Optimising the performance of producers’ organisations

Optimising the performance of producers’ organisations

17 Sep 2012 – 28 Sep 2012. Location: Wageningen, The Netherlands. Organisation: Wageningen UR Centre for Development Innovation, Agriterra.

Harnessing the potential of agriculture to reduce poverty and to revitalise rural areas requires the involvement of producers and their organisations in order to build people-centered and sustainable agricultural development models. 
The course perceived producers as small entrepreneurs and investigates the role of Producers’ Organizations (POs) as autonomous development actors that face specific challenges. The course concentrated on strategic issues and gave ample attention to innovative institutional arrangements that link small-scale farmers to markets and policy development, in view of inclusive rural economic development.

The course was structured according to five major themes:

  1. Contextual analysis: evolution of POs and farmers’ movements
  2. Organisational strengthening : internal organisation and management of POs
  3. Institutional arrangements: competition, collaboration and positioning of POs in the agricultural arena, with specific attention for market participation strategies
  4. Economic services: options and tools for sustainable economic service delivery to members
  5. Representation services: options and tools for participatory policy development, lobby & advocacy and public accountability.
Course brochure: PDF file 

15 – 19 October 2012. Kenya, East Africa. A course for professionals promoting farmer-inclusive agribusiness

This October 2012 course is the first in a series of three one-week courses given in East Africa – focusing on organized farmers as partners in agribusiness. The courses are referred to as one course : OPPO – organized farmers as partners in agribusiness. 
They address how East African farmers, through collective action of their organizations, can better access agro-inputs and credit, manage their production, create added value and access more remunerative markets. The courses thereby perceive farmers as autonomous entrepreneurs and their organizations as farmers’ business supporters. Participants will learn about farmer entrepreneurship, collective action of organized farmers and farmer-inclusive business models in the East African context. And they will exercise practical approaches and tools for promoting competitive, sustainable and farmer-inclusive agribusiness models.
  • reflect upon farmer entrepreneurship and farmer-inclusive agribusiness development, with specific attention for economic services farmers’ organizations can provide to their members; 
  • review key challenges that farmers face, and identify options to address these through collective action; 
  • are capable to use operational approaches and practical tools for facilitating the performance and market engagement of farmers’ business organizations;
  • analyze internal governance of farmers’ organizations and discuss organizational strengthening;analyze farmers’ relations with sourcing companies, banks and micro-finance institutions, input dealers, research and extension and other stakeholders, and learn about options to improve these relations; 
  • discuss experiences with farmers’ positioning in the external business and policy environment; 
  • Explore modalities for facilitating farmer entrepreneurship and alternative intervention strategies for external support to farmers and their organizations.

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