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The Department of Environmental Economics and Management

The Robert H. Smith Faculty
of Agriculture, Food and Environment
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Herzl 229, Rehovot 7610001
Fax: 08-9466267

Department Head:
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Cooperatives in Kyrgyzstan: Findings from a Survey of Cooperatives and Users

Citation:

Lerman, Z. ; Sedik, D. Cooperatives in Kyrgyzstan: Findings from a Survey of Cooperatives and Users. Contributions to Management Science 2017, 233-249.

Abstract:

Most cooperatives in Kyrgyzstan are production cooperatives—successors of former collective farms. There are hardly any “pure” service cooperatives, although a survey conducted as part of this study reveals that production cooperatives partially fulfill the function of service cooperatives by providing farm services also to nonmembers. Most respondents highlight difficulties due to shortage of inputs and inadequate access to farm machinery, including lack of machinery leasing options. Difficulties with product sales, access to financial sources, and veterinary services were highlighted with lower frequency, but still by more than 20% of respondents. These are precisely the problem areas that service cooperatives are designed to overcome. Respondents indicate that cooperatives play a positive role in rural life: they improve service delivery to farmers and the perceived well-being is higher for cooperative members than for outsiders. Formal cooperation as manifested in membership in cooperatives is very limited among the farmers surveyed. Informal cooperation is much more widespread, and the substantial gap between the frequency of formal and informal cooperation (8% and 22% of farmers surveyed, respectively) clearly suggests that there is a large potential for development and adoption of service cooperatives in Kyrgyzstan. Cooperatives in Kyrgyzstan are few in number and widely scattered. More than half the respondents report that there is no cooperative in the vicinity that they can join. Other reasons for not joining a cooperative (fear of losing independence, lack of information about cooperatives) manifest lack of clear understanding of the differences between service and production cooperatives and strongly suggest that cooperative development requires a large-scale information campaign to familiarize the rural population with the working of cooperatives. © Springer International Publishing AG 2017.

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