Course

Organised farmers as partners in agribusiness

Small farmers not only constitute the majority of the world's poor, they are also the majority of the world's small and medium enterprises. Through collective action of their organisations, farmers can improve their performance and income. Facilitators, equipped with the right approaches and tools, can do more to support the farmers’ business organisations in their entrepreneurial endeavours.

Organised by Wageningen UR Centre for Development Innovation
Date Mon 15 September 2014 until Fri 26 September 2014

Optimising the performance of producers' organisations

Improving farmers’ performance and business relations

This course perceives farmers as autonomous entrepreneurs, not as target groups or beneficiaries. In this light, farmers’ organisations become business supporters. The central question is how farmers, through collective action of their organizations, can better access credit, remunerative markets, and improve their production and yields.

Main pillars of the programme are: the economic services that farmers’ organisations can deliver to their members, stakeholder collaboration, bringing internal governance up to standards, lobby and negotiation and innovation of agricultural development cooperation. You will learn about farmer professionalisation and empowerment, and about collective action of farmers business organisations. The course is highly interactive: participants have the opportunity to learn from the broad international experience of the trainers, but also from other participants.

Course objectives

Upon completion of the course you will:
  • be familiar with state-of-the-art thinking about rural innovation, farmer entrepreneurship and farmer-inclusive value chain development;
  • know how to review the key challenges farmers face –  and identify options for collective action;
  • be able to analyse farmers relations with sourcing companies, banks and MFI's, and other stakeholders, and know about options to improve the relations;
  • be capable to use operational approaches and practical tools for facilitating the improvement of the performance and market engagement of farmers’ organisations;
  • explore alternative intervention strategies to support farmers and their organisations.

Target audience

This two week course is aimed at professionals interested in the promotion of farmer-included agribusiness. We welcome professionals from farmers’ organisations, governmental organisations, private sector, civil society organisations, universities, research and extension.