14 rural cooperatives in Azilal (High Atlas) receive training in pricing strategies

By Pommelien da Silva Cosme, Morocco Programme Director; Hafida Mazoud, GDF Rural Entrepeneurship Consultant and Mohamed Ouknin, MBLA Local Product Commercialisation Coordinator

Photos by Ibtissam Bouseta

Together with our partner, Moroccan Biodiversity & Livelihoods Association (MBLA), we have been supporting rural High Atlas cooperatives for the past three years by offering training and advice to help improve their sales and marketing. Based on feedback from cooperative members during previous workshops, we organised a two-day training on financial management and product pricing.

On a Saturday morning in November 2021, 19 participants representing 14 different cooperatives gathered at the local University Centre in Azila to kick off the workshops. We invited expert consultant Rachi Ettahiri from Siaq.int, a service cooperative specialised in supporting organisations and entrepreneurs, to facilitate the training.

We enjoyed the interactive exercises that were carried out throughout all the sessions. Through a practical case study called “Ali’s business at risk”, participants assessed the viability of a small business and identified issues on cost calculation. This process helped them understand how to distinguish fixed and variable costs, calculate profit, identify the main factors that influence loss, and more.

Participants during a cost calculation exercise to identify mistakes

During other sessions, cooperative members acquired the necessary skills to calculate all costs and determine selling prices of their products by including fixed costs (office rent, supplies, etc), as well as evaluating the existing product market and comparing prices with competitors. 

Through different role play games, participants practised some of the skills needed to effectively negotiate such as active listening, managing expectations and showing integrity.

“The workshop on pricing strategy proved to be an essential workshop for cooperatives in the region of Azilal”, says Mohamed, MBLA Local Product Commercialisation Coordinator. 

“All participants expressed the need to really understand and master skills for calculation of costs, setting selling prices and learning negotiation techniques,” he continues. “By the end of the workshop, the participants discovered important mistakes to avoid in price calculation by taking into account all necessary expenses,” he says. 

Thanks to the support of MAVA Foundation and Darwin Initiative, in addition to the expertise provided by partners MBLA and Siaq.int Cooperative, we continue to support rural cooperatives in strengthening their product commercialisation. 

Expert Rachid Ettahiri from Siaq.int explaining cost calculation of products

Group picture with all participants