Effective forest and farm producer organizations

Effective forest and farm producer organizations

Effective forest and farm producer organizations
Sharing stories and experiences
Nick Pasiecznik and Herman Savenije© 2015 ETFRN and Tropenbos International, Wageningen, the Netherlands

September 2015, 213 pages

A new book brings together 30 articles, highlighting examples from more than 30 countries, showing that well-organized groups hold the key to a more sustainable and equitable world. Reporting on issues of inclusiveness, this is also reflected in the authorship, with most of the 80 contributing (co)authors from the Global South, representing NGOs, UN organizations, government bodies and private companies as well as producer organizations, a third of them women.

Farm and forest producer organizations are of critical importance to the sustainable use of our natural resources, now and into the future. So says the growing consensus of global opinion. And they hold the key to overcoming many issues, from poverty and human rights, to environmental degradation and biodiversity conservation.

Producer organizations represent the collective voices of farmers and forest- dependent peoples, indigenous groups and rural communities. They, are the building blocks of local democracy, and provide essential services to members. And when truly inclusive and with the right support, management choices are sustainable and the benefits are equitable.

The result is a compilation of experiences that adds significantly to a growing body of knowledge. Forest and farm producer organizations speak of their achievements and successes – and challenges, some overcome, some not. They share how they have organized themselves, what support they have received, and whether this was for better or for worse. Some benefits were expected, others unexpected. Problems remain, and some were made worse, even with well-meaning intentions of ‘outsiders’.

African cases:

  • Learning lessons slowly: artisanal millers associations in Ghana ; Evans Sampene Mensah and Sam Nketiah
  • From demonstration plot to agribusiness and rural tourism, Cameroon ; Divine Foundjem-Tita, Ann Degrande, Charlie Mbosso and Kuh Emmanuel Lo-ah 
  • Kenyan smallholders improving benefits from milk production ; Maria J. Restrepo, Joseph Ndung’u, Meshack Mwaura, Margareta A. Lelea and Brigitte Kaufmann
  • Public forest agencies and producer organizations in Kenya ; Marco Boscolo, Oscar Simanto, Philip Kisoyan, Jhony Zapata and Duncan MacQueen

The Forest and Farm Facility of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Government of the Netherlands provided financial support.


9 to 11 June 2015. Nairobi, Kenya. The “African Farm/Family Forestry Producer Organizations Conference” has been organized by the International Family Forestry Alliance (IFFA) in close collaboration with the Forest and Farm Facility, FAO, the Kenya Forest Service, the African Forest Forum, We Effect, FLEGT, the Great Green Wall Initiative, PEFC, the Forest Action Network and the Farm Forestry Smallholder Producers’ Association of Kenya. The conference has produced resolutions which will feed into the XIV World Forestry Congress (7 – 11 September 2015. Durban, South Africa).  
Published on 22 Jul 2015
Training piloted by the Forest Farm Facility (FFF) introducing energy saving (cooking stove) in Gambia prepared by Kumba Gaye, in order to reduce the depending on firewood for cooking.

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