Assistant Professor, Chair of Management, Armenian State University of Economics, Yerevan, Armenia
Dr., Research Associate, Department of Agricultural Markets, Marketing and World Agricultural Trade, Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO), Halle (Saale), Germany
The creation of agricultural cooperatives has become one of the major priorities in the sector of agriculture in Armenia. Being a post-Soviet country, Armenia greatly depends on agriculture. According to the data of National Statistical Service of Armenia 20.5 percent of Armenian GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is generated from the agricultural sector of the economy, and hence it is one of the priorities of development of Armenian economy (Armstat, 2016). Nowadays people leaving in rural municipalities of Armenia do not have necessary funding to acquire consumer services, such as housing, education, social benefits, telecommunication, credit, and other financial services (Movsisyan, 2013). In this context, agricultural cooperatives, as a major component of the food and agriculture industry, can help them to market their products and enable them to supply at competitive price levels. The continuous creation of agricultural cooperatives in rural communities is distinguished among priorities of the government. So, one of the main goals of government in this sector must be the enhancing of participation of households to agricultural cooperatives. This paper examines the main factors that influence participation of households to cooperatives. It finds out that there is a need to enhance people’s awareness about the benefits of agricultural cooperatives. The paper also examines the impact of agricultural cooperatives on household’s income and welfare.
Keywords: agricultural cooperative, cooperative movement, voluntary association, cooperative participation, cooperative identity
JEL classification: M10, O20, Q13, P32