to the cooperative warehouse in Bamenda for marketing. The cooperative shall enter into mutual understanding with other producer organizations to create a platform where farmers could easily sell their produce through this cooperative.
Apart from buying and selling agric food crops, this cooperative shall offer other services to the farmers like training on the modern agricultural practices, post harvest handling of their crops, and financial education.
These trainings shall ensure high yields, reduction in post harvest losses and better management of their finances.
The cooperative shall relay information on the market environment to the farmers that is information like; current market prices, the availability of new improve seeds and other innovations or research results in the agricultural sector etc. Though this cooperative is a profit making organization The crops purchase shall be sold to the population of Bamenda at affordable prices, its reason for operation is not profit maximization rather to ensure a steady supply of agric food crops in the Bamenda urban markets in all seasons and guarantee a hunger free society by 2035.
The production of basic food crops is influence by demand in our markets. The forces of demand and supply is what determine the prices of these food crops. Within the context of this cooperative, the business environment or market environment is divided into internal and the external environment.
The internal environment shall consist of those relevant physical and social factors within the organization or specific decision unit that shall be taken directly into consideration in the decision –making behavior of individuals in the cooperative. This shall include all departments such as management, finance, purchasing, business operations and accounting.
Each of these department influence marketing decision of the cooperative.
The marketing manager shall closely watch supply availability and other trends dealing with suppliers to ensure that products will be delivered to customers in the time frame required in other to maintain a strong customer relationship. Within the internal environment, the cooperative is capable of handling the following aspects;
The cooperative activities shall be coordinated by a management committee made up of the president, secretary and treasurer.
This committee shall prepare annual action plans of the cooperative and supervised its implementation.
It shall on its decision recruit a sales person to carry out the day to day sales of the cooperative products.
The management committee of this cooperative is made up of experience persons that have formally belong to other cooperatives and are ex-officio of the ministry of agriculture. Some members of this committee have been trained on cooperative management. The experiences of these members will ensure the success of this cooperative business.
This is one of the strong assets of this cooperative to enable the cooperative realise its objective of purchasing, storage and marketing of agric food crops. In this regard, the cooperative will start its business with an estimated amount of one million francs. This amount shall be mobilised by members’ contribution in the form of shares. The current membership of the cooperative is 11 persons and each member is expected to buy a share of one hundred thousand francs (100.000).
The cooperative shall ensure proper research in product development based on the needs of the customers. Apart of buying and selling unprocessed food crops, the cooperative shall endeavour to transform or add value to certain food crops depending on the demand of the customers. This cooperative shall equally work in synergy with institutions like IRAD, MIDENO, projects and programs and other cooperatives to discover new products development. For example research shall be based on the means of improving crop yields, quality crop production, processing and packaging in order to satisfy the needs of the market.
The cooperative shall carryout purchases of its products such as maize, beans and white rice. Maize and beans are food crops that are widely produce almost in every village in North West region. Rice is produce in Obang in Bafut Sub-Division, Agulli and Bu in Menchum Central Sub –Division, and UNVDA- Ndop in Ngohketungia Division.
The purchase of these crops shall be based on the current market condition.
That is the forces of demand and supply shall determine the prices of these crops in the market.
Maize shall be purchase in July, August and September; and beans in June, July and November while rice shall be prchase in the month of December, January and Febuary. These are the peak periods for the production of these crops. The mastry of the agricultural calender for the poduction of these crops shall enable the cooperative to prepare a precurement plan of its products.
Procurement and stock inventory management shall be done with respect to the LIFO and FIFO principles.
That is crops that shall be supplied last shall be the first to be release from the warehouse of the cooperative whereas the crops supplied first shall be the first to be release from the magazine. This principle shall be enforced by the management to avoid the problem of overstay of the crops in the warehouse which may result in loss of quality through weevil.
The cooperative management shall put in place good accounting system where each operation shall be accounted for. This shall be done through the elaboration of basic accounting books like; the daily sales journal,cash book or general ledger, purchase stock book or stock inventory book,expenditure book, customers credit book, bank book. These books shall be use to develop periodic financial reports of the cooperative. The effective use of these books shall guarantee accountability which is a principle of good management in any organization. The management team of this cooperative shall be train on the effective use and application of basic accounting principles.
These are the helpful and harmful factors that might have effect on the cooperative business. These factors are analyze in the SWOT matrix below.
|Experience members of the management committee||Lack knowlege on adding value to the crops|
|Better knowledge of the business||Inadequate capital|
|Availability of a warehouse||Inadequate packing space or limited storage space.|
|Availability of capital|
|Availability of the products||Low quality of the products due to poor farming techniques|
|High demand in the market||Low prices paid|
|Capability of being preserve||Vulnerable to weevil|
|The crops can be easily transported||Lack of good access farm to market roads in most of the prodtion basins|
Agricultural marketing is inferred to cover the services involved in moving an agriultural product from the farm to the consumer. It is also the planning, organising,directing and handling of agricultural produce in such a way as to satisfy the farmer (producer) and consumer. The advent of buying and selling can be traced as far back as the 1800’s.
