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In order to be fully productive, small farmers, fisher folk, livestock keepers and forest users in developing countries are in need of services that are often lacking in rural areas. Cooperatives and producer organizations provide an array of services ranging from:

1) Enhancing access to and management of natural resources;

2) Accessing input and output markets;

3) Improving access to information and knowledge;

4) Facilitating small producers’ participation in policy-making processes.

-- FAO


  1. The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) is a joint international institution of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and the European Union (EU). Our mission is to advance food and nutritional security, increase prosperity and encourage sound natural...
  2. 2015-04-28 Recent growth in global commodity prices, as well as expansion of domesticand export markets among emerging economies, translates to new and better opportunities for smallholder farmers in the developing world to access these markets. Increased production of high value horticulture crops in...
  3. 2014-01-01 Linking Small Scale Farmers to Markets through a Value Chain Approach and the Role of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) “Value chain” has recently emerged as a popular business and development concept. The growing integration of the global economy has provided the opportunity for...
  4. 2015-07-23 Carbon Farming: Building Soils and Stabilizing the Climate Farmer Engagement in Agriculture Extension Echoes from our Network: Negotiating two seemingly contradictory understandings of cooperatives From ECHO’s Seed Bank: Naranjilla
  5. 2015-07-23 In EDN 127, Dick Tinsley and David Headley appear to offer somewhat contradictory visions regarding the value of farmers’ co-operatives. When such contradictory advice appears, it often points to an area of underappreciated complexity. Thus, rather than throw our hands up in frustration, we...
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    2011-07-20 We share many ideas in EDN for agricultural techniques that can increase crop production. Higher production translates into more food and potentially more income; this is very important, especially for farmers whose livelihood comes from a small piece of land.Another way to increase food supply...
  7. 2015-04-30 This article will focus on the benefits of co-ops operating by and for small-scale farmers in rural communities in Sub-Saharan Africa. The most basic definition of a co-op is local farmers pooling their resources to improve the means of acquiring products essential to farming, as well as...
  8. 2015-04-30 Like all farmers, smallholder farmers require support services to provide production inputs, to market surplus production and to contribute other services like contract mechanization (for land preparation, post-harvest processing, initial value added), credit, etc. Within smallholder agriculture...
  9. Rating: 3.0 - 1 Vote
    2016-04-28 Presented at the ECHO International Agriculture Conference 2015 Sambah Naturals has developed a co-operative of nearly 1,200 farmers in the Northwestern Province of Zambia. This network of missional businesses seeks to create profits to fund Zambian missionary efforts. Their organic and fair...
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  11. 2015-04-30 Private Service Providers: Preferred by Smallholders Farmer Co-operatives Echoes from our Network: Conservation Agriculture in Areas with High Rainfall Books, Websites and Other Resources