Reviews in Agricultural Science
Online ISSN : 2187-090X
Agricultural Co-operatives in Four Asian Countries: A Review of Institutional History
Abi P. SiregarCathal O’DonoghueBecky Whay
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2024 Volume 12 Pages 24-44


The institutional history of agricultural co-operatives in Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, and China has similarities in terms of pre-establishment, establishment, and development stages, but relatively different in the side of recognition and introspection, as well as the choice stage. Among the four countries, the initiators of agricultural co-operatives establishment are not only the community/grassroots movement, respectable individuals, and non-governmental organizations, but also the government. Once the government oversees agricultural co-operative development, it uses its political power to position the organization as a state agency. By that, facilities are given to accelerate the policy makers’ goals and positively impact the agricultural co-operatives’ organizational growth. However, the farmer-members in Japan recognized that the co-operatives do not accommodate their needs. Later, with the aid from the new-regime government, the agricultural co-operative in the country was gradually reinvented. In South Korea, the farmer-members disagree with the decision from the government to use agricultural co-operatives as parastatal. Therefore, they later pooled their resources, urged changes, and successfully ran the agricultural co-operatives per se. On the other hand, in Indonesia, when the government loosened its ties, agricultural co-operatives with sufficient human resources reinvented or spawned the organization. In contrast, the ones with poor management quality chose the status quo or exit. In China, the loophole in the government policy encouraged more private companies or prominent capital entrepreneurs to run the co-operatives instead of farmers. Consequently, agricultural co-operatives with no actual member farmers focused on commercial activities unrelated to the members’ needs or placed the farmers merely as the users, not the decision-makers, could be found within the country. The review of institutional history emphasizes the importance of further study about the longevity of government-led and non-governmental-led agricultural co-operatives.

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© 2024 The Uniited Graduate Schools of Agricultural Sciences, Japan
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