The economic crisis is being experienced directly by cooperatives and non-cooperative undertakings alike, but in addition, the cooperative, as an extension of the farm, experiences the recession indirectly through the effects on its members' attitudes. The duality of the cooperative, based on the link between its supplying and purchasing members, offers a good potential but also causes difficulties with regard to the approach to be adopted towards the crisis. The stagnation of growth in agriculture, increasing anxiety about the constant worsening of the terms of trade, and the instinct to save: all these factors are affecting the selling potential of cooperatives (whether for fertilizers, phytosanitary products, energy or feedingstuffs). In the machinery and construction sectors, investment has manifestly suffered owing to high interest rates and unpredictable income variations in the agricultural sector. The situation of agriculture in the present crisis is liable to threaten the profitability of the marketing cooperatives, resulting in reduced investment in storage, handling and processing facilities (for cereals, meat and milk).
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