Largest co-operative opens in Cizirê canton

First published in Turkish on Hawar News Agency on 26 November 2015

QAMIŞLO – The economic activities of the Cizire canton continue with the opening of the largest cooperative. The United People’s Cooperative (Birleşik Halk Kooperatifi), for which 3 thousand people have registered so far, will oversee the distribution of all kinds of basic necessities from food to clothing, homeware to vegetables and fruits. The cooperative, based in Qamışlo, will have branches throughout Rojava. The economic autonomy model of Rojava, which has so far been highlighted for its self-defense capacities, is being knitted knot by knot.

The construction of councils through provincial and town communes in the Cizire canton of Rojava have as part of the preparation of the United People’s Cooperative, which has started on 10 November. This popular cooperative seeks to introduce to the market the products produced in Rojava, where many cooperatives dealing with agricultural production to the processing of animal products have been founded.

Residents can become members for 15 thousand Syrian lira

Ehmed Şiravi, member of the executive committee of the United People’s Cooperative, said the cooperative will have branches in all provinces and towns of Rojava, and all residents of Rojava can become members. Şiravi explained that the minimum membership fee is 15 thousand Syrian lira, while those that pay more will receive proportionally higher revenue.

The communes can also become members

Şiravi said that more than one person can pool their input and become joint members, and other village and town commune can become partners of the United People’s Cooperative.

Remarking that registration in Serêkaniyê, Dirbêsiyê, Til Temir, Hesekê, Amûdê, Girgê legê and Dêrik has been completed, Şiravi added that registrations will continue in Qamişlo and Tirbespiye until 20 January. Saying that 3 thousand people have applied to become members so far, Şiravi also indicated that registrations are recorded in Mala Gel.

From foodstuffs to clothing

The United People’s Cooperative will begin its activities once registration is completed, making purchases and sales of all foodstuffs such as sugar, rice, oil, olives, and legumes, as well as clothing, fruits and vegetables and houseware. The center of the cooperative has been determined as Qamişlo, and provincial and town branches have been prepared.

Purchases from the local population will be prioritized

The United People’s Cooperative will mainly purchase its products from other communes, cooperatives and the wider community, and introduce them to the corresponding markets in its branches. The cooperative will also be able to purchase goods from outside Rojava. However, privilege will be accorded to the regional population, communes, and cooperatives. Arguing that the cooperative will relieve the burden of the embargo that has been ongoing for a long time, Şiravi said that the cooperative will begin its operations in the shortest time possible.