Nicolas Ruellas Canas is a member of the Coopain Cabana cooperative, which SOS Faim has supported since 1998. This co-op groups together 544 members, 68% of whom are women. The co-op provides access to national and international markets and its members have a guarantee that their production will be sold at a good price. Coopain Cabana means high quality and certified quinoa production as well as solidarity among farmers.
Nicolas shares his experience with us as a member of the cooperative, reviewing the progress made so far but also his own hopes and expectations.
« My name is Nicolas Ruellas Calas. I am 67 years old, I am married and have 8 children. I have been a member of the cooperative for 5 years. I decided to become a member in order to improve our production and in doing so, to improve our living conditions.
The co-op did indeed increase the income that I obtain from my production. When there was no cooperative, middlemen used to buy our products according to their requirements and not to ours, the market was not regulated. Thanks to the co-op, the prices are now regulated which is very convenient for us. Now, I receive a fair and adequate price for my production, thus ensuring a decent income for me.
The co-op also helped us produce organically, without the use of chemicals; everything is now cultivated incorporating only green manure.
Coopain Cabana also supplies agricultural tools and machinery, up until then we had nothing. This is of great help to us.
If something should be further improved, I think that it would be the organisation of the coop in the first place, and also finding new markets on which we could sell our products. »