Yes Uganda still needs cooperatives to connect farmers and small businesses to markets even with millions connected to mobile devices, internet and radio station. The primary objective of the media is providing information, cooperatives goes beyond providing information to farmers and small businesses, they share skills, techniques, increase innovative capacity for them to adjust to market situations, increase problem solving ability with join inputs from members, just to name a few. These are all critical functions cooperatives play which the media alone cannot successfully fulfill. Even if the media is successful in transferring information about marketing opportunities, small farmer may lack the individual capacity to react promptly to changes in market prices. They may not produce the adequate amount that buyers find economically viable to purchase at once. This could largely hinder their ability to capitalize on marketing opportunities, which in term would enable them to growth.
We agree with Mohammad Mohammad Hasan in that “the internet and the fm radio can convey the information but it cannot change the life of the poor people, especially the illiterate people. They need assistance, support to grow, finance to do business, training to improve, advice to look forward, then only a vibration can be created”. A cooperative cannot function without members believing and working together, cooperative during the 1970s and 1980s was not just a business unity it creates unity amount people, customs which would greatly impact any nation going forward to economic development.
The FSN Forum is supported by the project Coherent food security responses: incorporating right to food into global and regional food security initiatives.