admin | September 4, 2016
This week, two of our stories show that, for farmers, there is strength in numbers. Farmers’ associations, groups, or organizations can share knowledge, resources, equipment, and financing among members. Some groups are established to manage common resources, such as waterways or forests. Others form so that farmers can share the cost of purchasing expensive equipment. Others are created so that members can provide loans to each other.
Access Agriculture has a series of great videos on how farmers’ organizations are formed and managed. Check out these videos, as well as other great content on managing a farming business, here: http://www.accessagriculture.org/category/40/Business%20Skills
Access Agriculture’s videos cover a wide range of crops, farming challenges, and marketing skills. Many are available in English, French, and other languages. The audio files or transcripts can also be downloaded for easy use in your program. Just register to access the videos, free of charge.
Videos about farmers’ groups:
Self Help Groups (EN)
As individuals, farmers sometimes lack the resources to invest in, or learn about, conservation agriculture. This video shows how a group in Kenya came together to share knowledge and equipment to assist each other.
Vision Becomes a Reality (EN, FR +)
A youth association in northern Ghana shows how self-determination and commitment backed by appropriate financial and business development services has helped members generate additional income to sustain their group.
Water User Associations (EN)
In Kenya, water user associations began in the 1990s. They are established by communities along rivers and guarantee the participation of their members in all management decisions related to using river water.
Coffee: Group Organization (EN, FR+)
For years, coffee farmers in Uganda have been at a disadvantage. But over the past 10-15 years, there have been incredible changes, thanks to farmers organizing themselves into groups. By working together, they have increased the quality of their coffee and received better prices, making coffee production a sustainable and worthwhile business. If the group is run well, there are many positives, with members wanting to contribute and not let other farmers down.
Photo: A community listening group of dairy farmers in Malawi.