Cooperative challenges

As one of the possible agro-business models for producers in remote areas, cooperatives pose their own set of challenges:

  • Organising primary producers into cooperatives or producer groups requires high degree of trust between producers and faith in the implementing agency’s commitment and expertise. In many regions, `cooperative’ as a concept does not inspire confidence as existing cooperatives are highly politicised and/or poorly run institutions.
  • Day-to-day management of cooperatives requires knowledge of relevant provisions of law, accounting, and other subjects. It may be difficult to locally recruit suitably qualified staff.
  • A cooperative is not like any other business organisation. It has to be run on principles of democratic participation, equity, accountability and transparency. In strongly hierarchical communities, social transformation is required for cooperatives to be run in their true spirit.
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