KOKONG- Cooperatives continue to empower women in the Southern District where about 3,359 beneficiaries have been funded.
Out of that, about 2,262 are operational while 187 has collapsed due to various reasons.
Speaking during the Poverty Eradication Exposition recently, specially elected Member of Parliament, Mephato Reatile said that cooperatives play an important role in eradicating poverty.
“There are many ways of eradicating poverty, I urge you to consider cooperatives to access government funding. Government, through the poverty eradication programme, will continue to issue ice-making machines, soap-making machines and toilet paper making machines to eligible beneficiaries,” he said.
One of the beneficiaries is 70-year-old Tshepo Tokong of Kokong village near Morwamosu, who trade with Motlopi cereal and coffee. The septuagenarian is one of a kind who believes in creativity and trading with the natural resources available in her area.
Tokong started manufacturing Motlopi coffee in 2011 and she has since added Motlopi cereal to her products. The powdered cereal can be consumed with milk for a taste and Tokong is optimistic of good sales.
She still uses the traditional kika to pound the motlopi tree roots to create the cereal powder and later separately fry the powder to create coffee. She went for training at National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) on food processing and packaging and she has been assessed
“I usually make business during open markets and expos outside Kokong. The coffee is confirmed to be good for health by NFTRC. I am still working on packaging the products and connecting electricity to my operational space. The good thing is that motlopi tree is abundant in our region,” Tokong said.
Another group of 26 women and a man have been funded to produce toilet paper in Moshupa. The group received P600,000 from poverty eradication in May this year and though profits are still low, the group is determined to lead in the toilet paper industry.
The group’s secretary, Bontle Sethibe said they have established a market in brigades around the country and they are yet to convince other entities like councils to procure toilet paper from them.
“There is hope in this business and we have six youth in this group who are active and love the business. We are still growing our brand and we hope that with intensified marketing, we will able to make the desired profit to sustain our families,” Sethibe said.