Cooperation is a mutual idea among human beings. According to Ijere (1992), cooperative all over the world are instruments of social and economic transformation. As an organization voluntarily entered into and democratically managed by the people, their impact in a country depends on the environment and priority in the national plan. This paper therefore x-rays the role of agricultural cooperatives in agricultural production which include production credit delivery and marketing of agricultural products among others. The paper also discusses the causes of poverty and the missing link in the past poverty alleviation programmes in Nigeria. The paper suggests suitable measures for poverty reductions in Nigeria. The paper therefore recommended that policy markets, technocrats, civil servants, administrators, agriculturists and Nigeria public should embrace agricultural cooperatives to increase output leading to poverty reduction.
Cooperation is a natural idea among human beings. People have been cooperative with each other in one way or another since the dawn of human history (Lekhi and Singh, 2012). The cooperative movement has an objective, an idea, and a purpose. Margret Dighy cited in Lekhi and Singh (2012), opines only through cooperative institutions can the common man influence the direction of social and economic change in a decision manner.
According to Ijere (1992), cooperatives all over the world, are instruments of social and economic transformation. As an organization voluntarily entered into and democratically managed by the people, their impact in a country depends on the environment and priority in the national plan. The economic problems of the society which cooperative organizations are meant to solve extend from production to marketing, credit and thrift saving, processing, packaging and storage, Cooperatives have a great potential in achieving these favourable changes, bearing in mind their inherent emphasis on cooperative Education, Democratic Government, equitable sharing of dividends and the observance of ethical values in business.
One of the most discussed issues in Nigeria in recent times is that of agricultural development, Agriculture is a major sector in developed economies. Its importance become more paramount and manifest in an economy undergoing structural adjustment like Nigeria economy.
Agriculture plays fundamental roles in the development of the economy and any nation; this is due to its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), generation of gainful employment, provision of food and fibre for the population, provision of raw materials to industries and foreign exchange return to Nigeria(CBN 1998).Experience has shown, according to Edowu (1986) that no modern developing country around the world could have achieved rapid industrialization without having previously or simultaneously attained a market increase in agricultural production.
In recognition of the importance of agriculture to the Nigerian economy, a successive government in Nigeria has undertaken various policy measures to revitalize the agricultural sector. In all these policy variables, there is little consensus with respect to the most appropriate strategy for securing increased farm output and productivity in an underdeveloped economy in Nigeria.
The farm business, like most other business ventures, needs large (lump-sum) amounts of capital to start and /or to expand. Unfortunately, most farmers in Nigeria are never in the position to finance such investments out of their own personal savings. Thus, “outside funding” is generally considered necessary in order to induce more capital investment in the agricultural sector of the economy.
Despite the fact that the nation is blessed with abundant human and national resources which are favourable for agricultural development, agriculture in Nigeria is dominated by small scale farmers, who are responsible for about 90 percent of the total production. These farmers are characterized by low farm income and low technological in-puts. Agriculture in Nigeria is characterized by a multitude of small scale farmers over a wide expenses of land area with holding ranging from 0.5 to 3 hectares. Ijere (1992) observed that they engaged largely in subsistence farming and thus have limited turn over and income. The most organized is the family unit, made up of the man, his wife or wives and children, Demand for increased in production will call for a change in the above arrangement, it will mean bringing farmers together.
Undoubted, most government projects will demand an organization far beyond what the family can offer. Thus irrigation schemes, large scale framing such as farm settlement, group farm, integrated agricultural projects and national accelerated food production schemes are best carried out under consolidated agricultural holding, drawing from hired labour and enjoying of a suitable marketing arrangements.
Only cooperative Association can satisfy the above arrangement. He cooperative association possesses legal arrangements recognized and guaranteed by the state, with checks and balances for the protection of both the members and the economy; cooperative have the advantages of large members and better organization and therefore can obtain loan at extremely low interest rates, they can produce and market extensively and at reduced cost. In addition, cooperatives are also admirably suited for investment of funds in viable project, approved by knowledgeable officers.
In a simply word, poverty is a social phenomenon in which a section of the society is unable to fulfill even its necessities of life (Kehhi, 2011). However, when a substantial segment of a society is deprived of the minimum level of living and continues at a bare subsistence level, this society is said to be plagued with mass poverty. To study the extent of poverty, there is no appropriate and reliable statistical data. Even then economist and other organizations have conducted the studies to assess the incidence of poverty in terms of distribution of income and consumption.
