NERPO Press Releases


13 Sep 2013

Media Release

For Immediate Release


On his return from a successful study-tour in Japan, the Chairperson of Chris Hani Agribusiness Co-operative (CHABSCO), Mr. Nkenke Peter Mxhosana has heaped praises on Japanese Co-operative Economy saying it is the antidote for unemployment, food insecurity, economic hegemony as well as service delivery and industrial strikes.

Through the African Farmers' Association of South Africa (AFASA), CHABSCO's delegation of two, Mr Mhlobo Mbane (Director) and Mr Nkenke Mxhosana (Chairperson), were invited to attend a study tour by the Japanese Consumer Co-operative Union (JCCU). The study tour was jointly organised by JCCU and the International Labour Organization (ILO) and took place in Tokyo and Kanagawa in Japan from 2nd to 11th September 2013.

In the main, the study mission sought to acquire knowledge and share in the Japanese best practices in running agricultural co-operatives model and co-operative banks.

"Ahead of this study tour, we clearly had no idea of how big the co-operative economy is in Japan. We were stunned to learn that co-operatives in that country actually run the economy and delivery of basic services. They have co-operatives in almost all the sectors, education, health, financial services, agriculture, automotive and many more. Hospitals, schools, food markets and distribution, agricultural infrastructure, banks and insurance companies are owned and run by co-operatives. JCCU has a membership of over twenty six (26) million affiliated co-operative members" he said.

Mr Mxhosana believes that the co-operative economy in Japan has en masse ensured that each an every citizen participate and share in the spoils of Japan's economy.

"In our research, we observed that service delivery and industrial actions are close to non-existent in Japan. The people of Japan have taken ownership of the economy. In my view, co-operatives in Japan have laid a solid economic foundation for creation of jobs, alleviation of poverty and food security. It is a kind of economy that takes a deliberate bias to local communities from which they operate. We were also pleased to note that they invest a lot of time and money on research. Japanese farmers do not use chemical fertilizers; they have adopted utilization of organic fertilizers so as to improve quality and quantity of their produce. Consumers are guaranteed fresh and healthy food and vegetable products that are procured directly from the farm" he added.

Mxhosana further applauded JCCU for affording its members and their children with preferential access to education and training. Members receive financial aid to study and equip themselves with education and training which is deemed beneficial to the co-operative economy.

CHABSCO is a pilot project of AFASA's National Co-operative Movement, under the auspices of AFASA's Co-operative Chamber, a member of .a unitary and representative body of South Africa's smallholder farmers whose primary aim is to create competent and successful commercial farmers.