Malawi Government has said it will revoke licences of cooperatives that do not comply with trade regulations.
Registrar of Cooperatives in the Ministry of Trade and Industry Charles Kayesa issued the warning last Thursday in Dowa where he opened the One Village One Product (Ovop) review meeting for cooperatives.
He said there are 650 cooperatives in the country, but some despite having licences do not have the required numbers of people to operate efficiently.
He said for a cooperative to be registered it is supposed to have 10 people although some Ovop have less than six people.
â€œI have been told that out of the 43 cooperatives in this review meeting, six have less than 10 people which is an anomaly.
â€œIf a cooperative has less than 10 people it means it cannot reach its goals and what we do in that circumstance is to revoke the licence,â€ said Kayesa.
But he could not give the exact number of cooperatives in the country that do not have the required numbers.
He said cooperatives with less than 10 people cannot sustain and meet demand of products, leading to abrogated deals with companies interested in their commodities.
â€œWe will give them three months to put their houses in order. If they fail to increase their numbers, we will revoke their licences.
â€œAs a government, we want to empower cooperatives because they are a source of employment and can change the economic landscape of this country as has been the case in Kenya,â€ he said.
In Kenya cooperatives are the second largest employer after government and many of them own multi-million assets in the countryâ€™s cities.
Minister of Trade John Bande agreed with Kayesa that Malawi can only develop if it has vibrant cooperatives.
â€œMany countries in the world have developed because of cooperatives and from now onwards, we will ensure that cooperatives are empowered to reduce the unemployment levels in the country,â€ said Bande.