A CPA (Cooperativa de Producción Agropecuaria), or Agricultural Production Cooperative, is a type of agricultural cooperative that exists in Cuba today.
History of CPAs
Agricultural cooperatives similar to CPAs were experimented with in the first few years following the Cuban Revolution.
Between 1977 and 1983, farmers began to collectivize into CPAs. This was done for a variety of reasons. The state offered various incentives to farmers willing to join a CPA. For example, farmers would sell their land to the state, receiving payments for a period of 20 years while also sharing in the fruits of the CPA. Also, joining a CPA allowed individuals who were previously dispersed throughout the countryside to move to a centralized location with increased access to electricity, medical care, housing, and schools.
Currently Cuban farming has moved to a more autonomous system, "Autoconsumo" which meant that Farms would set aside land for provisioning their own workers. Another important change was that foodstuff are no longer delivered by farms to the central marketing agency, but directly to a market for direct distribution, much like voluntary capitalist cooperatives. In this sense state control has yielded to autonomy for the farm.
Autonomy of CPAs
CPAs are operated at a greater level of autonomy from the state than a UBPC or a state farm. Autonomy is limited by centralized economic planning as well as state control over the input market and output market.
Worker Participation of CPAs
CPAs allow for democracy within the workplace. Democratic practice tends to be limited to business decisions and is constrained by the centralized economic planning of the Cuban system.
- Frederick S. Royce, William A. Messina, Jr., and José Alvarez. "An Empirical Study of Income and Performance Incentives on a Cuban Sugarcane CPA." p. 457-471. In Cuba in Transition, Volume 7. (1997)