Chile’s agriculture minister Antonio Walker has announced a meeting of Congress in October to explore “the best legislation to reinvigorate modern co-operativism in Chile”.
Speaking at a special session on co-operatives, organised by the senator of the Los Ríos region, Alfonso de Urresti, the minister said: “Co-operatives represent the most important opportunity for the development of the economy and our agriculture.”
Of Chile’s 300,000 farmers in Chile, 285,000 work at small scale, and Mr Walker is calling for greater co-operation and collaboration within the sector.
“The ministry of agriculture strongly advocates modern co-operativism, productive alliances, forming teams and breaking individualism, because this game is won as a team – and the way to do that is by promoting co-operation,” he said. “We have a very demanding international market in terms of volume and quality, and for that we have to unite, we have to come together – and co-operativism is a central issue.”
The session, held at Chile’s national Congress, was also attended by the president of the Senate, Carlos Montes, and the president of the agriculture committee, Carmen Gloria Aravena.
Mr Walker said initiatives to unite farmers and encourage co-operation “are in line with what we want to develop in the ministry of agriculture’s public policies.
“We have to form a team to adapt Chilean agriculture to the modern co-operativism that’s working in other parts of the world,” he added. “We’re working on this – it’s a very important focus for our ministry and we are going to hold an international congress on October 3 and 4, where we are inviting senators to participate and support us to explore what is the best legislation to reinvigorate modern co-operativism in Chile.”