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CAF-Uruguay: cooperatives discover their role in innovation

December 10, 2013 3:45 pm

Giel Ton and Henri Hocdé

ESFIM supports the Cooperativas Agrarias Federadas, CAF (Federation of Agricultural Cooperatives), which has a constituency of 33 organisations including approximately 12,500 family farms (Agriterra-CAF 2008). CAF is a second-tier cooperative. The member organisations are cooperatives or associations (sociedades de fomento rural) that are involved in collective marketing.

Some of the members of CAF, especially the dairy cooperative Cooperativa Nacional de Productores de Leche (CONAPROLE) and the wool cooperative Central Lanera Uruguaya (CLU), are among the strongest industries in Uruguay. A large part of the membership, however, consists of relatively small players in comparison to the very strong multinational companies that increasingly offer similar services. The strong cooperatives support CAF chiefly as an instrument to obtain favourable agricultural policies, whereas the smaller members also look to CAF for support on organisational issues. The vision statement of CAF emphasises the importance of this representative function:

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UNFFE-Uganda: grassroots consultations to refine the national agricultural advisory services

December 10, 2013 3:40 pm

Bette Harms, Gerdien Meijerink and Augustine Mwendya

The core business of the Uganda National Farmers Federation (UNFFE) is to lobby and promote the farmer-enabling environment. The Federation stemmed from agricultural competitions organised by the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) government between 1988 and 1993. The competitions, were meant to reward best performing farmers in livestock and agricultural production. In order to institutionalise these competitions, the Ministry facilitated the formation of the Uganda National Farmers’ Association (UNFA) on 22 January 1992. The Association developed into the Uganda National Farmers Federation (UNFFE) in 2002.

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FFF-Philippines: towards a smallholder-inclusive Agricultural Commodity Exchange

December 10, 2013 3:37 pm

 Frédéric Lançon

The Philippines holds a distinct position among emerging South-East Asian economies. Comparing major development indicators for the Philippines with neighbouring countries of similar demographic size (such as Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam), it is apparent that while the average per capita GDP has increased in the four countries, the growth has been faster in Indonesia and Vietnam. In the Philippines, the per capita GDP has grown by a factor of 1.6 between 1990 and 2010, whereas in Indonesia and Vietnam, it grew 2.2 and 3.0 fold, respectively and in Thailand 1.4. While this slower growth in the Philippines and Thailand can be explained by the higher initial average per capita GDP in these countries relative to the two others, it should be underlined that this favourable initial position has not translated into a lower poverty rate for the Philippines at the present time. In 2010, according to the World Bank, 27 per cent of the population in the Philippines lived below the poverty line, whereas this was 15 per cent in Indonesia and Vietnam and 9 per cent in Thailand. In short, Filipino growth during the last decade has had a relatively smaller impact in terms of poverty reduction than in neighbouring countries.

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JNC-Peru: coffee cooperatives support a policy platform of the wider agricultural sector

December 10, 2013 3:29 pm

Giel Ton

In Peru, the ESFIM programme was used by the Junta Nacional de Café (JNC) to strengthen a platform of economic farmer organisations. The JNC, representing 44 coffee cooperatives and associations, has a strong record in policy advocacy and had experienced that many policies affecting the coffee sector could best be tackled through an cross-sector platform. At the start of ESFIM, JNC was one of the most active members of such a platform, ‘La Convención Nacional del Agro Peruano’ (CONVEAGRO). The CONVEAGRO was created in 1994 and its membership includes a range of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), farmer organisations and research institutes. Currently, it has approximately 40 member organisations, half of which are farmer organisations.

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NASFAM Malawi: ownership of the research process influences its use in advocacy

December 10, 2013 3:21 pm

Helena Posthumus
The National Smallholder Farmers’ Association of Malawi (NASFAM), founded in 1997, is the largest independent, smallholder-owned membership organisation in Malawi. NASFAM is organised into a unique extension network to support its membership of over 100,000 smallholder farmers. The smallest operational unit of NASFAM is the Club, made up of 10 to 15 individual farmers. Clubs combine to form Action Groups, which are the key points in the extension network for dissemination of information to members, and for the bulking of members’ crops. Action Groups combine to form NASFAM Associations, of which there were 40 in 2007-2008. NASFAM Associations are legally-registered entities, member-owned and managed by farmer Boards. The Associations are grouped by geographical location into 14 Association Management Centres (AMCs). These provide management and operational support to the Associations in terms of production, marketing and community development. The AMCs are in turn supported by the NASFAM Regional and Head Office structures. NASFAM functions are split into Commercial and Development activities. NASFAM commercial activities include the marketing of inputs to farmers and produce from farmers. NASFAM development activities deliver community development and capacity-building services to members. NASFAM Commercial and Development operations are governed by a Farmer Board, which is elected democratically by the membership each year.

