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"Svinurayi collective Farming Co-operative Society Limited" is a co-operative society with limited liability under section 8 of the co-operative societies act. It was registered on the 30th of November 1982 under number 693. Here the "Svinurayi collective Farming Co-operative Society Limited" will be referred to as the co-operative or the Svinurayi co-operative. On this page the Svinurayi co-operative and its environment will be described in order to analyze the characteristics of the co-operative.
Svinurayi co-operative is based on a former commercial farm called Thabanchu in the Cashel Valley, 88 km south of Mutare in the Manicaland Province of Zimbabwe. During the civil war the commercial farmer was forced to leave and sold his farm to the state, which assigned it as a resettlement farm. The first membership of the co-operative consisted of 33 ex-combatants. As they were not geared to run the farm, they all left and were replaced by the present membership which includes former workers of the commercial farm. The co-operative now has 24 members, of which nine are of the female sex, and is affiliated to the Kugutakushanda district union, which forms part of the nation-wide OCCZIM organisation. The co-operative community has a total population of nearly 100 people.
The objectives of the co-operative are:
To reach the co-operative's
objectives it can make use of 860 hectares of land, of which 63.5 hectares
are arable land.
has experience with growing maize, vegetables (beans, peas, rape and cabbage),
tomatoes and potatoes which are grown on a rotational basis. Besides the
collective land the members of Svinurayi co-operative each
The co-operative owns some cattle (two steers and three heifers) which were donated by the NGO `Force'. A program is started by the district union to increase the cattle stock to a four steers and four heifers combination. On the 23th of May this year the Svinurayi co-operative started poultry keeping. At the moment they have just over 200 chicken and the co-operative intends to buy 200 new chicken each month. As it takes them 8 weeks to fatten the chicken for sale, a maximum of 400 chicken at one time will be at the farm.
C. Organisational analysis
For analyzing the
Svinurayi co-operative organisation a distinction can be made between the
internal and external environment. The characteristics of both will be
combined into a SWOT-matrix to come to some conclusions
1. Internal environment
The internal environment can be analyzed by using the 7_S model as described in chapter 2. Each `S' will be discussed here shortly.
Structure: the structure of the Svinurayi co-operative is of the functional form. The co-operative's daily affairs are taken care of by a management-committee with seven members. The members of the committee are elected annually by the general meeting of the co-operative. Co-operative members are grouped according to the activity they have to take care of. Svinurayi's co-operative structure lacks clear lines of authority and delegation, as one of the principles of Zimbabwean co-operatives is equal share of power.
Strategy: theoretically strategic plans for the co-operative are made by the management committee, with approval of the general meeting. In practice not much is done on strategic planning. Long term aims are set for by example the coffee growing activities (replanting of all trees), but no timeplanning is made. For other agricultural activities only short term planning exist (the planting program for the coming season). Recently a logbook has been started for hydro-system repairs, which can be used in the future for repair planning.
Systems: with help of ITDG recordkeeping systems were started for income generated with the maize grinding mill as well as maintenance on the hydro-system. Work to be carried out for the co-operative, as work on the fields, bookkeeping, running the grinding mill, etcetera, is planned on a weekly basis and each member is assigned to a job. In the morning a bell is rung as a sign to everyone to start his or her assigned job. In the afternoon the same bell gives the stopping time.
Staff: the members of the Svinurayi co-operative were not selected on their capacities to run a farm but to reach the political goal of resettlement. As the farm buildings and the land the co-operative uses are owned by the Zimbabwean state and individual co-operative members are not responsible for any debt of the co-operative, commitment to the co-operative and the farm is very low, resulting in a not-too-good condition of the buildings. The 24 members of the co-operative (plus wives and children) have enough manpower for the daily activities undertaken.
educational level of the co-operative members is rather low, although some
members followed courses. A number of the members of the co-operative used
to work for the commercial farmer who owned the farm formerly. They have
got some experience in the farm work. Management experience of running
a farm is totally absent.
is a collective co-operative were all members have an equal vote in the
actions undertaken by the organisation. This gives the management committee
a very small margin to operate within and to develop a
goals are absent at the Svinurayi co-operative due to an inability
to make decisions and uncertainties about the future.
The money the co-operative earns is equally divided between the members. With their own garden the members can try to improve their income, although this practice is illegal as the co-operative is a collective one. At the moment no costs are assigned to the use of labour (i.e. labour costs are assumed to be zero, although a rate of $2 per hour is used in the calculations, being a reasonable rate for unskilled labour). The monthly family income co-operative members are relying on is about $ 100. At the moment the co-operative has some money saved at the Post Office Savings Bank, which was generated by the maize grinding mill. As the co-operative doesnot own the farm buildings and do not possess any articles of value, no security can be given to a bank.
The co-operative seems to be interested in the rehabilitation of the micro hydro-power plant and can rely on professional help with it. The same situation applies to the coffee growing activities, were also professional help is offered to the coop.
Members of the co-operative cleaned and repaired the hydro-system under supervision of ITDG-Zimbabwe. For the co-operative it is an advantage that this work was not subcontracted but performed by its members, because in this way a better understanding of the hydro-system was created.
