Actualidad Cuba

Agricultural Cooperatives Act

Decree 365/2018 and Decree 354/2018

On 24 May the State Gazette published Decree 365/2018 on agricultural cooperatives. The same issue of the Gazette contained Decree 354/2018 which provides its supporting legislation.

The aim of the regulation is to lay out general principles on the constitution, functioning, splitting up, merger and extinction of agricultural cooperatives, regulating the following areas:

Definition of an agricultural cooperative

Under the terms of the regulation, an agricultural cooperative is an economic and social organization within the agricultural and forestry production system for the production and sale of goods – essentially agricultural ones -, as well as service provision by collective management to satisfy social interest and that of the cooperative’s partners.

Types of agricultural cooperatives

The Decree differentiates between three types of cooperative:

  1. Basic Cooperative Production Unit: natural persons who contribute their work or the goods they possess, it receives the land in usufruct, and its assets consist of the goods acquired through purchase or any other title, as well as those obtained from the productive processes carried out.
  2. Agricultural Production Cooperative: small-scale farmers who contribute land or other goods they own to the asset of the cooperative that, once created, can receive land in usufruct. It is also made up of other natural persons who have completed their trial satisfactorily and are admitted by the cooperative’s general assembly.
  3. Loans & Services Cooperative: small-scale farmers who retain the ownership or usufruct of their respective land and other goods, as well as the production they obtain. It is also formed by family members of farmers who have links to the land, beekeepers without land and hired farm laborers who are accepted as members by the cooperative’s general assembly. Its principal functions are to manage the cooperative partners’ access to bank loans, to inputs and to the services that complete technology cycles; to hire and sell production and services, and to contribute to the overall development of the cooperative itself and the surrounding community.

Guiding principles of agricultural cooperatives

The regulation contains the principles that must govern how agricultural cooperatives operate: voluntary action, cooperation and mutual aid, economic self-sufficiency, discipline as a member of the cooperative, sharing of assets, equal rights between cooperative members, territoriality and social responsibility, among others.

Other areas 

The Decree also covers the process of setting up agricultural cooperatives, its relationship with the State and other public bodies; its economic regime; the situation and disciplinary regime of cooperative members and workers hired; as well as the merger, splitting up and extinction of the same.

Supporting regulation: Decree 354

The regulation for Decree 365 addresses questions about its constitution, the functions it performs, economic regime and cooperative members’ rights and duties.

In addition, it contains a chapter on the leadership of these organizations. It regulates how the general assembly is chosen and what it does, and the same for the leadership board, the control and supervision committee, as well as the obligations and powers of the agricultural cooperative’s president.