Objectives and Activities of JA-ZENCHU

JA-ZENCHU (Central Union of Agricultural Co-operatives) is an apex body of Japan's agricultural co-operative movement, representing the interests of Japanese farmers and their agricultural co-operative organizations (JA Group).

The basic objective of JA-ZENCHU is to contribute to the sound development of activities of the JA Group through formulating the common guideline and programs of their activities as well as through promoting implementations of these programs by the member organizations of the JA Group in this country.

In order to attain such objective, JA-ZENCHU plays various functions, in collaboration with its members of 47 Prefectural Unions of Agricultural Co-operatives throughout the country, including management guidance, auditing, farm policy representation and public relations activities for JAs (agricultural co-operatives) and their business federations. It also provides education and training services to staff members and officials of those organizations.

JA-ZENCHU, an independent nonprofit organization with the membership of all JAs and most of their JA organizations in the country, is operated with membership fees paid by these member organizations.

In the international field, JA-ZENCHU is engaged in many activities for promoting friendly and cooperative relations with a number of agricultural co-operatives and farmers' organizations in the world, while serving as a member of the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) and the International Federation of Agricultural Producers (IFAP) to represent the interests of Japanese farmers and the JA Group.

It also makes continuous contributions to the development of agricultural co-operative movements in developing countries by itself and through its affiliated international training center named IDACA (the Institute for the Development of Agricultural Cooperation in Asia). In 1963, IDACA was established at Tokyo with funds mainly raised by agricultural co-operatives in Japan. The aim of this Institute is to provide training opportunities to leaders of agricultural co-operative organizations in developing countries for advancing their activities and thereby promoting socio-economic betterment in their rural communities.

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