Though, Co-operatives can be formed practically in every walk of life, it is possible to group them as follows:
These are voluntary associations of people with moderate means formed with the object of giving short-term finance to members. They can be classified into two types.
a. Agricultural credit societies:
Generally formed at the villages to provide loans to its members for various productive and unproductive purposes relating to Agriculture.
Chart showing types of Co-operatives CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETIES
Agricultural Credit Societies are of 2 types, i) Rural Credit Societies ii) Primary Societies
(i) Rural Credit Societies:
These are formed in villages or towns. Any ten persons can join and start such rural credit societies. They get funds from members, deposits from rural folk; and loans are taken by them from central co-operative bank of their district. They lend for productive purpose to small farmers and marginal farmers.
(ii) Primary Societies:
These are formed at the village level in order to help their members in developing the savings habit and banking habit. They also help .in collecting rural savings for national development. These have been responsible in preventing the villagers from the exploitation by money lenders and village heads.
They aim at providing adequate loans at cheap rates of interest on easy repayment terms to their members.
b. Non Agricultural Credit Society:
They are formed by people of moderate means in small towns and cities to provide loans to its members for productive purposes. These may be classified into three categories.
(i) Urban Banks:
These are financial institutions formed for the purpose of promoting savings among the members. They also accept deposit from non-members. Usually, these banks offer slightly higher rates of interest when compared to commercial banks and charge slightly lower rates of interest on loans granted. The loans granted are usually long term loans at lower rates of interest.
(ii) Employee’s Credit Societies:
These are societies formed by people with moderate means of income, often; the employees of a business organisation form a society to get credit facilities on long term basis at reasonable rates of interests, repayable periodically. These help the members in getting funds for their personal needs and also to get the benefit of lower rates of interests.
(iii) Workers’ Credit Societies:
These credit societies are formed by unskilled and semi-skilled labourers of an organisation with an intention of providing short term finances to members on the auction basis, repayable on an equated monthly basis along with the interest thereon.
These societies also enable the workers to get loans at low rates of interests and repayment of which is deducted from their wages periodically in small amounts, thus not appearing to be taxing for the workers who are paid very small sums as wages.
Non Credit Societies
These Societies are considered to be a solution for many economic problems. They are formed in different areas of economic life of men. These may be grouped under two categories, a. Agricultural Non-credit Societies : These are societies formed for the purpose of assisting agriculturists in getting different types of services, such as marketing, farming and industrial services; and so the following types,
(i) Co-operative Marketing Societies:
These societies are formed to help agriculturists and individual producers in selling their goods and services and fetching those fair prices. They buy goods from the farmers and sell the same to the public through retail outlets.
By this, even the general public gets the benefits of getting goods at cheaper rates as compared to the market rates prevailing elsewhere, because the middlemen are eliminated by this process.
(ii) Co-operative Farming Societies:
These are mainly formed in order to enable the farmers in getting the benefit of large scale farming. In these societies small agriculturists join together and pool their resources for cultivating their land collectively. These can be classified into 4 types.
1. Co-operative better farming societies
2. Co-operative tenant farming societies
3. Co-operative joint farming societies
4. Co-operative collective farming societies.
1. Co-operative Better Farming Societies are those in which the society purchases seeds, fertilisers, tools, equipments and implements in common for all the members. All the members in their own lands will follow the plan given by the society and use items given by society for cultivation and the output is also sold after pooling together outputs of all members.
2. Co-operative Tenant Farming Societies:
These societies own the lands belonging to the members and lend the same to members who become tenants. The output is sold and the profits distributed to members.
3. Co-operative Joint Farming Societies:
Members of these societies retain the ownership of lands but work on their lands on the daily wages basis. The input is supplied by societies and output is also collectively sold by the society. The members get the wages for working and also a share of profit from the sale of output.
4. Co-operative collective Farming Societies:
In these societies all the members and the society collectively own the lands. All members work in all the lands collectively on daily wage basis and the profits from the sale of output is divided among the members in the ratio of the wages earned by them.
(iii) Industrial Co-operatives:
These are formed to help the artisans like blacksmiths, goldsmiths, potters, cobblers, barbers etc, in selling their outputs or services on a collective basis, charging uniform rates for all the services and also helping those procuring raw materials at reasonable rates. They are also formed in handloom, weaving, cotton ginning, fisheries, poultries, sugar and jaggery production etc.
b. The Non – Agricultural Credit Societies are formed in order to assist the middle and lower income groups of people for rendering different types of services to their members at nominal rates, such as consumer co-operatives, producer co-operatives, housing co-operatives, co-operative warehousing, dairy, poultry etc.
(i) Consumer Co-operatives:
The main intention of forming such societies, by people living in a particular locality or by members belonging to an organisation, is to eliminate middlemen by establishing direct contact with manufacturers. They get essential goods at cheaper rates from manufactures and sell them to members at a nominal profit, which will be distributed to them as bonus or festival gifts every year.
(ii) Manufacturer Co-operatives:
These societies are mainly formed in urban areas by the manufactures belonging to the same industry. E.g. Agarbathi Manufacturers’ Co-operative Society, Sugar mill owners’ Co-operative Societies, Textile Mill owners co-operative Societies, Brick Manufacturers’ Co-operatives etc.
They help their members in getting essential raw materials, Government grants, tax subsidies, skilled and unskilled labour forces, marketing support, transport facilities and other such essential requirements.
(iii) Housing Co-operatives:
These are formed to provide housing facilities either on rental basis or on ownership basis. On rental basis, the societies construct flats and give the same on nominal rents to the members. On the ownership basis they both construct houses and sell them on installment basis to members or they grant long term loans for a period of 15 to 20 years with moderate interest thereon.
(iv) Co-operative Warehouses:
These are formed to help the members in getting the storing facilities. These are mostly found in rural areas for the members to get the facility of storing agricultural inputs or outputs till the time they are dispatched for sale through marketing co-operatives.