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Abstract

Most cooperatives in Kyrgyzstan are production cooperatives – successors of former collective farms. • There are hardly any “pure” service cooperatives, although production cooperatives partially fulfill the function of service cooperatives by providing farm services also to non-members.Cooperatives play a positive role in rural life: o sufficiency of services in any given area improves when cooperatives step in to provide the services; o farmers’ perceived wellbeing is higher for cooperative members than for outsiders. • Taxes are not perceived as a major issue by either cooperative managers or farmers. Tax code provisions exempting cooperatives from profit tax and VAT are generally respected. • Government support plays a minor role in agriculture: most cooperative managers and farmers surveyed report that they do not receive any support. This, however, has not led to a major outcry with demands for more government support in the survey. • Formal cooperation 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 play a positive role in rural life: o sufficiency of services in any given area improves when cooperatives step in to provide the services; o farmers’ perceived wellbeing is higher for cooperative members than for outsiders. • Taxes are not perceived as a major issue by either cooperative managers or farmers. Tax code provisions exempting cooperatives from profit tax and VAT are generally respected. • Government support plays a minor role in agriculture: most cooperative managers and farmers surveyed report that they do not receive any support. This, however, has not led to a major outcry with demands for more government support in the survey. • Formal cooperation 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.

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