Strengthening farmers’ organisations

Project description

Title: Global Programme on Strengthening Farmers’ Organisations for Sustainable Agricultural Development
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Division 121 International agricultural policy, agriculture, innovation
Country: Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and India.
Lead executing agency: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Overall term: 2015 to 2024

Context

Many farming enterprises in developing and emerging countries are limited in their production possibilities. Individual family farms have too little power at the political level to represent their interests vis-à-vis state institutions and the private sector.

Successful representation of interests requires strong self-organisation in farmers' interest and service associations. However, the majority of these associations are too weak to successfully implement this concern. The Global Project supports farmers' organisations in India and five other partner countries in Africa through the special initiative "One world without Hunger" of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Objective

Farmers’ organisations are strengthened to enable economic, social and environmentally compatible development of rural areas while paying attention to small-scale farming structures.

Approach

The project aims to develop and strengthen farmers’ organisations that provide better conditions and relevant services for its members. This enables farmers to represent their interests autonomously and independently to government agencies, traders and processors. Through trainings entrepreneurially minded farmers can improve their production and marketing, and thus increase their income. The project integrates the needs of women and young people into its activities.

Additionally, the project supports its partner organisations through the exchange of experience with international association experts and through workshops and training courses. Partner organisations engage in dialogue to determine the specific needs of their members. Support measures are chosen based on demand. For example, the project is promoting the exchange of experience between young farmers from Africa and Germany and the creation of an international pool of experts in cooperation with the German Farmers’ Association (DBV). 

The work with umbrella organisations ensures that the project has a wide reach, and this is supplemented by the specific work with regional and local partners. There are close links with other German development cooperation projects, such as the Green Innovation Centres for the Agricultural and Food Sector. 

The project also contributes to promoting the engagement of civil society stakeholders in German development-policy activities. It is implemented by the Andreas Hermes Akademie (AHA), the educational institution of the German Farmers’ Association. 

Results

In Uganda, the project is strengthening the Uganda National Young Farmers' Association (UNYFA). Following the registration in 2017, more than 23,000 young farmers are now regular, fee-paying members. The Uganda National Young Farmers' Association actively contributes to shaping the legal situation in Uganda and publicly represents its members’ views at various events and on various discussion platforms. The farmers’ organisation strengthens its farmers’ capabilities, for example through farm tours. 

In India, the programme supports the bio-dynamic farmers’ association Bio-Dynamic Association of India (BDAI) with its organisational development. The association represents more than 60,000 organic farmers and now offers a local certification based on the Demeter standard. Thanks to reduced costs, even small farms can now receive this high-quality label. BDAI’s attendance at expert events (including International Green Week) has increased the visibility of India’s ecological movement and resulted in improved networking.

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