The INVEST Co-op Program is a four-year, CAD $22 Million initiative funded by the Global Affairs Canada with a CAD $5 Million contribution from the Canadian Co-operative Association. The Program takes an integrated co-operative approach, benefiting producers by increasing production, productivity, and access to markets and financial services. The goal of the Program is to improve sustainable gender-equitable economic well-being for women and men small producers through co-operatives in Indonesia, Malawi, Mongolia and Peru. The Program will reach 69,800 women and men directly, and 269,000 indirectly.
The INVEST Co-op Program takes an integrated co-operative approach, benefiting producers by increasing production, productivity, access to markets and financial services. The Integrated Co-operative Model (ICM) as it has emerged involves three types of co-ops working closely together - producer co-ops, marketing co-ops and financial co-ops - to serve the financial needs of both individual members and the agricultural co-ops themselves. Together, these co-operative enterprises offer a suite of services for a holistic and integrated approach to rural development.
The program will introduce key innovations, including:
(a) climate resilient agricultural practices to increase quality and yield of production;
(b) agricultural insurance products to protect women and men against losses;
(c) development of value-chains of crops produced by women;
(d) warehouse receipt systems to allow smallholders to build collateral for loans; and
(e) extending the model to cover livestock fisheries.