Cooperative according to Strickland (1934), is an association of individuals to secure common economic end by honest means. In the words of Henry Calvert “ it is a form of organization wherein the persons voluntarily associate together as human on the basis of quality in the promotion of economic interest of themselves. Moreover, Fayi has defined a cooperative society as an association for the purpose of joint trading, better farming, better business, better living originating from the weak and conducted always in an unselfish spirit in such terms that all who are prepared and assume the duties of membership may share its reward in proportion to the degree in which they make use of the association.
A glance over these definitions of cooperatives reveals that the development of cooperative organization so far has been among smaller economic units. Starting with small primary units, cooperative later developed in huge organs. Cooperatives have enormous scope where weak economic units predominate. As in our country Nigeria, there are large number of small units in agricultural business, vast numbers of small industrial enterprises, artisans, labourers and consumers units. All long as the productive level continued to remain futile. One of the most essential requirements of the planning in this country is to organize them in such a manner that they become interest in planning and are induced to act appropriately without any cohesion.
Co-operatives and Poverty Reduction
With the persistence of poverty in the rural areas and the attendant institutional problems associated with the poverty alleviation schemes in Nigeria, attaining the success in the poverty alleviation programme requires the organization of productive cooperatives as one of the most effective and workable solutions to the Farm (Olayide, 1995).
Under the poverty alleviation programme, cooperativization of agriculture may meaningfully take the form of voluntary, mobilized and regulated forms , depending on the social, economic, cultural, attitudinal, as well as land, water and other resources endowments of the various crop and ecological zones of the country. Four types of cooperatives can be organized using any of the three principles mentioned above (voluntary, mobilized regulated).
First, is the voluntary small holder co-operation which involves voluntary association for dual purpose and multi-purpose producer societies with the promotion and liberalization of institutional agricultural credit guarantee scheme (ACGS), the association will programme. This form of voluntary small holder co-operatives can be encouraged and organized in local government area (LGA) basis under the aegis of the state committee on poverty alleviation scheme.
Secondly, the unionized farmer cooperativization (UFC) which is the mobilization of farmer unions through registration. According to Olayide (1995), there is the need for a national legislation on cooperativazation for the effective mobilization of this form of unionized association under the poverty alleviation scheme.
Thirdly, the Cooperative Producer Association (CPA) which is a regulated association of private producers. Olayide (1995) concluded that if national registration regulars the membership, funding resources endowment and corporation of such an association, many illiterate people and retires from all works of life will enter into agriculture to the benefit and success of poverty alleviation scheme.
Fourthly, is the collectivized community cooperativazation (CCC) which is regulated association of producers on community basis. Many communities in Nigeria have developed various programmes of self-help schemes through voluntary and sometimes is organized enforced collected of fund. Citing the example from Oyo Ogun and Ondo State, Olayide (1995) observed such schemes were encouraged with marching grants. Under the poverty alleviation scheme, legislation can be enacted to regulate the collectivized community cooperativization with respect to project, size of project, self –help capital, magnitude of matching grants and format for organization monitoring. There can be no doubt that the spirit of self help is still very much alive in Nigeria's rural communities and this can be, subjected to meaningful and purposeful cooperatization through workable regulations. Olayedi (1995) asserted that in the United States, cooperatization has featured and continues to expand under promotional and regulatory instruments. Hence, there are products, supplies, marketing, processing, rural electricity, rural telephone, rural water supplies, and rural transportation cooperatives among others.
Under poverty alleviation scheme, cooperation can bring the small holder/ farmers and private individuals together in a joint venture to solve the farm, food and nutrition problems of Nigeria agriculture, if religiously managed by the organizations discussed above. The advantage includes:
· Expansion of hectare under specific arable crops.
· Rise in agricultural productivity through package of improved production technology.
· Minimum cost with optimum coverage under maximum output.
· Efficiency utilization of pooled productive resources.
· Provision of income earning employment opportunities in agriculture, this eliminating rural underemployment.
· The promotion of a holistic and integrated rural development conducive to the national self sufficiency and instability.
