In my last article I introduced the idea of micro-lending as a tool to alleviate the economic station of the poorest Filipinos in the barrio. I must admit that the impact of micro-lending is somewhat limited, but it is effective in keeping the very poor "productive" and "participating" instead of being unemployed and a burden to society.
Unless you amplify the impact of micro-lending institutions, I believe this can be achieved by organizing micro-entrepreneurs (microprenuers) to form a cooperative.
My proposal is to marry micro-lending institutions with cooperatives, lets call these organizations micro-cooperatives for the purposes of this discussion. Micro-cooperatives can become umbrella organizations with quasi-corporate presence that can create greater value added products that can compete locally and even internationally.
However, I must stress that these Micro-cooperative institutions must have built in mechanisms to educate, reward good performance/traits and punish the opposite.
I am inclined to believe that Micro-cooperatives will do well to alleviate the economy of the Philippines. The Department of Agriculture credits much of the Philippines GDP growth in 2004 from agriculture cooperative. The Philippines has a comparative advantage in agriculture, so it just makes sense to establish Micro-cooperatives in the barrios.
As we speak government is attempting to marry concepts of micro-lending and cooperatives to micropreneurs who are open to "agro-forestry" and think of it as a viable enterprise. One good advantage about this livelyhood project is that workers will do their "farming" on areas still classified as "timberland". That means they have no landowners to pay homage to except the government. This will at least decrease the number of people who are still hoping that CARP (Comprehensive Agrarian Reform) will save them from poverty, see link below for entire article.
Folks, if government and private enterprise will join together we do have a fighting chance.
Imagine the possibilities!
Read Solution to Poverty Part I: Provide Capital to the Poor at the following link: