EghtesadOnline: A total of 383 cooperative projects worth 30 trillion rials ($113 million) were recently launched across the country.
“These cooperative projects, 281 of which are urban and the remaining 102 are rural, have created a total of 26,691 jobs,” First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri was quoted as saying by IRNA in an inaugural videoconferencing last week.
Isfahan with 69, Khuzestan with 58, Fars with 26 and Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari with 24 topped the list of provinces with the highest number of launched projects.
Cooperatives in the fields of production, industries and mining, housing, agriculture and services with 217, 105, 97, 89 and 69 respectively had the highest share of these projects.
These projects created the largest number of jobs in the fields of housing (13,649), production (6,762), services (6,233), industries and mines (3,073), and agriculture (2,814).
The provinces of Khuzestan with 3,892, Tehran with 2,532 and Fars with 1,992 had the highest share of the generated jobs.
The highest amount of investments pertained to projects launched in the fields of housing with 14.27 trillion rials ($54 million), followed by production with 13.58 trillion rials ($51 million), industries and mines with 8.96 trillion rials ($34 million), services with 2.19 trillion rials ($8 million) and agriculture with 1.8 trillion rials ($7 million).
The provinces that received the highest amount of investments were Tehran with 4 trillion rials ($15 million), Qom with 3.74 trillion rials ($14 million), Yazd with 2.89 trillion ($11 million) and Khuzestan with 2.25 trillion ($8.5 million).
According to Mohammad Kabiri, deputy cooperatives minister, currently 94,000 cooperatives are active in Iran in different fields with over 10 million members, which have generated a total of 1.7 million jobs.
A cooperative refers to a firm owned, controlled and operated by a group of users for their own benefit. Each member contributes equity capital and shares in the control of the firm on the basis of one-member, one-vote principle (and not in proportion to one’s equity contribution). These are enterprises 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 Bahman Abdollahi, the head of Iran Chamber of Cooperatives, the current share of cooperatives in GDP is around 7%.