Cooperative Association for Rural Development (1996)

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This text has been made available in electronic format by
       International Co-operative Alliance (ICA)
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             Benin - Association Cooperative 
            pour le Developpement Rural (ACOODER)

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AP/25.03.96/


ACOODER, ICA member from West Africa was founded in 1971 in
Benin, then Dahomey, as one of regional unions of co-operative
societies active in the sector of service. Few of them
survived the test of time.  After experiencing financial and
management difficulties ACOODER of Banikoara resumed
activities in mid-eighties. 

Its objectives are to represent and defend the interests' of
farmers and craftment, to provide financial, technical and
educational support to the farmer and handicraft self-help and
co-operative organizations. It unites 69 self-help
organizations and 11,000 individual members.

The origines of the co-operative movement in Benin could be
found with the foundation of by 1910  - Societes Indigenes de
Prevoyance - which aimed at providing financial support and
promote agricultural insurance. These existed, after many
transformations until 1960. 

The second wave of co-ops was constitued by consumer co-ops
formed in the forties and fifties, but they had virtually no
impact on development. The period from independence to the
revolution (1960-1972) witnessed the birth of rural co-
operatives of two distict types : voluntary co-ops known as
"regular" co-ops and compulsory co-ops. The regular co-ops
were active principally in production and supply of
agricultural produce for the domestic market, while the
compulsory co-ops were huge farms producing industrial crops
e.g. palm oil.

The epoch of the Popular Republic of Benin and the marxist-
leninist orientations of the new governement have considerably
altered the co-operative landscape. However, newly created
structures such as co-operatively oriented revolutionary
Associations (GRVC) and Socialist Type Experimental
Agriculture Co-operatives (CAETS) did not fulfill the
expectactions of theirs founders.
 
The large democratisation movement launched in 1989 favourably
influenced the co-operative development. A new law was voted
in by Parliament in 1993. 

ACOODER is the third Benin organisation admitted into ICA
membership besides the Centre Panafricain de Formation
Cooperative and the Federation des Caisses de Credit Mutuel
Agricole.