Missing Link in the Past Poverty Alleviation Policies in Nigeria
According to Omada (2006) poverty is a problem that needs to be given attention to order to solve it. The essence of the concern is to improve the life of human being and empower them to become more productive as to participate, effectively in the nation's economy and contribute to the growth of the nation. Because of these broad objectives almost every government had embarked on one form of poverty alleviation programme or the other, so poverty alleviation scheme is not new. What are these schemes and to what extent have they succeeded.
In Nigeria, the first attempt to alleviate poverty can be traced to the early efforts made by the colonial government to improve the yield of the farmers and the various community development programmes embarked upon by them. The postcolonial government's concern for alleviating poverty had led to the establishment of various institutions and programmes like produce Marketing Boards. Others include National Land Development Authority (NALDA) to handle cocoa farm in the Western State, palm- kernel from Eastern State and cotton and groundnut from the Northern States for easy exportation of these produce which earn foreign exchange for the country: the cooperative farmers then sold their produces to these produce boards which earned them better price for the produce resulting in increase in their income (Iyere, 1992). National; Primary Healthcare Programme, National Agency for Mass Literacy the People Bank of Nigeria, National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Directorate for Roads and Rural Infrastructure (DFRRL). Agricultural Development Programme (ADP) Better Life for Rural Woman (BLP) and Family Support Programme (BL/FSP). Family Economic Advancement Programme (FEAP), Low Cost Housing Scheme, Federal Urban Mass Transit Agency, Nigerian Agricultural and Cooperative Bank (NACB), Community Bank, Petroleum (Special Trust Fund (PTF), Mass Mobilization for Social Justice and
Economic Recovery (MEMSER), Rivers Basin Development Authorities , Nomadic Education Programme, oil and Mineral Producing Area Development Committee (OMPADEC) are aimed at poverty alleviation.
Between 1999 to date (2017) the various regimes have pursued a number of poverty alleviation programmes. These include: the National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP). It major component are Mandatory Attachments Programme (MAP), Youth Empowerment Scheme (YES), Capacity Credit Programme (CCP), Keke NAPEP, and the Capacity Acquisition Programme (CAP). Other poverty alleviation programme of this regime is the Universal Basic Education, Free Feeding Scheme, and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Although these programme and institutions made modest achievements, it has been pointed out that these institutions and programmes are not without problems. The problems are as a result of the missing links in the policy articulation, formulation and implementation. Most of the programmes are poorly implemented and its projects uncompleted; its staff unqualified and dismal monitoring and supervision.
According to Patrick (2006), one fundamental missing link in the policy articulation formulation and implementation of all poverty alleviation schemes in Nigeria is that community members, particularly the poor for whom the scheme is meant have little or no input in the policy planning and execution, neither are they involved in the monitoring and evaluation of the programme. These programs are rather boardroom programmes devoid of the actual needs of the people as would have been expressed by them if proper need assessment has been done. In Nigeria, there has not been done. In Nigeria, there has not been an effective Participatory Assessment (PPA) for designing poverty alleviation programme.
Also, the non –participation of the people imposes the twin problem of accountability and transparency in the implementation of the schemes. The operators of the schemes are not accountable to the people whom the scheme is meant neither was there an effective accountable system by the government to check the activities of the operators. In most cases, the programme is seen as a patronage to extend party or political largesse to its loyalists.
Patrick (2006) cited Boye (1999), submits that there is so much duplication of efforts and institutional replication. Although public policy is incremental in nature, much of what is established, as new poverty alleviation programmes are mere replication of existing or an old one. For instance, what the present National Poverty Eradication Programmes, Agency is doing in its Capacity Acquisition Programme was what National
Directorate of Employment used to do. What should then the government do to enhance the capacity of NDE for greater performance? Since government often merely creates new agency without regard to the problems of existing structure, the problem which confront the old structure that results in its failure are reproduced in the new system. This results in unmitigated of most of the poverty alleviation programmes. Policy makers often do not address policy problems and take cognizance of the policy implementers and consequently undermine every effort for rudimentary achievement.
Considering the number of people that had been trained by NDE and other poverty alleviation agencies, most people would have been self employed and even become employers of labour. But this is not the case because there was no adequate process of integration for the trainees after training.
Cooperatives and Agricultural Production
Cooperative and agricultural production will be looked into from two perspectives, namely, financing through owned or borrowed capital and cooperatives as an intermediary or on –lending agent.
