There is no doubt that in today’s world establishment of cooperatives is an effective way of attracting people’s involvement at macro level. The agricultural sector is so extensive that achievement of national goals and high levels of development is practically unattainable without active participation by farmers. Provision of a combination of agricultural functional requirements by cooperatives would lead to enhancement of the standard of living of their members. Rural production cooperatives, also known as agricultural cooperatives, are defined as a modern construct with their own specific organization and management. Cooperatives incorporate their own ruling principles, structures, networks, rules, regulations, and bylaws. These features provide concrete benefits in the process of agricultural development. This paper aims to review the activities of rural agricultural production cooperatives in Iran and propose a strategic planning approach for development and institutionalization of their operations. This qualitative research was conducted in Iran using case study and purposeful sampling method. The proposed strategies for promotion of production cooperatives include: provision of support in terms of financial credits, organizational and management expertise, technical know-how and technology, equipment and training, empowerment of members aimed at transforming them into successful farm managers, promotion of team work among members, and extraction of appropriate information and practical advice from research data provided by contemporary investigations. In conclusion, it is proposed that establishment of cooperatives alongside other issues should be considered by policy makers and local leaders and representatives trusted by farmers be involved in their implementation.
Key words: Production cooperative, strategic planning, cooperation, strategy, participation.
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