Agricultural Cooperatives and Unions of Cooperatives in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Opportunities for Improvement

Given the breakup of Yugoslavia and the ensuing war, there has been massive changes in the agricultural structure in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In particular, the remade cooperatives and the unions of cooperatives that are supposed to serve them are struggling. This paper examines the needs of the agricultural cooperatives to be more successful and identifies what support will likely come from the unions of cooperatives and what must come from other sources. Data was obtained in three ways: 1) questionnaires to a large group of cooperatives, 2) focus groups with a smaller number of cooperatives, and 3) personal interviews with union of cooperatives representatives. The findings indicated that the unions of cooperatives are working on institutional issues such as registering and auditing cooperatives, and resolving land ownership conflicts. However, since the cooperatives are not familiar with the market economy, they also need help in business management, marketing, legal services, and organizational effectiveness. It is not likely that the unions will be able to help the cooperatives with these issues. New partners such as the Ministry of Agriculture, colleges of agriculture, or non-governmental organizations should be tasked with providing this educational support.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2020-10-28

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