An expert explained why agricultural cooperatives in Kazakhstan are failing

An expert explained why agricultural cooperatives in Kazakhstan are failing

Lack of state support, as well as farmers' limited financial, legal and industry expertise, hinder the development of agricultural co-operation in Kazakhstan. Small farmers often do not know how to join cooperatives, according to Almasbek Sadyrbai, leader of an agribusiness movement in Kazakhstan, World of NAN reports.

"Agricultural cooperation, based on global experience, is a powerful tool, and not only in the agricultural sector. Germany is in the lead, where agricultural cooperatives have grown into international concerns. In this country, everything is based on the cooperation, this is a big plus, because farmers do not need to think where to sell their goods, the system is already established, and the farmer remains lucrative - said the expert.

In Kazakhstan, the problem for farmers is selling their produce, Almasbek Sadyrbai said. In order to continue farming and cover expenses, you need to sell your produce profitably. However, in practice, not being able to find a solution, villagers get rid of the farm and start either to leave the village or to engage in a completely different business.

"By uniting in a cooperative, which is a legal entity, with an elected chairman, such issues can be solved. The cooperative finds markets, represents the interests of the farmers, and protects them in various matters. Farmers will no longer have to think where to sell their products. There is stability, assurance," says the head of the agricultural movement.

Among the reasons for the poor development of agricultural cooperation in the country, the expert names the lack of state support, cheap loans, imperfect tax policy, when, for example, subsidies to agricultural cooperatives in the Tax Code of Kazakhstan are written as income, although in fact the subsidies cover the losses of farmers. Because of this, farmers are forced to submit a huge number of reports.

"In Kazakhstan there is also no law on private subsidiary farms. This is very important and also hinders the development of agricultural cooperation. After all, we are talking about the association of small farmers", - emphasizes the expert.

He notes, for example, if we are talking about pasture cooperatives, then in this case the grazing lands, which by law belong to the locality, can also be returned by the cooperative.

"An extremely important issue is to improve farmers' agricultural literacy. Without this, even with strong state support, success can be minimal. That's why we opened accelerated online courses on finance, veterinary medicine, zootechnics, knowledge on cattle breeds and other basic things" said Almasbek Sadyrbai.

It should be noted that according to data from the Bureau of National Statistics in Kazakhstan in 2021 there were 3,147 agricultural cooperatives. However, among them, there are those that are inactive for the above reasons.

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