Mobilization of saving
The operation of a co-operative society and indeed an agricultural co-operative society normally starts with saving, mobilization and any co- operative society is good vehicle for mobilizing capital at the grass-root level. There is usually provision in the bye-laws of cooperative societies for regular compulsory savings as one of their objectives. Even though individual member's saving may be low, they constitute a regular source of capital for the society. This regular and even growing pool of savings ensures that some funds are available as working capital. Unsound and inadequate financing has led to the collapse of many cooperative societies. Other sources of cooperative fund include:
Entrance Fee: A membership fee is usually paid to qualify as a member of the society. This does not constitute any reasonable source of fund it will relate to what the rural farmer can easily afford. It is non refundable.
Share Capital: Every member is also expected to contribute at least the nominal share capital. This does not attract any effect as compared with share capital in Limited Liability Company. Share capital cooperative society is usually low.
Special Deposit: Like share capital, special deposit by members does not raise any reasonable fund in a cooperative organization interest on such deposit is also not attractive.
Reserves: The cooperative law provides that a certain percentage of the surplus of a society at the end of a year's business should be passed into a generated fund reserve. This fund is indivisible and grows years after years.
Borrowing: Where internally generated fund within the society becomes inadequate to meet the society commitment or members demand, the society will resort to external borrowing. We shall now examine the various area where cooperative play importance roles in agricultural financing.
Financing of agricultural production can be carried out either on cooperative communal project or financing individual's member's projects. It has been observed (Adeleye, 1986) that cooperators performs rather poorly on cooperative collective project like group farmers, but do much better on their individual farm projects financed with loan from their cooperative societies. It can still be argued, however, that fund used on a collective farm stands a better utilization since the possibility of fund diversion is totally ruled out, unlike credit to individual members that can be diverted to unproductive means.
The process of agricultural marketing includes all those activities, arrangement, and preparation which assist the cooperative farmer in disposing of his marketable produce. The area of agricultural marketing is rather the most important area where cooperative loan is very remarkable. Cooperative agricultural produce marketing is usually associated with agricultural credits. This was very pronounced in the early days of cooperative marketing unions in the country.
The farmers need pre-seasonal loan which were easily provided by the cooperative unions. The payment of such loans was usually tied to the members produce marketing. During the harvest, members were expected to deliver their produce to their respective primary societies which in turn are affiliated to cooperative unions. The produce is then graded, processed and bagged in readiness for delivery to their respective commodity boards. From point of delivery to the primary cooperative, individual members thus transfer the whole marketing functions including cost to the society. As scheduled crops prices are normally fixed and the farmers get their prices less the loan and marketing cost.
More important in this arrangement is that members do not necessarily have to wait until the produce is sold before collecting their money. At the point of delivery, part payments are made to the farmers and this enable the farmer plan his spending. The process of agricultural credits either for production or produce marketing is less cumbersome through the cooperatives. Unlike commercial banks, cooperatives are in a better position tio access the credit needs of their farmers –members. Both administrative costs as well as monitoring and recovery costs are low as a result of their nearness to the operational locations of their members.
The need for members to provide collateral securities in form of developed properties does not arise. All the members have to provide two guarantors who are also financial members of the same cooperative society. The borrowers must have contributed shares and savings deposits before they qualify for a loan.
In case of default, both the savings/deposits and share capital both the debtor and his guarantors are forfeited and applied to repay the loan. This is a safeguard that makes lending to cooperative societies very effective, especially in cooperative marketing unions where the Repayment is tied to produce delivery and loan repayment is recovered from the member's produce proceeds.
In addition to the above marketing functions, there are other services which cooperative societies can provide for their members either through owned or borrowed capital. They are:
Storage: The storage of agricultural produce may serve several purposes, e.g. transit storage while awaiting shipping date, storing members produce for redistribution to them for subsistence, feeding of livestock or feeding storage to balance supply and demand, and offering facilities which allow the prevention of spoilage, deterioration of quality, shrinkage and pilferage. The cooperative can provide the storage facilities for members centrally at reduced charges.