This activity has been modernised and today people with same vision come together to form marketing cooperatives in other to enjoy economies of scale resulting from bulk marketing.
In Bamenda where this cooperative is located, there is a vast majority of small scale petit traders commonly referred to in the local parlance as “buyam-sellams”. These buyam –sellams buy in smaller quantities from the rural farmers and retail to the consumers in the Bamenda markets.
Agricultural marketing involves numerous interconnected activities such as planning production, growing and harvesting,grading,packing and packaging,transport,storage, agro and food processing, distribution, advertising and sale. In fact agricultural marketing encompasses the entire range of supply chain operations.
Efforts to develop agricultural marketing have, particularly in developing countries, tended to concentrate on a number of areas, specifically infrastructure development; information provision; training of farmers and traders in marketing and post harvest issues; and support to the development of an appropriate policy environment.
In the past, efforts were made to develop government run-marketing bodies but these have traded to become less prominent over the years due to lack of inclusiveness of the local farmer and consumer in the management of these bodies.
Efficient marketing infrastructure such as wholesale, retail and assembly markets and storage facilities is essential for cost-effective marketing to minimize post harvest losses and reduce health risks. Marketing cooperatives play an important role in rural development, income generation, food security and developing rural- market linkages.
The sell of agricultural food crops is a business that is done by mostly women. In Bamenda, the activity is dominated by a class of women commonly referred to as “buyam sellam”.
These traders go to the production basins every harvesting season and buy from the local farmers at very low prices.
When these traders transport the crops to the Bamenda markets, they sell to the consumers at very high or exorbitant prices.
The high prices tag for these crops usually keep the crops very longer in the warehouses making the crops to loss it natural status and taste thereby causing health problems when consume in the long run.
The prime objective of these local buyam-sellams is to maximize profit even at the expense of the consumer and the farmer. There is no customer relationships that exist between the buyer, consumer and producer. The traders are most often known as one time buyers and careless on the welfare of the farmer who needs to be supported materially and technically to produce quantity and quality food crops.
This cooperative has absolute advantage over these local traders in that it will offer other services to the local producer like; training of farmers on new production techniques, provision of material assistance to farmers like fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides; post harvest handling and storage of their crops. This technical and material assistance shall enable the farmers to produce more and meet up with the demand in the market. The cooperative shall equally set stable prices for it products in order to avoid consumer exploitation through price discrimination in the market.
It shall be a platform where farmers can market their produce at any time of the year.
The climate change phenomenon in Cameroon and Bamenda in particular has led to a fall in crop yield. As such the supply of these food crops in the market cannot meet up with the demands of the increasing population of the city.
Crops like maize is highly consume by about 99% of the population in different forms. The crop is either consume directly by many households as fufu-corn and corn chaff.
There is equally other secondary consumer that buys this crop and processes either into pap by restaurant owners and local wine commonly call sha or nkang by local wine producers. The market for maize is currently large given the fact that corn is consumed everywhere in North West and beyond. There are equally other major consumers of maize like le brassieres du Cameroun, UCB, and Guinness Cameroon who use maize in manufacturing beer. This cooperative could negotiate a direct supply link with these companies and market its products in bulk.
In the Bamenda city there is the poultry sector that highly demands corn or maize. This cooperative shall target these economic operators who are using maize as an input resource in the production of animal feed which is widely used by poultry farmers in Bamenda and North West at large.
The market for maize is expected to grow in the future especially if other industries like the cheese and phosphatise manufacturing industry will emerge.
The market for maize is profitable because the crop is highly demanded and it supply is limited thereby leading to an increase in price. For example a bucket of maize bought at 1500 Frs. In August could be sold at a price ranging from between 3500-5000 FRS in November. It is therefore estimated that a bucket of maize could yield a gross profit ranging from between 2000- 3500FRS in November and December. Therefore if the cooperative invest 300000 FRS in the purchase of maize that is 200 buckets in July and August, it shall be making a profit of 400000-700000 between November and December that is within an interval of 2 months.
Unlike maize, beans are equally of high demand in the Bamenda town given its nutritional value.
The price of beans varies depending on the season. For instance about 40% of farmers plant beans during the first planting season of the year that is in march and the crop is harvested in June and at this period the price for a bucket sells at 4000frs in the production basins while in town a bucket sells at between 5000-6000frs. The second cropping for beans is in the month of September where only about 60% of farmers in North West are engage in the second cropping. In the month of November when the crop is harvested, the price of a bucket in the production basins is sold at between 5000-6000 FRS whereas in town it is sold at between 7000-8000 FRS.
