Nelly Bassily | July 20, 2009
Farmers co-operatives can benefit members in many ways. They can improve access to resources, facilitate knowledge sharing, and boost social status. Co-operatives often focus on the processing and marketing of an agricultural product. The following stories from past FRWs provide some examples:
–“Burkina Faso: Women live better thanks to cooperative’s fair trade certification” (FRW#68, June 2009)
–“Uganda: Organic certification allows farmers to tap export market” (FRW#68, June 2009)
–“Uganda: Group marketing restores farmer profits after conflict” (FRW #48, December 2008)
–“Uganda: Women farmers drive the economy with sunflower oil” (FRW #45, November 2008)
–“Rwanda: Processing bananas changes lives in Rwanda” (FRW #41, November 2008)
–“Democratic Republic of the Congo: Women farmers process cassava to improve their livelihoods” (FRW#35, September 2008)
For Farm Radio International scripts on the subject of cooperatives, go to: http://farmradio.org/english/radio-scripts/cooperatives.asp.
Do farmers in your area work together to obtain better market prices for their products? You may wish to find a farmers’ group and prepare a news story or arrange an on-air interview which profiles the group and their marketing efforts:
-Who are the members of this group? Are they grouped by area, the type of crop they produce, etc?
-When did they come together? What were individual farmers’ experiences with selling their crop prior to forming the group?
-Ask the members to describe in detail the process they use to identify markets for their crops, gather them together, and sell them. Did they try other methods before determining that one method worked best?
-How much extra income do farmers earn as a result of group marketing? What are the other benefits of working as a group (saving time, learning from each other, etc)?