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CPM-Madagascar: rearticulating farmer groups in a weak state

December 10, 2013 3:16 pm

Frederic Lançon

The Coalition Paysanne Malgache (CPM) was selected and recommended by IFAP as the Malagasy partner for the implementation of the ESFIM collaborative component. This is a relevant choice, as CPM was established on January 2002 as a platform for supporting and strengthening Malagasy Farmers Organisations’ (FOs) actions for advocacy. It was originally co-founded by five major farmer organisations (FEKRITAMA – Confederation des Agriculteur Malgaches, SCAE – Solidarité Coopérative des Agriculteurs et Eleveurs, KPI/FIKRIFAMA – Comités de gestion Communautaire des eaux potables, TITEM – Mutuelle d’Epargne/Crédit Agriculteur, FMTK – Mouvement des jeunes ruraux catholiques malgaches), with the support of Agriterra. CPM’s vision of the rural development process is based on reinforcing rural institutions such as Chambers of Agriculture, supporting farmers’ integration into markets through the promotion of fair marketing mechanisms, and the sensitisation of the rural population on environmental issues. CPM’s position in the agricultural institutional setting has evolved as a result of various administrative changes.

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KENFAP-Kenya: in-house research capacity to monitor government policy

December 10, 2013 3:03 pm

Gideon Onumah

The Kenya National Federation of Agricultural Producers (KENFAP) is the national partner in the Collaborative Research under the Empowering Smallholder in Markets (ESFIM) programme. ESFIM activities fit in and were anchored to KENFAP’s strategic aim of “fostering the interests of smallholder farmers by stimulating beneficial policy changes through lobby and advocacy…”. This objective requires the active engagement of KENFAP with the Government to create and maintain an enabling environment for agricultural sector.

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FFA-India: collaborative research needs more structure than just personal charisma

December 10, 2013 2:49 pm

 Felicity Proctor and Bart Doorneweert

The Federation of Farmers’ Associations, Andhra Pradesh (FFA-AP), was identified as the preferred organisation with whom to build a partnership between the ESFIM programme and India. This decision was taken based largely on the advice of the regional Asia representative of the now defunct International Federation of Agricultural Producers (IFAP). The FFA-AP is a unified and independent grassroots organisation aiming to support rural development. The organisation’s premise is to make agriculture a profitable occupation, imparting farmers with dignity and social equality. The FFA-AP was founded in 2000 and represents 1630 farmer associations operating at the local level in 19 of the 22 districts of Andhra Pradesh. The membership is estimated by FFA itself as 75,900 farmers.

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CMC-Costa Rica: women take-up a role in the national advocacy platform

December 10, 2013 2:43 pm

Jean-François Le Coq

In Costa Rica, the focal National Farmer Organisation (NFO) for the ESFIM programme is the Peasant Women’s Coordinating Committee (Coordinadora Mujeres Campesinas – CMC). This organisation was established in 1995 as a sub-committee of the National Peasant Platform (Mesa Nacional Campesina – MNC), which became an autonomous association in 1999. This organisation aims at supporting economic and social initiatives for women in rural areas. The CMC is actually an affiliation of 42 active women’s organisations throughout the country, representing approximately 700 women involved in productive projects.

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CIOEC-Bolivia: successful advocacy for legal recognition of the sector

December 10, 2013 2:26 pm

Giel Ton, Christian Gouët and Ninoska Gonzalez

Bolivia is the poorest country in South America. The majority of Bolivians are indigenous (mainly Aymara and Quechua), accounting for at least 60-70% of the population and for an even higher proportion of the rural population. This indigenous population constitutes the vast majority of the poor and extremely poor in Bolivia. Bolivia is a country that bridges two major regional blocks, in a geographical and political sense: the Comunidad Andina de Naciones (CAN) and the Mercado Común del Sur (MERCOSUR). It is the first country in which structural adjustment programmes were implemented (in 1985) and agricultural policies have been shaped accordingly for two decades. Most producer-support instruments in agriculture (tariffs, price regulation and credit subsidies) have been discontinued since 1985. Moreover, until 2005, only a limited number of ‘new instruments’ for agricultural development and innovation were introduced beyond pilot experiment levels, with the exception of substitutes for coca production. This political situation has changed quite dramatically since 2006, when the Morales government not only re-introduced several rural support instruments that had characterised the pre-1985 period, such as soft loans and direct interference by the state in agricultural markets, but also developed a range of new policies to benefit smallholders in agriculture.

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