The order of President of Russia Vladimir Putin to pay special attention to the support of agricultural cooperation, expressed in the annual address to the Federal Assembly, started to be filled with specific actions of the government and proposals of trade unions and social movements. The Ministry of agriculture is preparing amendments to the law on agricultural cooperation designed to eliminate the existing contradictions. The representatives of industrial unions believe that by 2030, agricultural cooperatives will be able to make a breakthrough — from 0.5% to 30% share in the total volume of production of agricultural products.
As it was reported in the Association of private farmers and agricultural cooperatives of Russia, a working group of industry representatives, scientists and officials of the Ministry of agriculture is making proposals on amending legislation in respect of agricultural cooperatives. The group is planning to send their proposals to the government for further consideration.
President of the Association of private farmers and agricultural cooperatives of Russia Vladimir Plotnikov has explained to “Izvestia” that currently there are contradictions in the legislation relating to taxation: for example, VAT is taken twice from the farmer — first from the farmer himself, then from the cooperative that sells its products.
— It is necessary to adjust the law on cooperatives. But if the Head of state mentioned this in his address to the Federal Assembly, we are confident that now the issue will be resolved accurately and quickly, — says Plotnikov.
We will remind, on December 1 Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a message to the Federal Assembly. Among other issues, he specifically touched upon the need to support cooperative farming.
— In order our farmers have new opportunities to enter the market, it is necessary to pay special attention to the support of agricultural cooperation, — said the Head of state.
Vladimir Plotnikov said that this is possible even within a tight budget for the next year. Despite the fact that in 2017 it is allocated only 800 million rubles for these purposes, since the next year the power for distribution of state funds for supporting agriculture will be transferred to the regional level, that, taking to account the opinion of the President, may adjust funding, increasing support for agricultural cooperation. Besides, it is possible to change the system of state support for farmers: to allocate the same subsidies per litre of milk only to those who are members of the cooperative.
Member of the working group "Fair and efficient economy", Head of the subgroup "Agriculture" of All-Russia people’s front Mikhail Maltsev recalled that Russia was the originator of this phenomenon. At the beginning of the last century dozens of millions of peasants were involved in production cooperatives. And almost the whole world followed our example: in America, Germany, France and many other developed countries 50% of agricultural products is produced by cooperatives of small producers. In Russia nowadays, according to official statistics, agricultural cooperatives produce only 0.5% of the total volume of agricultural products.
The role of cooperatives in modern agriculture is heavily undervalued, says Mikhail Maltsev.
— It is a non — profit organization that transfers all proceeds down to the manufacturer. All the money received from the final product on the shelf, goes down to the manufacturer of the raw material. It is already proved that either large producers, agricultural holdings or cooperatives may be cost-effective as some small manufacturers cannot compete with such giants. The only way is cooperation, — said the expert.
According to him, at the last Congress of the Association of private farmers and agricultural cooperatives of Russia in November this year participants set a target to achieve if not 50%, but 30% share in the total volume of agricultural products produced by cooperatives.
— It would be great to implement a program 30:30 to ensure 30% of production by cooperatives of small forms by 2030. But for this we need to refocus support of small cooperatives. Today they can receive state support independently. But the support is not always effective for individual producers, — said Mikhail Maltsev.
Head of the Dairy Union Arkady Ponomarev agreed with the need to develop cooperation in Russia. He reminds us that now our country has a subprogramme for the development of wholesale distribution centres.
— However, it does not solve the general problem of the support of farming. It is unlikely that the farmer will afford a loan of several billion to build a distribution center. State support again will be directed to the non-manufacturing sector - business connected with retail by special contractual relations, and which is part of the structure of trade networks. We won’t achieve the desired industry effect in this way. It is better to move in the direction of consumer cooperative societies. This is a direct support mechanism for farmers. It has to be revived and developed, he explains.
At the Congress of agricultural cooperatives in November 2016 Deputy Minister of agriculture Dzhambulat Hatuov reminded that the regions were instructed to create at least 1.5 thousand agricultural cooperatives in the period of 2016-2017. According to him, currently, the agricultural cooperatives can obtain almost all types of state support provided to agricultural producers. In addition, since 2015 under the state program of agriculture development for 2013-2020 the Ministry of agriculture has implemented a grant support of consumers ' cooperatives for the development of material-technical base.
At the end of the 2015-2016 238 cooperatives received grants for construction, reconstruction of production facilities, purchase of machinery and equipment, the payment of the fee for lease agreements, 1,3 billion rubles was transferred to the regions.
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