The Paphos Cooperative Carob Marketing Union Ltd.

24 CYPRUS REVIEW The Stores and Kibbling Mill of the Paphos Co-operative Carob Marketing Union. The Paphos Cooperative Carob Marketing Union Ltd. By M. Prounzos, Inspector of Co-operative Societies. AROBS are one of the most impor- C tant agricultural products of the Paphos District which produces twenty -five to thirty thousand kantars yearly. Peyia the largest village in the District is the most important carob producing centre, with an average annual produ- ction of about 5,000 kantars. Years ago, merchant moneylenders of Ktima and the Kykkos Monastery erected stores near the sea at Peyia, at which the producers delivered their carobs when they collected them from the trees, to be credited to their loan account with the merchants. Very few were those who could freely take their carobs to their houses, bargain and sell them whenever they liked. In 1944 Peyia Co-operative Credit Society had improved its business to such an extent that it could finance its members with short-term loans and it was in that year and from that village that co-operative pooling of started in the Paphos District. 860 kantars were pooled by the members with the Pcyia Society and they were sold at a price two or three shillings per kantar higher than that paid by the merchants. The following year the effort was repeated and it was followed by some other co-operative societies with satisfactory results, of carobs . In July 1946, the Paphos Co-oper- ative Carob Marketing Union was established, in the same way as in all other carob producing Districts, to deal with the carobs pooled with the various member societies by their members. Originally eleven co~ Operative credit societies participated. By now thirteen others have come in and the societies which marketed: carobs through the Union in 1947 were thirty-seven of which thirteen are Prospective members. At the First General Meeting of the Union, held for the election of officers, it was suggested that it should do its best to kibble and export the member’s carobs. The Committee, though inexperienced and having at their disposal neither kibbling machinery nor empty bags—very scarce at that time—however followed the proposed Programme and successfully faced all the difficulties. They hired kibbling Plants at Lachi and Ktima,kibbled and exported all the’ stock of 6300 kantars and sold the kernels ‘to Tragasol. Seventy and sixty-seven Shillings per kantar were paid to the members for delivery at Ktima and Lachi respectively, after deducting all expences of the Union and £52 commission for its reserve fund. This . price was so satisfactory (8/- to 1ο0/- per kantar higher than the maximum paid by the merchants to their clients) that though the accounts of the mem- bers were cleared very late in June 1947, the quantities pooled of the 1947 crop exceeded those of the μα year by 50 %. ‘The total quantity poole -with the Union in 1947 was about 9500 kantars or 40 % of the whole Pe duction of the District and 80 % of the members’ production. In. cer ad villages all the members Αρπ their complete production. ie Union provided empty 5 Ib bags to . 5 member societies for the use of Me producers in transporting their caro at four and a half piastre each, a very low price. . Ag πλαν difficulties were faced in the storing of the 1946 crop in = stores and in kibbling at separate place with hired machinery, the oe decided to erect its own stores an instal kibbling plant. The sum of £ a 000 was paid for the erection of BF tee to the capacity of go0o kantars an : the necessary machinery. The oe cleaning machine has not yet be received. | of To cover the above sum a loan al £7000 payable by fifteen annual inst (continusd on page 28) 28 / THE PAPHOS COOPERATIVE CAROB MARKETING UNION LTD. (continued from page 24) ments was contracted from Barclays Bank and fixed term deposits and the share capital and reserve fund of the Union were used. If the price paid by the Union to its members for the two years of its work is compared with that obtained by the producers who sold their carobs direct to merchants, it is evident that the members of the Union have already gained more than what they paid to crect their own facto- ry, which is one of the biggest buildings in the District. The building of a second store has now been started at Peyia which will belong to the Peyia C.C.S. and the programme is that more stores should be built at various carob producing centres, so as to facilitate the pooling by the individual producers at the time of gathering and save the Union tran- sport expenses as well as labour at kibbling. All the carobs that have been pooled in 1947 have been sold kibbled, kib- bling has been completed and the cleaning of kernel has started. 670 tons were shipped by the middle of January and the balance will be ship- ped as soon as the weather permits. Kibbling was carried on at the rate of about 30 tons per eight hours and twenty labourers were engaged during the day and other twenty during the night shift. The secretary and the Committee have acquired considerable experience in all the matters concerning the work of the Union and the carob trade, and they have come into touch with various firms dealing in carobs. - The Palestine Co-operative Wholesale Society is one of them to which large sales were effected both last and this year. There is no doubt that the Union is on its way to save the producer the profits of unnecessary middlemen. The Union is always ready to sell carobs at the current wholesale market price to any merchant who demands of its stocks and it does not speculate on price for big stocks. It represents the small producer who used to sell his carobs to the agent merchants at the time of gathering and who, now united with other members, should not become a speculator. Organisa- tion has brought about a better busi- ness for the producer and many other advantages but let him not speculate. Many people have had bitter experi- ence and have lost fortunes due to losses from speculation on the prices of their products. “Constant federation and propa- ganda” is a Rule of Co-operation. Ever since the establishment of the five co-operative carob marketing uni- ons, the proposal has been made for a federation on an Island basis. If this were done a strong organisation would be created which would be in a better position to safeguard the interests of the small producers throughout the Island. With its im- posing size and the large quantity of product under its control the federation would command the respect of those dealing in carobs. It would obtain better terms for the empty bags re- quired and it could make itself known to other countries. A big importer abroad would surely pay more atten- tion to an organisation representing 10,000 tons than to the one with 1000 tons. On the other hand, one of the objects of co-operative pooling is to relieve the producer from competition in the disposal of his products. It is not possible for this competition to dis- appear among the unions until a central organisation representing all of them is established. Each union is trying to sell its members’ carobs ata higher price. So long as the price is going up, those who scll later in the season get a higher pricey but when there is a downward trend, the unions will have to compete with each other by reducing their prices to secure sales. It is not an easy thidg for all the carob marketing unions to acquire the means of manufacture including kernel and syrup making and their export to the consuming countries. Where carobs cannot be kibbled they can be exported whole by the federation and when no shipment can be made from Paphos it may be effected at Fama- gusta or Limassol. In this way only many problems now confronting each union separately may be solved and all the unions may be helped in the accomplishment of their objects. To ensure success, however, goodwill and mutual understanding among the producers’ representatives as well as efforts to help each other are indispensable. {From “Cooperation m Cyprus”), POPE MESO C SOY. OEY 00:0: 0.0:0:0.0:0:0:0:0:0:0:0:40:0.0. PASS