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5.7: Use in Agricultural and Community Development Programs

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  • Many international development programs that operate in agriculture and rural development promote the cooperative structure of business. The rationale is that, because of its foundations in principles associated with democracy and collective decision-making, the structure is appealing to economic development at a grass roots level. It has been widely used to create food marketing cooperatives in such products as cocoa, coffee, dairy, and certain types of vegetables, and in many African, Southeast Asian, Oceania, and Latin American countries. Many countries have adopted favorable practices to encourage the development of cooperatives, including public investments in applied research, technical assistance, and studies on the economic impact of cooperatives and mutual insurance firms.