Associative Sector – a key factor for the development of agriculture in Romania

In the context of the analysis of results of the programme ”Rural development through entrepreneurship and association” financed by Romanian-American Foundation, as well as of the public policies regarding the revitalization of the associative agricultural sector for economic purpose, namely the agricultural cooperatives, Romanian Center for European Policies launches the quantitative analysis of the sector. Its aim is to highlight the reduced size and the early stage of development of the sector.

The research is based on data provided by the National Trade Registry Office on all the agricultural cooperatives registered  in Romania by mid-2015, and the database was completed with information taken from the official documents available online on the websites of other public institutions .

Between 2009 and 2013, 499 agricultural cooperatives were established. The North-Eastern region hosts almost one quarter of the total number of agricultural cooperatives in Romania. In 2014, only 390 cooperatives out of 743 submitted the financial balance sheet. Most cooperatives are first degree cooperatives and have a reduced number of members.

Moreover, among the 63 agricultural cooperatives with growing vegetables as their main activity, only 13 declared  their turnover above zero in 2013 and 15 in 2015. Out of these 13, respectively 15,  two were created through the RAF  programme. These facts reveal how unfavourable the situation regarding the placement of Romanian vegetables on the domestic market is. Therefore, Romanian Center for European Policies sustains the concerted efforts for the consolidation of the agricultural cooperatives sector and the development of associative entities able to respect the cooperative principles.

The research was done as part of the “Rural development through entrepreneurship and association” programme, financed by the Romanian-American Foundation, which, along with organizations with expertise in rural development – PACT, CIVITAS, CSDF, CMSC and CEED , has developed pilot projects for cooperatives in the following areas :Vidra-Ilfov, Apahida-Cluj, Prisăcani-Iași, Suhaia-Teleorman.