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Agricultural cooperatives in uncertainty due to delay in promulgation of Law 31335 regulations

The National Coffee Board reported that the 60 days for the regulation of Law 31335 on “Improvement of the associativity of agricultural producers in cooperatives” expired. More than 500 cooperatives are awaiting the promulgation of this regulation, which will allow compliance with the processes of adaptation of statutes, renewal of government bodies and will guarantee cooperative governance.

This law is part of the Government’s actions to undertake the second agrarian reform. The bill for this law was prepared by a mixed technical team made up of officials from the Ministry of Agrarian Development (Midagri) and representatives of the Platform of Agricultural Cooperatives Guilds.

The president of the union of coffee growing organizations, Tomás Córdova Marchena, indicated that the delay of this regulation affects the renewal of governing bodies that were normally chosen on these dates.

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“We have to adapt the statutes, register them in public registers, which takes months. We calculate that it could happen from October, but until today we do not see how long we should wait, “he said.

Also, Córdova added that, at the end of September, a consensus was reached on project of the National Registry of Agricultural Cooperatives, in order to facilitate them in a special registry to access tax benefits of this law, but the regulation has not yet been promulgated.

“It is a bad sign, because this delays the adaptation process. We need Midagri to improve its management, with competent and transparent technicians, and to generate trust with all small farmers ”, he added.

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Córdova indicated that in the work meetings they demanded that the General Directorate of Agrarian Cooperatives advance in the formulation of a plan to promote agrarian cooperativism linked to productive and managerial innovation processes, for which it is necessary to agree on lines of work for the short and medium term.

“We must move from the speeches on the second agrarian reform to effective actions to reactivate small-scale agriculture, in the productive, financial and business areas, to guarantee results that improve the living conditions of business-organized families. We have shown that cooperative association is the sure way for these changes”, He mentioned.

Of the more than 500 cooperatives, 160 correspond to the coffee activity located in 10 regions of the country. “90% have organic and fair trade certification, whose aromatic bean sales in 2020 exceeded 180 million dollars, equivalent to 28% of coffee exports,” Cordova reported.

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