3.1.2 Resilience and constraints in the case of TMCU
This is my table for TMCU.
|TMCU||Demonstration of resilience||Constraints on resilience|
|Membership||Members working towards responsible forest management||
Members have low levels of literacy
Some very remote
Members not yet imbued with co-operative values and principles
Although growing number of youth, only small per cent of women (18%)
TMCU provides a platform for sharing knowledge, experiences and ideas
STIL provides opportunities for training in use of machinery and furniture making
|STIL training opportunities only available to some members|
Creation of STIL has enabled access to commercial credit
Developing networks with buyers in Botswana and South Africa
Not enough contact with other co-operatives
Networks still in the process of development
STIL still in infancy and not yet providing value added for members
Some members sell to middlemen rather than STIL: problem of distance and transport
|Innovation||Upgrading of processes and products through setting up STIL, with the aim of supplying different types of timber to different markets||Lack of national standard for selling sawn timber: makes it difficult to negotiate deals with buyers|
|Role of government||Government has provided forest concession for 15 years||TMCU thinks government should also patrol forests and borders, help to provide credit (not available for co-operatives) and training|
My picture of TMCU is that government support and a better regulatory environment is needed for the future. There are clearly some infrastructural needs in terms of transport of timber, and also education and training needs, including the type of social learning within co-operatives discussed in Section 2 of this unit. But this is early days for TMCU and some of the challenges are very different from those of producing and marketing coffee, particularly with respect to the regulatory environment.
I think I would want to know a bit more about the financing and governance of STIL and its potential markets.
Were there other issues that occurred to you from your own experience?