Development Activities - Agricultural Co-op Development (1997)

This document has been made available in electronic format
by the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA)
February, 1997
(Source: ICA in Asia and the Pacific -Annual Report 1996)

			Agricultural Co-operative Development

3rd ICA/NACF Regional Seminar on Agricultural
Co-operative Business Development

The International Co-operative Alliance Regional Office for Asia and 
the Pacific (ICA ROAP) in collaboration with the National Agricultural
Co-operative Federation of Korea (NACF) organised the 3rd ICA-NACF 
Regional Seminar on  Agricultural Co-operative Business Development 
with Special Reference to Korean Experience.  The seminar was held 
at the Central Training Institute of NACF in Seoul from 6th to 15th 
May 1996.  10 participants from seven countries, i.e. China, India,
Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Philippines and Vietnam attended 
the seminar.

The objectives of the seminar were : (a) To understand the structure
and business activities of agricultural co-operatives in Korea; (b) To 
learn modern computer system and advanced management in 
agricultural co-operative business development; (c) To discus 
applicability of the Korean experience on business development 
to agricultural co-operatives of the participating countries; and 
(d) To formulate action proposals for the organisations/movements 
of the participants, keeping in view the experience gained.

The resource persons from NACF introduced Korean experience 
on supply of farm inputs and consumer goods, marketing, banking
and credit business as well as development strategies of agricultural 
co-operatives.  The participants presented country papers and 
exchanged information of co-operative development in Asian region.

Field visits were arranged to selected co-operatives to give the 
participants an opportunity to observe the functioning of agricultural 
co-operatives in Ohyang and Suanbo Region.  
The participants felt the seminar was well organised and successfully
achieved its objectives.  The participants also formulated several 
proposals to introduce Korean experience to their co-operative
organisations in order to improve co-operative business activities.

Regional Seminar on Agro-Processing
A Regional Seminar on Agro-Processing was organised by the 
International Co-operative Alliance Regional Office for Asia and 
the Pacific (ICA ROAP) and the All China Federation of Supply 
and Marketing Co-operatives (ACFSMC) in Yi Xin Yuan Hotel, 
Dalian, in collaboration with Dalian Federation of Supply and 
Marketing Co-operatives (DFSMC) from 12th to 21st November 
1996.  17 participants from seven countries, i.e. China, India, 
Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, and Sri 
Lanka attended the seminar.
The objectives of the seminar were : (a)To observe the development 
of agro-processing co-operatives in China; (b) To understand the 
structure and activities of agro-processing co-operatives in China; 
(c) To observe women's participation in co-operatives in China; 
(d) To learn technology and management of agro-processing 
co-operatives; and (e) To identify potential areas for future 
co-operation on agro-processing among agricultural co-operatives 
in the region.

Field visits were arranged to the selected agro-processing co-
operatives in Dalian City to give the participants an opportunity 
to see the agro-processing.  

At the end of the seminar, the participants unanimously approved
the following recommendations.

01. The Asia-Pacific region enjoys the considerable comparative 
advantage in production of several agricultural crops, fruits and 
vegetables.  These have vast export potential.  The areas of 
crops  and those produce in which joint collaboration at inter-
national  level is possible should be identified for development 
of pro-cessing of such agro-products in the co-operative sector. 
While demarcating the  areas for specific agricultural activities, 
farmer preferences and need of raw material should be taken into 

02.	Scientific research should focus on bio-technology/bio-
engineering to enhance the agriculture productivity.  Favourable 
working conditions are to be created for the scientists.  They 
should have close mutual interaction with the farming community, 
so that the benefits of the research are reaped without loss of time.

The international regional research institutions may be established 
to promote research efforts of the participating countries depending 
upon the agro-produce dominance.

03.	The Government should encourage only co-operatives in 
agro-processing sector.  The tendency for allowing multinational/
private sector to enter into agro-processing sector should be 
discouraged and stopped.

04. The benefits and concessions granted to the industry by 
Government should be also extended to manufacturing in 
co-operative sector. Tax concessions/benefits already available 
to the co-operatives should be continued.  Agro-processing 
industry should be exempted from paying excise/custom 
duty on import of equipments.

05.	Countries which have evolved more efficient technology in 
the products of seeds, fertilisers, pesticides, insecticides, water 
management, farm equipment should make it readily available to the 
co-operatives in other countries.

06.	We should establish a co-operative network for trade,
technology and economic co-operation among the Asia-Pacific 
countries to initiate and expand trade. For this purpose trade 
missions, trade fairs and exhibitions should be organised on 
rotational basis.  It is necessary to have professional cadre of 
managers conversant with international trade in the apex 

07.	Encourage the co-operatives to work purely on democratic 
lines as per the guiding Statement of Identity of the ICA adopted 
at the Manchester Congress in September 1995.

08.	An Asia-Pacific Regional Co-operative Development Bank 
should be established to support the infrastructure development 
in the participating countries for setting up strong agricultural 
processing base.