2. External environment
The ministry responsible for resettlement is at the moment busy overhauling the policy on resettlement schemes, as most resettlement schemes are functioning very well. This makes the future for Svinurayi co-operative unsure, although there are no indications the co-operative might be dissolved y the responsible ministry. The coop gets much attention from the ministry because of the hydro-power developments. As still a large number of people need to be resettled in Zimbabwe the idea of resettlement farms will remain.
Tighter government budgets because of the structural adjustment program can mean a decrease in government help for the co-operative. Higher prices resulting from the adjustment program might have an impact on the co-operative, as do high inflation rates.
is located in an area of the country not covered by the national electricity
grid and without industrial activities. People mainly rely on agriculture
and incomes are low. Not being connected to the electricity grid can mean
an opportunity as well as a threat: a threat because it can hamper the
uptake of activities in need of power, an opportunity because a market
can be in existence (or be created) for private generated power. As not
many services are provided to the people, large unexploited markets exist.
The internal and
external environment analysis can be combined to the following SWOT-matrix
The major constraint
of the co-operative is the lack of management experience and inability
to make decisions.
D. Svinurayi Hydro-power plant
The micro hydro-power
system at the Svinurayi cooperation was installed during the 1930's. It
consists of the civil works, a penstock and a powerhouset the farm with
the turbine. The turbine is coupled to a 220 Volts direct
The forebay tank itself is about 100 metres above the powerhouse level and is circular with a diameter of 3.65 m with a depth of 1.74 m. There is a short high-level channel connecting the diversion tank with the forebay tank. From the forebay tank water is diverted to two smaller settling tanks which distribute water for domestic supply
The penstock starts at the forebay tank as a twin line with pipes with an outer diameter of 120 mm and after nine metres it joins in a concrete junction to form a single pipe which continues to the turbine. The total length of the line is 412 m. Major leaks in the pipe have been repaired by ITDG using clamp type repair patches, but the pipe is still leaking. The pipe is a cast/ductile iron pipe with lead filled spigot and socket joints. Some joints are leaking and repairs seems to be difficult.
The turbine is a Pelton wheel manufactured in 1933 by Gilbert Gilkes & Gordon in the UK. The estimated power of the turbine is 10 kW. The turbine bearings were very noisy and were replaced in June this year, but still give problems.
The generator is
a direct current unit made by Crompton Parkinson. It is rated at 33 A,
9.5 kV and 1500 rpm. The unit might still be serviceable, but has not been
tested by ITDG as a 220 V DC unit is not useful these days. There is a
pin and bush type flexible coupling between the turbine and the generator.
The generator has a double ended shaft. One end is driven by the turbine,
the other is fitted with a V-belt pulley which drives a layshaft running
at about 3000 rpm. The layshaft drives the grinding mill by an other step-up
E. The hydro rehabilitation
The grinding mill powered by the hydro-system is a source of income and also provides a facility for maize meal processing for the co-operative itself. It stopped functioning in 1991 due to inadequate supplies of water in combination with severe leakages in the channel and penstock.
The rehabilitation falls apart in two pieces; a so-called plan A in which the canal was cleaned and the penstock repaired and a plan B with major investments in new equipment. The aim of plan A was to have the hydro-scheme running again, giving the co-operative the opportunity to become familiar with running the grinding mill and hydro-scheme.
The grinding mill
already starts to generate income for the co-operative. To record this
income a record keeping system was introduced. Milling maize at the
mill takes about 30 minutes per bucket. Potentially this time can be reduced
to about seven minutes. The difference is caused by a reduced power output
of the hydro-turbine due to the leakages in the system.
Extension of the
national grid into Cashel valley is planned, but as no money is available
at the moment and in the foreseeable future, no grid connection is
expected in the near future. Therefore electrification is a possible use
of the hydro-power. This electricity could be used for charging batteries,
to electrify the co-operative's shop, school, beerhall and workshop and
to drive various activities as a coffee pulpery, sunflower oil expelling
and sugarcane crushing.
F. Geographical surroundings of Svinurayi co-operative
The farm occupied
by the Svinurayi co-operative lies in the Cashel valley, 88 km south of
Mutare. In the surroundings of Svinurayi live about 4215 people divided
into the following communities:
Beside these communities
seven plot holders live in the area with a reasonable amount of arable
and irrigatable land.
1. Forestry commission
The Forestry commission
is located approximately 2 km down the road (in the direction of the border)
from Svinurayi. The Forestry commission has two diesel generator sets which
provide the camp 24 hours a day with electricity. The commission owns a
large number of rechargeable batteries for their vehicles, communication
radios and for lighting. They charge their batteries with their own battery
2. ZRP Police camp
The Zimbabwe Republic
Police camp is situated near the Mozambiquean border, three kilometres
3. Quaggas Hoek
The Quaggas Hoek
community is a resettlement scheme relying on agriculture. The community
owns a diesel driven grinding mill donated to them one year ago which they
run for community members as well as outsiders.
Because of their
distance to the Svinurayi co-operative the three communities discussed
above will have great impact on the co-operative. Quaggas Hoek is also
a resettlement scheme which likely has to cope with the same kind of problems
as Svinurayi co-operative. The Quaggas Hoek community is a competitor of
Svinurayi in the field of milling maize, as they also own a grinding mill.
Both the ZRP Police camp as the Forestry commission are relatively closed
communities with some private facilities. Svinurayi co-operative can benefit
from their present in the form of potential customers for services offered.