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|Wednesday, October 17, 2001, updated at 16:17(GMT+8)|
Rural Civilian Cooperative Associations Booming in ZhejiangRural civilian organizations for economic cooperation in east China's Zhejiang Province have become the most effective catalysts for hastening local farmers' adoption of the market principle.
To date, over 2,600 new types of non-governmental cooperative associations such as professional institutes and special cooperatives have been established voluntarily by farmers with a total membership of 200,000 and aggregated fixed assets of 500 million yuan (about 60.24 million US dollars).
With the aim of improving the production and sales of specific farm produce, these associations have brought together thousands of rural producers who are engaged in a wide variety of areas such as cultivation, processing, transportation and distribution.
Difficulties formerly encountered by small commodity producers have been solved as farmers seek advice and are given guidance from these associations in either the application of new technology or the relevant market information.
One example is that in Jiangshan City in the province, the average benefits to apiaries affiliated to the local Beekeeping Industrialized Association are 15-percent higher than that of independent apiaries.
Under the association are 36 beekeeping benefit and cooperation associations, seven beekeeping companies, five major bee products processors as well as seven sales and distribution outlets.
In Zhouxiang County of Cixi City, the Huanghuali Association has successfully introduced the latest technology on species improvement.
As the county's 10,000-mu (about 666 hectares) of pear orchards has brought in 100 million yuan ( about 12 million US dollars), local farmers consider pear planting to be an excellent source of income.
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