In 2006 to 2008, two NZCFS projects established 29 cooperatives in Shandan county, enhancing the capacity of Shandan to serve as a model county for cooperative promotion, and establishing Shandan Bailie School as a centre for cooperative training. A further project was implemented from September 2008 to June 2010 to extend the establishment of model cooperatives in four counties of Zhangye district (Shandan is also in Zhangye district). This was titled:
Establish cooperative Trainer of Trainers programme at Shandan Bailie School and extend coops in 4 new counties of Zhangye.
Total $50,634: NZCFS 10,127; KOHA $40,507 September 2008 to June 2010
The project concluded in June 2010 with an end of project workshop for cooperative trainers and coop leaders to share experiences, and evaluate the approach to establishing coops. During the project, a trainer of trainer programme for cooperative promoters was enhanced, developing the capacity for this programme to be delivered in the future through Shandan Bailie School to further projects.
This project created an effective tiered system of local coop trainers , including coop leaders, township and county
women’ federation and government personnel . Thirteen cooperatives were established during this project, with an average membership of 185 households.
One of these, the “Minle County Xingtian Township Maohong Agriculture Expert Products Cooperative” was formerly a Farmer Association that registered as a coop in Dec 2008, 3 months after attending the first Project training workshop in September that year. By April 2010, the coop had 1230 members, and has various contracts for supply of produce from 20,000 mu (about 1300 hectares) of land, including a contract for sunflower seed from 3000 mu to supply the Beijing Agronomy Garden. Two women hold key roles in the leadership, with a role to contract non-members to supply the coop with produce. One of these women, Miss Zhang, is vice-director and in charge of financial management, the other is cashier and coop accountant.
This project concludes 4 years of cooperative development work in the Shandan/Zhangye area, and is a significant outcome for the overall NZCFS programme goal to establish a Rural Development Training Centre for the
NW of China based at Shandan Bailie School. This has now been used by several international cooperative development projects drawing trainees from at least 8 provinces, and will be included in a new NZCFS cooperative development project in Shaanxi starting in March 2011.