Professional agricultural organisation
Development projects have often tried to bring happiness to peasants in spite of themselves. By strengthening their agricultural professionalisation, we help them to reposition themselves at the heart of the action.
Issues: In developing countries, most of agricultural production comes from family farms. These face multiple constraints: land tenure insecurity, little or no savings and investment capacity, difficult access to credit, fertilisers, seeds, training and extension services often obsolete or even not present at all, little or no mechanisation and motorisation, etc. The rapid increase in population, deregulation and the opening of agricultural markets, but also the impact of climate change will only exacerbate these constraints. Maintaining agriculture and food security in these countries can only be done by supporting family farms. The challenge is to produce as much or more while limiting the degradation of natural resources, particularly soils and forests. This can only be done by supporting the proper long-term farmers’ dynamics, rather than multiplying the training, equipment, and gifts, etc. "A pile of bricks is not a house!"
Services: The gathering of family farmers enables them to share their practices, to help each other and to create a constructive emulation, conducive to increased production and income. We work on three areas:
(I) Capacity-building in terms of planning and organisation: to help the organisation (group or union or federation) to take stock of its strengths and weaknesses, to define its vision, objectives, and necessary means, to set up an effective governance with elected officials and a transparent internal management, to train members (functional literacy, simplified accounting, etc.), to mobilise local resources, and to evaluate itself regularly;
(II) Capacity-building in terms of production and marketing: to support the transfer of agricultural research, particularly through farmer-led experimentation and farming advice, to help the organisation to purchase inputs and to market its products, to manage collective equipment or buildings;
(III) Capacity-building in terms of lobbying: to help the organisation negotiate with the administration (to secure the land tenure, to discuss taxes and duties, etc.), with technical and financial partners (on the basis of its own plan of actions), and with other professionals in its sub-sector(s).