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Rural and agricultural Cooperatives to Facilitate Sustainable Rural Development

The ultimate goal of CORC is to facilitate the sustainable and integrated development of rural areas and agriculture cooperatives," Dr. Shirzad said.

TEHRAN (Iran News) – An official of the Agriculture-Jihad Ministry, by providing a report on the typology of the rural and agricultural cooperatives through the country, said the and agricultural cooperatives were basically founded to resolve the problems and aftermaths of the executing the Land Reformation ACT in 1963.

Hossein Shirzad who is also the chairman of the Board of the Directors of the Central Organization of the Rural Cooperatives of Iran (CORC), said organizing the cropping procedures, good agriculture practice, and applying modern agro-technologies through the development of the farmers’ organization constitute the existential philosophy of the CORC.

“The ultimate goal of CORC is to facilitate the sustainable and integrated development of rural areas and agriculture cooperatives. CORC is realizing the above-mentioned goal through the development of the rural and agricultural cooperatives or other forms of the Farmers’ organizations as well as enhancing the efficiency of the existing cooperatives. Procurement of agricultural inputs and machinery, production, purchasing, collecting, packing, processing, and marketing of the crops accompanied by the social empowerment of the farmers are the main activities of the CORC.”, the official said.

Explaining the legal background of the CORC, Shirzad implied that according to the Act of the Rural Cooperative Societies, enacted in 1972, a cooperative is developed through joining the natural and legal entities together to the end of meeting the common needs and improving the social and economic welfare by self-help and mutual aid. Meanwhile, he went on, according to the Article 73 of the above-mentioned Act and the Statutes of the Rural and agricultural cooperatives, farmers,  sericulture farmers, apiculture farmers, and rural craftsmen develop a cooperative to meet the common and personal needs including purchasing staple goods, procurement of the professional facilities including fodder, poultry feed, agricultural machinery, and transportation facilities, accommodation, drinking and agricultural water for common exploitation.

“Based on the Act of the Rural Cooperative Societies, enacted in 1972, there have been developed 2780 rural cooperatives by now.  About 4.6 million of farmers by membership in these cooperatives are enjoying their services.

The rural and agricultural cooperatives with their relevant unions, as the executive arms of the agricultural sector, are providing different services in the field of the agriculture value chain”, he added.

Describing the hierarchical structure of the rural and agricultural cooperatives, he said that the Central Union of the Rural Production Cooperatives (CURPC) has 30 provincial unions with 683 members.

Elaborating the structural data of the specialized cooperatives, the official referred to the egg-laying chicken agro-cooperatives &unions, he mentioned that this union has 17 members as the provincial members while the individual members of these cooperatives throughout the country amount 1184 farmers. Meanwhile, the central union of the broiler chicken agro-cooperative with 27 provincial unions provides service to 21946 poultry farmers organized in 270 agro cooperatives nationwide.

Central Union of Iran Animal Farmers (CUIFA) has three members including 31 provincial unions and 476 livestock agro-cooperatives at the county level.

The total memberships of these cooperatives at the primary level are 467,317 animal farmers throughout the country”, he added. Also, he said the Iran Zamin Apiculture union with 36 unions at the provincial level provides service for more than 65000 members nationwide.

Implying the statistical data of the specialized national agro-unions including horticulture union, fishery union, cotton, and breeding union, and light cattle union and tea farmers union Shirzad said that CORC has more than 1825 rural consumer shops and 248 milk collecting centers.

” The capacity of the cold storages and Silages of the CORC amount 60,000 tones and 90,000 tons respectively. Meanwhile, this organization has 28 sorting units, 41 food processing factory and 68 agro-factories which facilitate to improve the welfare of farmers through complementation of the agricultural value chain,” he added

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