Wanji John, President of the Fako Agricultural Workers Union (FAWU) in Cameroon explains how their cooperative farm is helping low paid plantation workers provide food for their families, and is providing chicken and pork for workers for Christmas and New Year.
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Inspired by a recent Banana Link training programme delivered to banana plantation workers in Cameroon, members of the Fako Agricultural Workers Union have set up their own co-operative farm, with the aim of improving their living standards, creating jobs for male and female Cameroonians at large and also to alleviate poverty.
With 500 members, most of whom are workers of the Cameroon Development Corporation Banana group, the co-op has built a poultry barn and a piggery which hold an average of 2000 birds and 50 piglets respectively. The co-operative currently has a labour force of six - three men and three women - who are actively taking care of the animals and birds, while also cultivating maize, which is the principal ingredient of the feed for the pigs and chickens. There is also a snail farm under construction.
The co-operative does, however, urgently need help obtaining tools and equipment.
If you would like further information about the FAWU Farm Co-op please contact Angie Birthill of South Thames College Trade Union Studies Centre, who taught on the empowerment programme in Cameroon, with members of the FAWU Farm Co-op.
Photo: Farm Co-op members with Angie Birthill of South Thames College Trade Union Studies Centre