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The role of small scale producers organizations to address market access

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Working Papers & Briefs
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Institutions / Organizations
Type of Risk:
Managerial & operational
Bienabe, E.; Sautier, D.

Marketing through rural producers’ organisations can be a means to overcome the constraints faced by individual small scale farmers. Farming systems around the world are very diverse, yet dominated by small-scale family farming. About 75% of the 1,300 billion people working in the farming sector worldwide (3 billions with their families) still practice a manual agriculture. Half of them do not use any inputs (fertilizers, seeds, etc) because they lack the means (Mazoyer and Roudart, 2002). Only 2 % of world farmers have a tractor and produce more than 1,000 tons/worker/year; 66 % of the world farmers produce less that 10 tons of grains equivalent/worker/year (Mazoyer, 2001). In addition to the generally low incomes and lack of capital of farmers, marketing agricultural products, especially from rural areas, tends to be hampered by market imperfections, such as imperfect information reinforced by the geographic dispersion of agents and by poor infrastructure and communications. These characteristics are particularly vivid with the withdrawal of the State from productive and economic functions when the private sector is still under developed. Collective action can therefore be a way in which to address these obstacles and mitigate transaction costs. In the context of globalization, characterised by more instability and competition, small scale farmers are confronted with an increased need to enhance their competitiveness, and hence their productivity and ability to take advantage of economies of scale. Organization can enable them to do this.