Transportation: Transportation or produce haulage is a difficult and expensive aspect of agriculture. Procuring vehicles by the peasant farmer is rather impossible due to the small scale of production resulting in low income. Cooperative unions usually purchase relevant vehicles to collect their members produce from agreed collection points for delivery to the appropriate union's warehouses. The costs of such services are deducted from members produce prices.
Packing: Cooperative organizations also provide standard container or other packing materials to the farmers before the season to ensure uniform parking. Proper packing is essential with many agricultural crops to avoid lose in further handling and transportation.
Processing: In some cases, the cooperative society will undertake to process the crops of their members before sale. Necessary processing machines and equipment are purchased and installed by the society for members use. In such a case the society's by-laws provide that members must deliver their produce to the society for such processing to ensure capacity utilization. This also ensures that members farm produce are not sold in the raw form to the middlemen at quality very low prices. Thus high stranded of produce grading is achieved to the benefit of the members.
Agricultural Input Supply: The need for timely supply of agricultural input to farmers cannot be overemphasized. The produce merchants who performed this function for the farmers lacked the necessary agricultural extension services to educate them, on the correct method of application and use necessary agricultural input.
The only alternative savior for the farmers is to turn their cooperative societies, which on their part combined these services with agricultural financing. Agricultural input supply to farmer includes such functions as:
These functions though appear to the simple, requires good technical knowhow. A good society should after determining the farmer's needs. In assortment, quality, etc select the required quality in order to achieve good result Source of supply should be selected to ensure regular and continuous supply. Time of purchase should be well determined to ensure that the inputs are available at the appropriate time and to avoid deterioration. It is yet another crucial decision for society whether the procurement of the inputs should be financed from own or borrowed capital. Financing through borrowed money requires another decision, that of time of purchasing and taking the loan or overdraft from the financing institution to reduce the interest to be paid and subsequently the cost to members.
The function of agricultural input supply is closely combined with the more important extension services to the farmers. The rural peasant farmers lack the necessary technical know-how in the correct and timely application of the necessary agricultural inputs. Group extension service education could be organized by the government extension workers during cooperative society meetings. This is an important role of cooperative in agricultural financing.
Tractor Hiring Service: In a developing country like Nigeria, accelerated development of agriculture cannot be attained through the use of traditional methods of hand tools, like hang-hoes and cutlasses. The application of modern agricultural equipments like tractors and implements. In this austere period when the cost of tractors and implements are prohibitive and are not within the reach the peasant farmers, establishment of co-operatives hiring unit is a great services to their members. Such machineries and equipment are acquired by a co-operative societies through either own or borrowed capital.
The failure of co-operative societies to implement these services successfully is due to:
Lack of adequate capital to buy enough tractors and implement.
Lack of adequate capital to purchase necessary spare part to carry out necessary maintenance and repair.
Lack of good management
Lack of infrastructure like roads to reach members farms.
Members farm sizes in relation to the equipment.
Despite its relative failure, tractor hiring is a good financial service by cooperative to their members.
Agricultural Insurance: This is another important service the cooperative can provide for the members. Farming business faces more risks as a result of adverse climatic conditions, pest and disease damage to crops and livestock production. Because of high risks, insurance companies trend to turn down policy application in agricultural. Only of recent, the Federal Government established Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Company. It is not certain whether or not the cooperative insurance of Nigeria extended its operation to cover agriculture.
When co-operative banks were established in Nigeria, they could not operate as banks under the banking ordinance 1958 or the Banking Decree of 1969. This is because it is legally impossible for the cooperative Society Law to carry on the business of banking. In order to include banking business in their Memorandum of Association, the co-operative bank of eastern Nigeria (now co-operative commerce bank) the cooperative bank of Western Nigeria ( cooperative Bank Limited) were forced after the banking Ordinance of 1959 came into effect, to give up their charter of cooperative society and to register themselves as companies under the companies act. The same applies to Kano cooperative bank limited and the Kaduna cooperative Bank Limited. The cooperative banks financed co-operative number's operations – production and marketing through pre-seasonal loans.
Such loans were easily recoverable because they were tied to produce marketing through their co-operative unions. This has been discussed earlier on. It suffices to say that co-operative banks played important roles during the agricultural era in this country.
Factors Responsible for Poverty
Poverty is widespread in our country, reasons responsible for this problem are stated below:
Rapid Rising Population: The population during the last fifty years has increased at the rate of 2.2% per annum. On an average, 17 million people are added every year to the population which raised the demand for consumption goods considerably.