09.	Data Banking System on trade and economic co-operation 
should be established.

10.	The small farmers should have freedom of production.  
The Government should guarantee a fair price for farmers.  
Co-operatives should earmark certain part of their profit for 
stabilising the price of such crops where government support 
price is not available.

Asian Women Farm Leaders Conference
The Asian Regional Conference of Top Level Women Farm Leaders 
was jointly organised by the International Co-operative Alliance 
Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ICA ROAP); the Central 
Union of Agricultural Co-operatives (JA ZENCHU); the Institute 
for the Development of Agricultural Co-operation Asia (IDACA); 
and the Afro-Asian Rural Reconstruction Organisation (AARRO) 
in Tokyo from 20th to 26th October 1996. 

104 participants, including 44 observers of JA Prefectural Women's 
Associations in Japan, from 24 countries (Bangladesh, Cambodia, 
China, Egypt, Fiji, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Jordan, 
Kenya, Republic of Korea, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mauritius, 
Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Syria,  Thailand and Vietnam); 
and five international organisations (FAO, ILO, AARRO, IFAP and 
ICA) attended the Conference.

The main objectives of the Conference include exchange of views 
and experiences on the role of rural women in their participation in 
agricultural co-operatives, to protect their dignity and raising the 
living standards of rural women engaged in agricultural sector 
through income generating activities and better working 

The participants prepared a brief background paper on 
(a) their organisation, its involvement in women-related 
activities specifically of rural women; and (b) an outline of 
a suggested plan of action for enhancing the participation of 
women in better living activities aimed at improving their 
standards of living and involvement in development work of 
agricultural co-ops and distributed at the Conference. 

Field visits were arranged on 24th Oct. to give the participants 
an opportunity to observe the functioning of agricultural co-ops 
in Kyoto Prefecture.

At the closing session of the Conference held on 23rd October, 
the participants unanimously approved a Resolution on 
Women's participation in agricultural co-operatives. 

Promotion of Co-op Trade
The ICA ROAP conducted a survey on co-op trade among 
member organisations in the region and compiled a basic information 
on co-op trade in Asia-Pacific region which laid down the base for 
further development of regional data bank on co-op trade.  According 
to the recommendations made by the Regional Assembly, the proposal 
of establishing Co-op Network for Trade, Technology and Economic 
Co-operation was finalised.  Some initiatives were taken to hold the 
1st Meeting of the Co-operative Network.

Resolution of Regional Women Farm Leaders
We, leaders of Asian and African farm women in different positions, 
who belong to ICA and AARRO and who are engaged in activities to 
elevate the position of farm women have assembled here and discussed 
many problems.

We have assembled here to discuss how to implement at the local and 
state levels the action policy proposed at the Fourth World Conference 
on Women through solidarity of women and to exchange information.

Today, Asian and African farm women are faced with highly varied 
problems.  There is no end to problems such as malnutrition and 
shortage of water and health facilities which cause high rate of infant 
mortality and care of pregnant women.  Farm women in general are 
gasping under constant overwork by carrying on their back all household 
chores, child upbringing and production activities.

Women in Asia and Africa have been deprived of educational 
opportunities due to social and cultural constraints.  The conditions 
in which Asian and African farm women are placed were reported to 
the Conference.

Because of the rapid increase in population, the farm women have been 
deprived of the minimum required services for bringing up their children.

It was reported that as development projects progress, natural environment 
is destroyed and farmers are deprived of land and production means.  
This sacrifice stemming from the growing disparity between the rich and 
the poor is burdening heavily on the shoulders of women.

1.	Appeal to Government of All Countries

i.	In order to resolve these problems, the governments of all countries are 
requested to recognise the importance of development of agriculture and 
farming villages to grasp accurately the conditions in which their farm 
women are placed and to enable them to display their abilities to the 
fullest extent.  They have to recognise that this is an important common 
task which the governments of all countries have to grapple with for the 
sake of world peace.

ii.	Based on this recognition, the governments of each country have to 
revise legal, structural and conventional contradictions in each policy area, 
such as agriculture, environment, education and medical care, give shape to 
plans to solve these problems, and make efforts to push drastic policy 
measures to resolve these problems.

iii.	It is necessary for the governments to provide more support to 
co-operative system through appropriate policy and legislation so that 
various problems faced by women through co-operative organisations 
would be solved.

2.	Appeal to Co-operatives

i.	Women, whether an individual or an organisation, may take the 
initiative in planning and action.  Particularly, they would proceed 
while taking part  in the management of co-operatives on their 
own initiative.

ii.	In farming villages, in particular, women have to strengthen 
their attitude to grapple with their immediate and urgent problems, 
such as equal opportunities for education, safe drinking water, 
upgrading of medical facilities, overcoming conventional contra-
dictions and expansion of  opportunities to obtain loans.

iii.	 It is necessary, at first and foremost, for co-operatives to 
try to develop  a mechanism for excavating and accumulating 
proper and effective field-cases initiated by women farmers in 
order to exchange views among themselves  at a positive way 
domestically and internationally.

iv.	 It is necessary for co-operatives to appeal the governments 
of their respective countries so that this Resolution would be 
put into practice at the earliest date.