The realisation of this profit could be possible if the cooperative use the marketing mix modelling technique which is based on the 4 P’s that is Product, Price promotion and Place, and the 4 C’s that is consumer, cost ,communication and convenience.
Marketing mix modelling
product -----> Commodity
Price -----> Cost
Promotion -----> Communication
Place -----> Channel
The cooperative shall carryout promotion of its products in the market using the following methods or strategies;
The cooperative products shall be advertised to the public through radio programs organised ,placards ,exhibitions or Agric-Shows and etc.
The cooperative shall carryout promotional sales of its products once in a year to enable its clients benefit from its low prices of its products and equally know the various services the cooperative offers to the general public.
The cooperative marketing strategy shall equally be based on the marketing mix modelling technique which is based on quality product made available to customers, setting convenient and affordable prices for the products, communicating the prices and availability of the products to the customers and setting comfortable locations where customers can access these products.
The implementation of these strategies shall increase the demand and sales of the cooperative products in the market.
The cooperative shall equally carryout market research to ascertain the needs of its customers, products taste and satisfaction. This shall enable the cooperative to relay the results to the producer (farmers) and also work with the farmers to improve on the quality of the products offered to the consumers.
The cooperative shall be managed by a management committee made up of three members that are; the president, secretary and treasurer. The committee shall prepare annual action plan of the cooperative. It shall recruit a sales person to carry out the day to day sales of the cooperative products. The members of this cooperative shall be the prime beneficiaries of the services offered by the cooperative.
The management committee shall delegate it members to go to the production basins and do the buying. Each delegated member of the cooperative shall be given accommodation and feeding allowance.
The cooperative shall construct storage drums in production basins where the roads are seasonal. These drums shall facilitate storage of these products especially maize. A crop like beans shall be stored in bags of 50kgs while white rice shall be packed on donnages in the rice cooperative where it shall be purchased.
The purchase of these food crops shall be done with respect to the agricultural calendar as seen below.
|01||Planning meeting with stakeholders|
|02||Sensitization of farmers|
|03||Distribution of improve seeds to farmers|
|04||Meeting with local farmers|
|05||Construction of storage drums|
|06||Purchase of farmers produce|
|07||Drying and packaging|
|ITEM||NARRATIVE SUMMARY||OVI(objective verifiable indicator)||MOV (means of verification)||RISK AND ASSUMPTION|
|Gaol||The goal of this cooperative is to ensure food security and safety to the Bamenda population through purchase, storage and marketing of agricultural food crops to the Bamenda population.||The number of tons of food crop supplied in the market.||A fall in the prices of basic food crops like maize, beans and rice.||Uncertain political and economic or climatic factors may influence the supply and prices of these food crops in the market|
|purpose||To ensure the availability of Agricultural food crops in the Bamenda markets at affordable prices at all times.||Number of tons of basic food crops purchased||-Stock inventory report -A comparative analysis of the current prices and the previous price in the market.||Uncertain political and economic or climatic factors may influence the supply and prices of these food crops in the market|
|Output||The purchase ,storage and marketing of Agric food crops shall ;provide a direct channel for over 1000 rural farmers to market their crops; the cooperative shall provide consumers with the opportunity of low prices charge for agricultural food crops, availability and quality.||-Number of farmers who market their produce to the cooperative -Number of consumers coming o buy from the cooperative||-Testimonies from farmers -Purchase receipts -Number of bags purchased.|
|Activities||• Planning meeting with stakeholders • Sensitization campaign • Distribution of improved seeds to farmers • Meeting with local farmers • Construction of storage drums • Purchase of farmers produce • Drying and packaging • Transportation • Marketing||• Number of stakeholders present in the meeting • Number of farmers reach • Number of farmers who received • Number farmers who are present • Number of drum constructed • Contract documents||• Attendance sheet and meeting report • Testimonies • Quantity of seed distributed • Photocopy of id cards and signatures of beneficiaries • Attendance sheet • Final evaluation report||• not all the members may attend the meeting • some farmers may not want to sell to the cooperative • some farmers may still prefer their local seeds to the improved seeds • the cooperative may not have enough funds to construct the storage drums • some farmers may prefer to sell their produce like maize fresh and some may prefer to transport their crops and sell directly to the consumers in the Bamenda market. • The roads could be inaccessible at the time due to stake of the roads.|
This cooperative business is seen to be a boaster in socio-economic development of the community involving the consumers, farmers and members of the cooperative. The business will help in fighting hunger in Bamenda, reduce poverty among the farmers and members of the cooperative. This business is seen as a worthy cause that shall lead to substantial benefits to the society in the medium, short and long-term. Should you have any question or wish to discuss this business plan with us please you can kindly contact our project director on the following;
EMAIL US ON:firstname.lastname@example.org
WHASAPP US ON: (+237)-672530066