Specialized Farmers Cooperatives Gain Momentum
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Chen Xianglin, founder of Deshuncheng Farmer Consulting, speaks at the farmer economic cooperation forum in Beijing on Tuesday. The two-day forum was organized by LSM Rural Reconstruction Center, an institute devoted to finding sustainable and balanced development in China's rural areas. [CnDG by Jiao Meng]
The development of specialized farmer cooperatives is gaining momentum in China, experts said at a farmer economic cooperation forum in Beijing on Tuesday.
The two-day forum was organized by LSM Rural Reconstruction Center, an institute devoted to finding sustainable and balanced development in China's rural areas. It invited more than 150 participants, including experts, farmers and NGO founders, to discuss this new form in rural China.
According to the Law on Specialized Farmer Cooperatives, specialized farmer cooperatives are mutual-help economic organizations joined voluntarily and managed in a democratic manner by producers and operators of the same kind of farm products or by the providers or users of services for the same kind of agricultural production and operation.
Since the concept was introduced in October 2006, these organizations have expanded rapidly. There were more than 310,000 organizations registered at the industrial and commercial bureau as of June, covering 10 percent of the rural population.
Chen Xianglin, founder of Deshuncheng Farmer Consulting, said farmer cooperatives are a good solution for increasing farmers' incomes and raising their market status.
"Single farmers cannot bargain prices neither in agricultural materials nor in their produces," Chen said. "But once they unite as one cooperative, they can have more say."
Chinese farmer cooperatives can look to their South Koran and Japanese counterparts, said Li Zhonghua, dean of Qingdao Agriculture University's Cooperatives College.
He said that 98 percent of South Korean farmers are part of cooperatives, while Japanese cooperatives have access to credit and insurance. "China could do more to promote rural finance services in economic cooperatives," Li said.
(China Development Gateway by Jiao Meng December 9, 2010)