EghtesadOnline: A total of 22,885 people with disabilities are members of Iran's cooperative enterprises, says Mohammad Kabiri, an official with the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare.
“The highest number of people with disabilities, who are members of cooperatives, is registered in Khorasan Razavi Province with 8,103, followed by Isfahan Province with 3,455, Gilan Province with 2,191 and Hamedan Province with 2,015,” Kabiri was quoted as saying by IRNA.
According to Bahman Abdollahi, the head of Iran Chamber of Cooperatives, the country’s cooperative sector has created 1.8 million jobs in different economic fields, Fars News Agency reported.
“There are more than 94,000 cooperative firms with 18 million members in the country’s 31 provinces. These are active in a host of fields, including transportation, agriculture, construction, mines and services,” he said.
The official noted that cooperative companies account for 70% and 60% of Iran’s agricultural production and transportation sectors respectively.
A cooperative is a jointly-owned enterprise engaged in the production or distribution of goods or the supply of services, operated by its members for their mutual benefit, typically organized by consumers or farmers. Cooperative businesses are typically more economically resilient than many other forms of enterprise, with twice the number of cooperatives surviving their first five years compared with other business ownership models. They frequently pursue social goals by investing a proportion of trading profits back into their communities.
The parliament has tasked the government with increasing the share of cooperatives in gross domestic product to 25% by the end of the Sixth Five-Year Development Plan (2022).
According to Abdollahi, the current share of cooperatives in GDP is around 7%.