ACTED and its partners organized a “Cooperatives Fair” in a leading Nablus university early April, providing sixteen rural cooperatives from the Salfit and Qalqiliya governorates with a venue to display their skills, give the larger community a chance to sample their products first hand and involve them in promoting their work.

The day-long event allowed the community, especially students, to see how these cooperatives had successfully produced good quality local products and get involved in their growth. Visitors could find various products such as handmade soap, food, dairy livestock products and even traditional embroidery skills.

ACTED is implementing a two-year rural cooperative strengthening project in partnership with the Economic & Social Development Centre and PlaNet Finance, with funding from the European Union. With more than 700 direct beneficiary cooperative members, the project aims to build the capacities of the choosed cooperatives.”We consider our participation in this exhibition is a great opportunity to promote products of our cooperative and to encourage young people to engage in voluntary work in cooperatives,” rejoiced Intesar, president of the Seir Organic Agriculture Cooperative.

A series of technical training sessions were conducted, where cooperative members were taught about dried food processing, livestock management and veterinary health. The improvements in their production process had a direct effect on the quality of the products and this Cooperatives fair was aimed at promoting these efforts through introducing their products to the larger community and getting direct feedback.

Several marketing companies and distributors were invited to the fair, as encouraged by ACTED to form agreements with the cooperatives.