Federation of Southern Cooperatives
Land Assistance Fund

CREDIT UNIONS  Credit Unions provide people with Low-interest loans. When enough people save together they can build up a large loan fund, with this money the credit union can make low-interest loans to the same members who are saving their money in the credit union. 

Examples of credit union financial assistance include funding for housing development, small business ventures, as well as educational, personal and consumer loans that are not available to low- income communities through the traditional lending institutions. 

Purchasing Co-ops cut out the middle man by buying directly from the wholesaler. The savings are passed on to the members. 

     Farm supply cooperatives provide the farmer with seed, and farm equipment.

     One thing to remember is that it is difficult for a cooperative to give credit to its members. This is especially true for low-income co-ops. The reason is that the co-op operates on a low margin. This means it doesn't have a lot of extra cash on hand. This is why the

     A petroleum cooperative provides people with gas, oil, tires and other supplies. 

co-op encourages members to buy on a cash basis. 

*  Consumer Cooperatives are retail stores that provide members with quality products at low prices. Consumer cooperative are set up to help people save money on goods they needed to buy. 

     These cooperatives sell food, appliances, furniture, hardware, clothing, drugs and other goods. 

     Consumer co-ops turn the profits that someone else would make into savings for themselves. 

     Sometimes a consumer co-op is organized like a club in which the members come together once a week or twice a month. They buy things they need together without the extra expenses of having to rent or buy a store. 

     Farmer co-ops can be divided into three general areas. These are descriptions only and many cooperatives do not fit solely and clearly into one category or the other.  The three general areas are: Marketing, Supply, and Service. 

     A Marketing Co-op assists farmers in marketing - often bargaining- agricultural products produced by farmers. 

     A Supply Co-op is organized and operated by farmers to supply them with something they require in their farming operations at a better price than if purchased individually. 

     A Service Co-op might provide two advantages to farmers that individual farmers might not be able to afford on their own: (1) acquisition and use of equipment; (2) hiring experts who are technically trained. 

     Service co-ops could include transportation, pest management, soil testing, animal testing, artificial insemination, irrigation, etc. 

* James Barda - Agricultural Cooperative Development International