A co-operative society is an autonomous organization of persons, associated voluntarily to accomplish their basic needs and aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically controlled organization. The co-operative societies are active in almost all the countries worldwide and are present in all the sectors including agriculture, food, finance, health care, marketing, insurance & credit.
Agriculture continues to be the engine of economic growth in most developing countries. These co-operative societies help farmers to overcome many of their difficulties. The cooperative societies work on several principles, one of which is to work for the community’s sustainable development. In India, there are a number of successful co-operatives such as Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO) and Krishak Bharati Cooperative Limited (KRIBHCO) in the fertilizer sector and some Self Help Groups (SHG) formed by various institutions which have immensely benefited the farmer members in enhancing their overall income by supporting them in different ways.
Suitable Farming Systems (SFS) produces year-round employment and sustainable income through crops, fruits, vegetables and livestock. Some co-operatives like Indian Farm Forestry Development Co-operative Ltd (IFFDC) have taken an initiative to go in for agro forestry combining the plantation of various trees such as fruit trees, forest trees and fuel trees so that the overall climate can be improved on the wastelands. This has helped ecological resilience and enhancement of rural livelihood among the farmer community which has immensely benefitted in increasing efficiency of various agriculture inputs and crop productivity and thereby making good profit.