GIS - 10 October, 2019: Ten cooperative societies were rewarded for excelling in their daily business activities and operations, yesterday, at the third edition of the National Awards for Cooperatives (NAC) held at the Caudan Arts Centre in Port-Louis.
The Mauritius Co-operative Agricultural Federation was the grand winner of the NAC 2019 and received a cash prize of Rs 100 000. On this occasion, the Minister of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives, Mr Soomilduth Bholah and the Chairperson of the Panel of Jury, Dr K. Sukon, amongst others, were present.
The primary objective of the NAC is to set a benchmark for Mauritian cooperative societies so that they are further inspired to promoting excellence, sustain quality production as well as reflect on the way forward for the progress of their businesses.
In his address, Minister Bholah recalled the significant contribution of cooperatives in shaping the socio-economic landscape of the country adding that since 1913, the cooperative movement has been proactive in reducing poverty, generating employment opportunities, consolidating social integration and supporting people in need. Cooperatives, he said, are working for the welfare of its members and the population at large which is why they should be further encouraged to practice excellence and ensure inclusiveness.
He also spoke of the progress made by the cooperatives of Rodrigues over the years and how they have evolved as full-fledged entities having a vital role in the upliftment of the quality of life of citizens. He expressed satisfaction as to how the cooperative movement in Rodrigues has expanded to other fields adding that perseverance, determination and hard work of the members of cooperative societies are the main elements for success.
For his part, Dr Sukon underscored that the NAC encourages cooperatives to reflect on their strengths and weaknesses and guide them towards improving their management skills and overall performance. He informed that the number of registrations were lower compared to the previous year since NAC has reached its third level of excellence which is hard for societies to unlock. On this score, he highlighted the importance for each cooperative society to have a strategic plan that guides them towards identifying potential opportunities, trends and threats as well as planning their sustainable development.
National Awards for Cooperatives
Following the last edition of Mauritius Excellence Awards for cooperatives in 2016, the Awards were reviewed to enable cooperatives to participate on an incremental basis over a period of three years. The NAC assesses cooperatives on three aspects, namely leadership, business results, and innovation and creativity.
The winners of the different sectors are as follows: La Flora Co-operative Store Society Ltd (Consumer); Mauritius Co-operative Agricultural Federation ( Best Federation); Keystone Multi-purpose Co-operative Society Limited (Finance); Mauritius Fishermen’s Co-operative Federation Ltd (Special mention for Fisheries); Amarnath Credit and Tea Marketing Co-operative Society Ltd (Food Crop); Fairy Women Entrepreneurs Co-operative Society Limited (Food Processing); Heaven’s Skill Entrepreneur Co-operative Society (General); Association Coopérative des Eleveurs de Marechal (Livestock); Nassola Co-operative Credit Union Limited (Rodrigues); and The Century Co-operative Credit Society (Sugar). They each received a shield, a certificate and different cash prizes.
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