Nelly Bassily | August 10, 2009
Farmers’ co-operatives can benefit members in many ways. They can improve access to resources, help members share information and knowledge, and boost social status. Co-operatives like the ones featured in this week’s story make a huge difference in their communities by investing part of their profits in social programs. The following stories from past FRWs provide other examples of cooperatives at work:
–“Ethiopia: Dairy co-ops turn extra milk into profit” (FRW #74, July 2009)
–“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.
You may wish to produce a program about the work of co-operatives in your area. You could research a news feature, or invite members of one or more co-operatives into your studio for an on-air discussion. Questions to consider include:
-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 challenges did they hope to overcome by working as a group (for example, lack of information, marketing problems, or need for community development)?
-What steps were involved in forming a co-operative? What difficulties did they face along the way, and how were they overcome?
– How has the co-operative helped individual members (for example, by increasing yields and/or income)? Does the co-operative invest part of its profits in social or development initiatives?