What are the Different Types of Cooperative Societies?
A cooperative society is a group in which the people volunteer to work together to further a common economic interest. Cooperative Societies work on the principles of self-help and Mutual benefit. It works to provide assistance to the members involved in it, and everyone earns a bit of profit from it. It is the perfect example of how collective efforts bear fruits. The members of a cooperative society pool their resources. Then plan out ways to make the best of these resources and try to attain the common objective. In India, if a cooperative society wants to cater to people only in a specific state, it must abide by the rules set forth by that particular state’s cooperative society act. But if a cooperative society wants to serve the people of more than one state, then it needs to comply with the rules set in the Multi-state Cooperative Societies Act of 2002. In this blog, we shall discuss about the types of Cooperative societies in India.
Types of Cooperative Societies
Cooperative societies are created to perform different functions. Different types of Cooperative societies are created to serve the needs of the people. Some of the Major cooperative societies are listed below:
Housing Cooperative Society:
The primary purpose of the Cooperative housing society is to provide a solution to the rising prices of land and housing apartments in the city. The Housing cooperative society (HCS) assists the Middle (Mig) and Low-Income Groups (Lig) in finding affordable housing solutions. In such societies, the members come forth and contribute to buying the land, construct homes over it and later allot it to themselves. For a person to be a member in such HSC, a person needs to either buy a house or purchase shares in the cooperative. This type of cooperative society is popular in urban/ semi-urban areas of the country.
Marketing Cooperative Society:
Marketing Cooperative society (MSC) is an important type of cooperative society. It deals with the sale of agricultural produce. The idea is to help small-scale farmers earn maximum profit from their produce. When farmers become a part of the cooperative, their collective ask helps them have better bargaining power and safeguard them from suffering from individual losses. This also protects the farmers from the intervention of intermediaries who tend to exploit the farmer’s vulnerability. In a Marketing Cooperative society, each person receives the profit as per the produce contributed by him. MSCs also educate the farmers on market prices and try to retrieve the best price by keeping in mind the demand for the product. Cooperative also add additional touches where they grade the food, process and package and transport it to the buyer directly.
Agriculture Cooperative Society:
It is a group of small farmers who voluntarily create an association with an aim to earn a mammoth-sized profit like that of large-scale farming. Agriculture Cooperative Societies elect members who manage the entire land holdings. They also deal with various agencies for inputs such as fertilizers, chemicals, seeds, and other produce. Apart from this, farmers also contribute whatever resource they can provide to the cooperative society. Farmers earn their profit based on the produce earned through the land and contribution made by people.
Credit Cooperative Society:
Credit Cooperative Society is created to foster the habit of savings amongst its members. The cooperative protects its members from the vicious acts of moneylenders who charge high-interest rates. The members make deposits in the form of savings accounts, Fixed/ recurring deposits, pension schemes, etc. Members also receive loans at affordable prices with minimal interest rates and make withdrawals in the form of cash like a bank. These types of cooperative societies are found in rural and urban spaces and are often supported by the governments in the state or the central government.
Producer Cooperative society:
This type of cooperative society is created to empower small producers. The members of the cooperative contribute raw materials, tools and services. When the cost of production reduces due to the input by members, it enables them to have higher profits. The producer themselves end up selling this produce which negates the involvement of the middlemen. Examples of producer cooperative societies include dairy farmers, fishers, weavers, artisans, and tribal producers. They often merge their resource to increase the volume of production, which results in mitigating the market risks and Is mutually beneficial for all the members.
Consumer Cooperative Society:
In Consumer cooperative Societies, members infuse their funds to buy goods in bulk from the producer for the purpose of resale to new customers. The idea is to provide goods at reasonable prices for everyone’s benefit. The aim is not to make a profit in this situation. Members often open large retail outlets wherein they are able to get large producer discounts. This benefit is extended to the consumer also. Such society usually consists of sectors like health care, housing, finance etc.
Cooperative societies are created with a plan to help their members. The Members of these groups volunteer and support each other to achieve a common goal. The members of these groups usually comprise the weaker section of the society who come together to safeguard themselves from the exploitation of economically stronger sections of the society. There are various types of cooperatives societies, each of which is created to cater to the different needs of the members. All cooperative societies must be registered under Cooperative Societies Act to operate in India.