Agricultural and food cooperatives represent a significant portion of the global cooperative sector in developed and developing countries

February 22, 2015

Agricultural and food cooperatives represent a significant portion of the global cooperative sector in developed and developing countries; 30 percent of the 300 largest cooperatives are found in the agriculture sector. These can assume a variety of forms, from small, grassroots associations to unions, federations and chambers of agriculture. Worldwide, cooperatives have more than 1 billion members, a large proportion of which are in the agriculture sector. In Brazil, 37 percent of agricultural GDP is produced through cooperatives; in Egypt, 4 million farmers earn their income through cooperative membership; in Ethiopia the equivalent figure is 900 000; and in India, 16.5 million litres of milk are collected every day from 12 million farmers in dairy cooperatives. In Europe, agricultural cooperatives have an overall market share of about 60 percent of the processing and marketing of agricultural commodities and about 50 percent of the supply of inputs.

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