In the case of NES, cooperatives also directly cover the needs of the local population, without commercializing their produce, and support civil organizations.
This economic legacy allowed the development of agricultural cooperatives, which today make up the bulk of NES’ cooperatives. But cooperatives have also developed in other economic spheres: mostly bakeries but also textiles, dairy production, small manufacturing, and even a salt mine.
Cooperatives in NES vary in terms of size and field of activity, but also by type. Some are worker cooperatives, which produce a good or provide a service and gain a profit to be distributed among members. Others are service cooperatives, which are a special type of consumption cooperative: financial capital is gathered by members in order to set up a service for the community, which is directly provided without being commercialized. This is most commonly done in order to purchase a diesel-powered electricity generator for a neighborhood or village, which can provide electricity when the general electricity is out.
Cooperatives are developed on the most local level, the communes, with the support of different bodies: the Cooperatives Bureau of each canton or region, the economy committees of local Women’s Councils, and Aboriya Jin.
To get cooperatives started, the Cooperatives Bureau and Aboriya Jin get in touch with local communes, identify the needs of the commune and introduce them to the principle of cooperatives through training sessions.