Low Productivity in Agriculture: The level of productivity in agriculture is low due to subdivided and fragmented holdings, lack of capital, use of traditional method in cultivation and literacy etc, This is the main cause of poverty in the country.
Under- Utilized Resources: The existences of under employment and disguised unemployment of human resources and under utilization of resources have resulted in low production in agricultural sector. This brought down the standard of living.
Low Rate of Economic Development: The rate of economic development in Nigeria has been below the required level. Therefore, there persists a gap between level of availability and requirement of goods and services. The net result is poverty.
Price Rise: The continuous and steep price has added miseries to the poor. It has benefited a few people in the society and the persons in lower income group find it difficult to get their minimum needs. The job seekers are increasing in number at a higher rate than expansion in employment opportunities.
Shortage of Capital and Able Entrepreneurship: Capital and able entrepreneurship have important role in accelerating the growth. Both are in short making it difficult to increase production significant.
Social Factors: The social set up is still backward and is not conducive to the faster development. Laws of inheritance cost system, tradition and customs are putting hindrance in the way of faster development and have aggravated the problem of poverty.
Political Factors: They exploited the natural resources to suit their interests and the colonial master weakens the industrial base in Nigeria economy. In independent Nigeria, the development plan has been guided by political interest. Hence, the planning was to tackle the problems of poverty and unemployment.
Suitable Measures for Solution
Glaring poverty of this society is neither desirable nor tolerable. Pt Jawahar Nehru has correctly observed, 'in a poor country, there is poverty to redistribute” following measure can go a long way to reduce the poverty.
More Employment Opportunities; Poverty can be eliminated by providing more employment opportunities so that people may be able to meet their basic needs. For this purpose, labour intensive rather than capital intensive techniques can help to solve the problem to a greater extent. During the sixth and seventh five year plan the programmes like integrated rural development programme. Jowahar Rozgar Yojana and rural landless employment guarantee programme etc, have started with a view to eliminate poverty in rural sector.
Minimum Need Programme: The programme of minimum needs can help to reduce poverty. This fact was realized in the early sentries as benefits of growth do not percolate to poor people and less developed countries are left with no choice except to pay direct attention to the basic needs of the low strata of the society. In the fifty five years plan, minimum needs progrmmes was introduced for the first time.
Social Security Programme; The various security schemes like workers compensation act, maternity benefit act, provident fund act, employee state insurance act and other benefit in case of death, disability or disease while on duty can make a frontal attack on poverty.
Establishment of Small Scale Industries: The policy of encouraging cottage and small industries can help to create employment in rural areas especially in backward regions. Moreover, this will transfer resources from surplus areas to deficit without creating much problem of urbanization.
Land Reforms: Land reform has a motto, “land belongs to tiller”, Thus legislature measure were undertaken to abolish zaminsdari system and intermediaries and ceiling on holding was fixed. But it is a bad luck that these land reform lack proper implementation. Even then it is expected that if these reforms are implemented seriously it would yield better result which will be helpful to reduce the income of affluent section.
Spread of Education: Education help to bring out the best in human body mind and spirit. Therefore, it is urgent to provide education facilities to all. The poor should be given special facilities of stipend, free book and contingency allowance, etc. education will help to bring awakening among poor and raise their mental faculty.
Social and Political Atmosphere: Without the active cooperation of the citizen and political leader, poverty cannot be eradicated from Nigeria. A conducive social and political atmosphere is a necessary condition for eradicating poverty from its root.
To provide Minimum Requirement: Ensuring the supply of minimum needs to the poor section of society can help in solving the problem of poverty. For this, the public procurement and distribution system should be improved and strengthened.
Conclusion and Recommendations
Policy makers, technocrats, civil servants or administrators, agriculturists and Nigerian public will need to have a change of heart about the process of agricultural development conducive to self sufficiency in food production. The step from small-scale farming to large scale farming cannot be eliminated or hopped stepped, jumped or by passed through a programming of establishing large-scale farms when the country has a population of about 140 million with 70 percent living in rural areas. The ghost of the national unemployment, convulsion, deprivation and instability of the existing attitude is seriously and menacingly haunting the country. Cooperativization of the poverty alleviation schemes appears the best.
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