Cooperative in Thailand -> Type of Cooperative -> Agricultural Cooperative

Agricultural cooperatives are established to enable farmer members to engaging in business together, thus helping one another in times of crisis as well as gaining for themselves a better livelihood and quality of life.

A small credit cooperative named Wat Chan Agricultural Cooperative Unlimited Liability established at Muang district, Phitsanulok province on 26 February 1916 was the first agricultural cooperative in the country. From then on, the number of small credit cooperatives had steadily increased until the promulgation of the Cooperative Act, B.E. 2511. Several of these small cooperatives then grouped together, forming agricultural cooperatives at the district level. Larger and stronger cooperatives are, then, expected to provide a wider scope of services to members.


Agricultural cooperatives are generally formed to meet the members' needs as follows:

1. To provide loans to members for productive and providential purposes at affordable interest rates;

2. To encourage members' thrift through savings and deposits;

3. To provide agricultural products and daily necessities for sale to members at reasonable prices;

4. To promote appropriate farm practices and disseminate technical know-how aimed to help members reduce production costs and obtain higher yields. With government assistance, members are introduced to proper cropping techniques as well as use of fertilizers and insecticides. Another service is in the form of farm equipment (e.g., tractors, water pumps, etc.) made available to members at reasonable charge; and

5. To enable members to market products together, thereby obtaining higher prices for their produce and maintaining fairness in terms of weights and measures.

Cooperative Bussiness

At present, agricultural cooperatives engage in various types of business in responding to their members' needs. Generally, the five main areas are loans, savings and deposits, sale of consumer and farm supplies, goods, joint marketing, and agricultural extension and services.


Loan to Member
Through the assistance of Government, the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives, various foundations, and other lending agencies, agricultural cooperative members are now in a better position in accessing loans at low interest rates with grace periods appropriate to their business. Thus loans are generally classified to three categories -- short-term, medium-term and long-term loans. With sufficient loans, members can gain the utmost benefit, enabling them to purchase seedlings, fertilizers, insecticides, farm machineries, by and/or improve land, etc.


Saving and Deposits
Agricultural cooperatives promote thrift because accumulation of savings can help in improving member living standard. Savings can also be used to carry out cooperative businesses that yield profit for both cooperatives and their members. Currently members can have savings and deposits at their cooperatives.


Sale of Consumer Goods and Farm Supplies
Along with credit business, agricultural cooperatives also procure quality products for sale to their members and the general people. The buyers are assured of fair prices and measure when they order together through the cooperatives in a large quantity.


Joint Marketing
Through joint sale of products, members can obtain not only good prices but also fairness in weights and measures. With government assistance some cooperatives have been developed market centers for members' product distribution not only locally but also abroad. A successful example is that of insecticide-free golden bananas now being exported to the Toto Consumer Cooperatives in Japan.


Agricultural Extension and Service
Cooperatives provide agricultural extension and services to members at reasonable fees. Examples are in the areas of plowing, land improvement, irrigation, demonstration farms, etc. Costs are made affordable using the expense-sharing principle.


Type of Agricultural Cooperative
Agricultural cooperatives are generally organized among the people engaging in agricultural earning with varying kinds and degrees of need, thus resulting with various agricultural cooperative types. Besides the general agricultural cooperatives, there are some special types of agricultural cooperative such as:

Water Users Cooperatives. Members of this cooperative type are farmers living in the same area along a canal or other water source which they jointly use. Joint utilization and maintenance of this valuable resource is the main purpose of this cooperative type.

Land Reform Cooperatives. This cooperative type is established as part of the government's land reform program in land reform areas. The main purpose is to assist farmer members in agricultural production as well as to enable them gaining access to capital, agricultural necessities, marketing, saving facilitating and improving members' living conditions.

Special Cooperatives. This is formed among farmers who raise animals such as cattle, swine, etc. Joint marketing of these products enables members to obtain good prices and fairness in trading. Dairy cooperatives are among these. They either process milk for sale in the general market or sell raw milk to private firms producing dairy products.

National Security Command Cooperatives. This cooperative type has been initiated by the Supreme Command to help people in remote areas improving their living conditions through productive occupation promotion.

Rubber Cooperatives. Rubber Cooperatives are organized among rubber planters. Through their cooperatives, the members share various aspects of rubber production and marketing, including product development, processing and managing of the cooperative business.

Cooperatives in the Border Patrol Police School. This special cooperative type is under the auspices of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn who believes in cooperative method of self - help and mutual help which would provide the youth with a meaningful ways of future living.

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The Federation of Savings and Credit Cooperatives of Thailand Limited (FSCT)
199 Moo 2, Nakhon in Road, Bang Si Thong Subdistrict, Bang Kruai District, Nonthaburi Province, 11130
Tel: (+66) 2496 1199 Fax: (+66) 2496 1177 , (+66) 2496 1188  E-mail: