Provincial Council of agriculture

It’s an organisation created in Austrian Trentino starting from 1881, to improve and study the agricultural production of the territory. It played an educational and informative role compared to the cooperative model of Raiffeisen that was developing in the German world: they were promoted to cooperative with unlimited responsibility based in every village.

The Provincial Council of Agriculture of Tyrol (CPA) confronted the models of German credit cooperation proposed by Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen (social security funds) and by Hermann Schulze-Delitzsch (popular banks, Volksbanken). The CPA chose the Raiffeisen model, for two reasons: it was more suitable for the situation of that time in Trentino and it was the closest to the evangelical message of solidarity.

In 1888 Lorenzo Guetti wrote: “Oh how good societies of cooperation and savings and loans institutions could be for the people! You never know if one of us will ever get seriously involved to build something? Meanwhile I’m asking the Council to do more copies of the statute printed in the yearbook and send a hundred copies to this consortium to better declare them and understand their importance”.

Not everybody in Trentino shared the Raiffeisen setting. Vittorio Riccabona, liberal exponent, admits: “Among all the various kinds of political associations, the popular bank is the one that has the best chance to success...the Raiffeisen banks..all of them require a true spirit of sacrifice, unlimited trust, good faith and astute vigilance by the shareholders, which is why they can exist only where the spirit of association is mature and the public credit is already settled and strong”.