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2007-2008 Northwest China Projects

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After the successful project in 2005-06 to introduce co-operatives to eight villages a further twelve cooperatives will be formed in Shandan to harness the enthusiasm and demand from villages to participate. Four of these will be based on non-production activities which may include forming a rural credit cooperative for management of cash flow within the membership, a consumer cooperative in which members benefit from the bulk purchase of goods and services, including materials required for a variety of livelihood activities, or a machinery cooperative in which members engaged in different livelihood activities have access to machinery, e.g. small tractors, rather than individual ownership.

The Shandan Cooperative Federation supports the existing cooperatives in Shandan and part of this project is to provide advanced training for the three men and two women staff in cooperative establishment.

These projects are centred in Shandan, where NZCFS has a long history of involvement and encourage the practice of the legacy of Rewi Alley, who had a focus on rural development through practical education and forming cooperatives. This is increasingly relevant to current Chinese government policy to develop poor rural communities, with recognition of cooperatives as a useful tool in developing local economies.