This simple sequence of events symbolized the "bottom-up approach" of FAO's People's Participation Programme. In Sri Lanka, poor farmers were encouraged to form informal groups of from eight to 15 people, organized around income-generating activities that the groups themselves identified such as land reclamation or small-scale processing. Specially trained group promoters taught members how to gain economic advantages by, for example, buying fertilizer in bulk and marketing crops together.
Almost 4 000 poor farmers, aided by village and district boards, participated in the Sri Lanka project. Similar small group approaches have helped landless farmers in Ghana, small-scale dair producers in Ecuador and poor fishing communities in Tanzania