How to identify Cooperative Societies

Cooperative societies can be defined as a business organization owned by a group of persons with similar interest that will result in mutual benefits in production, distribution and consumption of goods and services, it can also be defined as an organization established by people that come together to protect and promote their own interest

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Features of Cooperative Societies

Membership: Membership is opened to individuals who have common interest

Objective: Not for profit making but to protect the interest of its members

Capital: This is raised by members of the society

Shares: Every member is allowed only one share

Formation: Cooperative societies are formed by two or more people but there is no stipulated maximum number of people, it could be as many people as possible

Voting: Every member has equal voting rights


Types of Cooperative Societies

  1. Retail Cooperative Societies
  2. Marketers Cooperative Societies
  3. Credit and Thrift Cooperative Societies
  4. Producer Cooperative Societies
  5. Consumer Cooperative Societies


  1. Retail Cooperative Societies: This form of Cooperative is pre-occupied with distributive function. It is an association of small-scale retailers who come together and buy goods like the wholesaler. The goods are sold and the profits are distributed among members
  2. Marketers Cooperative Societies: The Marketers Cooperative Societies is one in which group of people, usually producers, come together and each member is responsible for his output. All members of the Cooperatives are expected to sell their output to the cooperative. The cooperative society now has the duty to market the output. Joint marketing enables them to enjoy better prices and better storage facilities.
  3. Credit and Thrift Cooperative Societies: This type of cooperative society otherwise known as thrift and loan society is very common in West Africa. The main objective is to encourage savings among members in order to increase the amount of money available for lending to members. Membership of credit and thrift cooperative is voluntary, it is opened to any individual who is interested in becoming a member, and every member has equal vote and right in the society
  4. Producer Cooperative Societies: It is formed by producers’ especially primary producers with similar products in order to market their products themselves. For instance, in West Africa, agricultural cooperatives are common, where the farmers pool their resources together to buy or hire equipment and therefore taking advantage of the economies of large-scale production
  5. Consumer Cooperative Societies: This type of cooperative society is formed by consumers in order to buy consumer goods in bulk directly from manufacturers at wholesale prices and then sell at retail prices to their members and even non-members. One of the great benefits of this type of co-operatives society is that the exploitative activities of the intermediaries can be averted.
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