Consumers’ cooperatives in the South-East and South-South geopolitical zones have called on the Federal Government to ban the importation of local produce including palm oil to protect the rural producers and farmer.

This was the highpoint of a four-day capacity building workshop organised by the cooperative in Awka with the resolve to develop cooperative industry in the two zones across the country.

Arising from the workshop held at the Federal Cooperative College, Oji River, Enugu State, participants agreed that there was need for the Federal Government to create a separate ministry of Cooperative, Rural Development and Poverty Reduction.

The participants noted that the establishment of Cooperative and Commerce Bank has become necessary for a vital development of the cooperative industry in the two zones.

They said this would allow for easy access to funds for the members.

“Federal Government should establish Marketing Boards that will put in place price control mechanism to reduce waste regulate cost of produce. There is also need to reduce monopoly of agencies or middle men,” they said.

They were of the opinion that cooperative education, especially among the rural farmers should be vigorously pursued by the state directors of cooperative.

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