Offer: GOOD PRACTICES IN BUILDING INNOVATIVE RURAL INSTITUTIONS TO INCREASE FOOD SECURITY (FAO)
When strong rural organizations provide services to small producers, they are able to play a greater role in meeting a growing food demand.
Read the cases of 35 successful small-scale producer innovative organizations to learn how this is possible.
The report´s foreword tells it all:
"In order to be fully productive, small farmers, fisher folks, livestock keepers and forest users in developing countries are in dire need of services that are lacking in rural areas. This is the result of decades of neglect of the agricultural sector, where countries and international development assistance consistently diminished levels of investment and funding up to 2007. Public institutions gradually withdrew from the rural areas and in spite of a few trials, private companies were not able to fill the void.
New forms of institutional innovations have emerged recently to provide a response to the numerous constraints that small producers face in rural areas. These innovative organizations and institutional arrangements can provide small producers an array of services including improving market access and strengthening small producers’ negotiating power, enhancing access to and management of natural resources and improving access to information and knowledge. They are also an effective means to empower small producers by helping them build their capacity to formulate and express their needs and concerns within their organizations and vis-à-vis influential economic actors and policy-makers.
There is a need to recognize the critical role of these innovative organizations and institutional arrangements in order to be more effective in poverty reduction and food security efforts. This case study-based publication presents a collection of thirty-five cases of successful small-scale producer innovative organizations and institutional arrangements, from different regions in the world. Farmer Field Schools, developed by FAO in Asia, and subsequently in Africa, and financed by IFAD, is a truly participatory approach that has enabled millions of small farmers to analyze their production systemin its agro-ecological context, identify their risks and opportunities, test solutions and adopt new practices. To obtain short term credit, West African and Indian farmer groups in collaboration with micro-finance institutions have developed the warehouse receipt system in which stored produce is used as a collateral guarantee. Institutions can also contribute to improve the ability of small producers to express their needs and concerns and influence policy-making processes. The contribution of small farmers in the formulation of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Agricultural Policy (ECOWAP) is a good illustration of how small-farmer organizations can link with national governments and regional organizations to influence policy processes.
These good practices show how group collaboration within organizations and with economic actors and policy-makers, enable small producers to fully participate in the economic, social, and political life of the society they live in. Rural institutions are a tool for social change and economic progress. In order to design efficient policies, decision-makers and development practitioners need to improve their understanding of the factors that can facilitate or inhibit small producers’ collective performance. While highlighting the success factors for small producer organizations to thrive, these good practices can allow development practitioners and other stakeholders to learn from successful initiatives in various countries, to support them and replicate them.
We hope that policy-makers and development practitioners in developing countries will build on insights from this set of case studies to promote innovative types of partnerships involving relevant stakeholders for effective food security strategies and rural development.
José Graziano da Silva / Director General - Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
Kanayo F. Nwanze / President - Intl Fund of the United Nations for Agricultural Development "