FAO Activities under the All ACP Programme

Upon request from the ACP regions, the Food and Agriculture Organization, in particular the Rural Infrastructure and Agro-Industries Division, has jointly organized with partner organizations a series of five regional workshops. The workshops focused on "Strengthening the capacity of farmers’ organizations to respond to changing agricultural markets" and took place as follows:

  • Maravagi, Solomon Islands: 6th – 10th October 2008, co-organized by the Melanesian Farmer First Network (MFFN)
  • Nairobi, Kenya: 12th - 15th November 2008, co-organized by the Eastern Africa Famers' Federation (EAFF)
  • Gros Islet, St. Lucia: 24th - 28th November 2008, co-organized by the Caribbean Farmers' Network (CaFAN)
  • Johannesburg, South Africa: 2nd –  5th December 2008, co-organized by the Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU)
  • Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso:19th - 21st January 2009, co-organized by the Réseau des Organisations paysannes et des Producteurs de l'Afrique de l'Ouest (ROPPA);

The aim of the workshops was to identify capacity building strategies that agricultural farmers’ organizations and networks can promote, to support small farmers to become reliable and profitable suppliers for the agribusiness sector. Representatives from regional and national farmers’ organizations, networks and agribusiness and farming communities actively participated.

The series of workshops were necessitated by current changes in agricultural markets. The opening up of markets and the closing down of state marketing boards have meant that small farmers and other players in the agricultural value chain – processors, buyers, traders and exporters – now have to organize and interact with one another differently. Today’s markets demand larger volumes, lower prices and higher quality produce and the stakeholders involved have to constantly adapt to survive and make profits.