Instrument

Support farmers' associations

Description

Farmers’ association represent the interests of farmers at local, regional and national level. As such it usually puts forward proposals concerning market development, pricing policies, national protection measures, legal and institutional frameworks for food markets, promotion measures for individual farms and measures to develop a professional training and advisory system. The association supports all inter-farm projects such as shared use of machinery, irrigation and drainage, joint purchases and sales of inputs, as well as organising animal and plant breeding. It also helps its members access finance schemes and supports practical education and training for young people. Finally, farmers’ associations may help to stabilise living conditions in rural areas by working to ensure social protection for all members of farming families in the event of accidents, illness and old age. This is of fundamental importance, because it helps farmers to keep up with the rapid structural change that is taking place in agriculture and the rural economies of developing countries. An important aspect of association activities at local level is providing farming families with legal advice, assistance with inheritance arrangements and with detailed information on all matters affecting the farm and its family. The individuals who are in charge of providing these services at farm level are trained at dedicated training institutions (farmers’ academies) and assisted in their volunteer work by the farmers’ association itself.

Requirements

  • A properly functioning country-wide administration and monitoring system with access to the relevant information and sufficient technical and human capacities for its design, implementation and monitoring
  • Clear and coherent political strategy and targets for policy-makers and public authorities
  • Legal frameworks (laws on cooperatives, taxation, competition and voluntary associations) that support farmers’ self-help organisations and do not discriminate against other entrepreneurial joint ventures (level playing field)
  • Open-access to all farms, regardless of size and location
  • Private sector initiative
  • Properly functioning external audit structures (e.g. via regional or national auditing associations)
  • Regulated and legally protected payment structures
  • Skilled / specialised personnel to man the respective institutions / provide the respective services

Possible Negative Effects

  • Poorly functioning audit structures could result in members losing trust in their organisation
  • Farmers’ influence in their association could be diminished
  • Large farmers have significantly more influence than smaller farmers
This page was last edited on 25 October 2019 | 13:46 (CEST)