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Co-operative Development Division




To promote the growth and development of a strong Co-operative sector, in both financial and non-financial entities.The activities of this Division are promotional, organizational, supervisory, developmental, training, administrative, liquidation, audit, dispute resolution and mediation.





In 2005, the Ministry of Labour and Small Enterprise Development developed a National  Co-operative Policy which re-affirms the major role of Co-operatives in the economic and social life of the people of Trinidad and Tobago, particularly the disadvantaged groups such as youth, women and disabled persons. Additionally, the policy seeks to promote actions that will maximize the full potential of the Co-operative movement. 

The Government in its continued
 recjavascript:void(0);ognition of the central role of 
Co-operatives in the lives of its people has partnered, through the Ministry of
 Labour and Small Enterprise Development, with the ILO/ United Nations DevelopmentProgramme (UNDP) in a Joint Programme aimed at the institutional strengthening of the Ministry and the promotion of entrepreneurship through





The Co-operative Development Division (C.D.D.) of the Ministry is mandated to promote the growth and development of a strong Co-operative sector as well as to regulate the sector on a whole. Our vision is “To be the leading authority for the development of 
Co-operatives into sustainable and viable business enterprises at the national level.”

The C.D.D. has responsibility for more than three hundred (300) active Co-operative Societies, with over $9.5 billion in total assets. More than 500,000 citizens comprise the membership of these societies. We endeavour to “To create an enabling environment in which Co-operatives could contribute towards the socio-economic development of the lives of its members.”

Recently, the Division registered a total of six (6) new junior Co-operatives from locations as diverse as: Mafeking Government Primary School, Speyside High School, Debe Hindu Primary and Carenage Girls’ Government. The Division also works to strengthen the operations and legacy of our agricultural Co-operatives as witnessed by our successes with the Cunupia Farmers Association to the Tobago Cocoa Farmers Association and even the Montserrat Cocoa Farmers Association.





The C.D.D. has improved its service delivery to meet the demands of the Sector and the respective internal and external stakeholders by implementing the following:

  • Draft Business and Strategic Plans for Credit Unions;
  • Quicker approval time by the Commissioner for approvals on: registration, investments, bye-laws amendments and mortgage loans;
  • Creation of monitoring standards for non financial Co-operatives and;
  • Co-ordination of the promotional aspect(s) of the Division’s function by ensuring that Co-operative information is adequately represented at various forums i.e. displays, expositions and outreach programmes. This undertaking focuses on developing unique opportunities to promote non financial Co-operatives and also partners with other Ministries, Divisions and stakeholders.




Over the past four years, the C.D.D. has engaged the general public through the following activities:

Commemorating the Annual Co-operative Day (1st Saturday in July of each year) by conducting expositions and displays and ;

Commemorating the Annual Credit Union Month Week (3rd week in October of each year) by participating in displays hosted by the Trinidad and Tobago Credit Union League in the commemoration of International Credit Union Day from 2008 to 2010.





PSIP is geared towards ensuring that Trinidad and Tobago, and by extension the local 
Co-operative sector, recognizes the important roles and contributions of the Co-operative sector in the development of the nation. Thus the promotion of Co-operatives will be undertaken with the specific sectors in focus namely: agriculture; youth and women; entertainment; housing; tourism and the unemployed. 

The promotion of Co-operatives in these sectors will involve the development of specific material and
 programmes which will include presentations, discussions, publications, radio series, competitions, short videos, web-based information and the use of mentors (individuals who have become successful due to their involvement with Co-operatives). The PSIP of this year 2011/2012 and next year 2012/2013 also considered the implementation of activities in celebration of the United Nations proclaimed International Year of Co-operatives 2012 under the slogan “Co-operative enterprise build a better world”. The implementation of the activities will be undertaken in partnership with the stakeholders of the local
Co-operative sector.






Mr. Karyl Adams was appointed to his present position as Commissioner for Co-operative Development in March 2009. He previously held the position of Co-operative Development Specialist in 2008. Prior to this appointment, he worked as a Co-operative Development Officer at different levels within the Co-operative Development Division of the Ministry of Labour and Small Enterprise Development for approximately fifteen (15) years. Mr. Adams possesses a bachelors degree in Business Administration and is also a graduate of the Cipriani College of Labour and Co-operative Studies with a Diploma in Co-operative Studies. Additionally, Mr. Adams is qualified in Project Management, Financial Management, Human Resource Management and Dispute Resolution.

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