Italian Center for Documentation on Cooperation and Social Economy | Virtual museum - Algeria

Virtual Museum
of cooperatives


Cooperative activity in Algeria dates from a legislative initiative in 1893 authorizing the establishment of local provident societies. The first formal organization of one of these, however, took place only in 1901. A diversified network of agriculture-related cooperatives emerged shortly thereafter, and growth continued through the World War II years. Cooperatives were involved in the production of cereals, citrus fruits, cotton, olive oil, tobacco and wine; in the operations of distilleries and dairies; and in supplying agricultural machinery and providing agricultural credit. By 1945 there were 365 agricultural cooperatives and 204 rural credit cooperatives. Agitation for independence and a redistribution of power and resources, followed by an armed uprising, led to independence in 1962 and with it the exodus of over half a million French settlers. Experiments in group farming on expropriated land, agricultural credit for the indigenous population, cooperatives among the military, production cooperatives paralleling state industries, and housing and consumer cooperatives have marked the years up to the present. The ILO Director (1988) reported 6.060 agricultural (including credit) cooperatives, 890 consumer, 10 industrial and an undetermined number of housing cooperatives. Complete information on numbers of members was unavailable.
Jack Shaffer, Historical Dictionary of the Cooperative Movement, The Scarecrow Press, Inc. Lanham, Md., & London 1999.

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