October 6, 2023

Cooperation and Commitment, Key to Building an Agricultural Cooperative Business

The Etam Sejahtera Bara Producer Cooperative is a cooperative assisted by PT Indexim Coalindo which in the implementation process cooperates with Bina Swadaya Konsultan to oversee community empowerment programs in Kaliorang Village, Kecamantan Kaliorang, East Kutai Regency, East Kalimantan.

Mundlofar, project supervisor from Bina Swadaya Konsultan revealed, in 2020 the Bara Etam Sejahtera Cooperative was formed from the problems of farmer groups that needed a marketing platform to accommodate agricultural products around the location.

“Farmer groups also hope that cooperatives will be a way out that can regulate the selling price of their products to the market. Where later farmer groups can arrange to build businesses together, “he said.

The function of the Etam Sejahtera Bara Producer Cooperative itself is a joint business forum that bridges farmer group members and buyers or users of final products.

He explained, the process of establishing the Bara Etam Sejahtera Cooperative also experienced challenges. From the beginning of its formation, there have been challenges of rejection between village community leaders and farmer groups. Rejection occurs because there is still a sense of trauma when establishing a cooperative whose profit must be the management or leader of the cooperative. This trauma is an obstacle to building a common vision in business initiation.

“The presence of the Bara Etam Sejahtera cooperative is a blessing for community leaders and farmer groups to deliberate to find solutions together as a forum for marketing farmers’ products,” he said.

The Bara Etam Sejahtera Cooperative was initiated to build a business by the existing farmer group business, namely buying and selling rice and bananas. In addition, it also builds Compost Houses, Banana Houses, and Rice Houses as business stocking points.

At the initiation of the cooperative business, it is known that many product collectors have collaborated with farmers. Various efforts are made by the person in charge of the business to succeed the cooperative business such as negotiating with collectors, opening market access outside the village, and building understanding with farmers so that their products are sold to the cooperative.

According to Mundlofar, the togetherness of administrators and managers is a force for the success of cooperative businesses.

The cooperation between the management and the commitment of members made the Etam Sejahtera Bara Producer Cooperative develop, and the efforts that have been carried out for 6 months show visible results.

“Among them, they have made banana sales transactions of 38,247 banana combs and 9 tons of rice. Has assets of IDR 371,485,950 with a profit of IDR 6,185. 950”, he concluded.