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Re: With Technology and Elite capture - Are Cooperatives Relevant today?

Economic Agri Advisors EAA University Of Guyana, Guyana
Economic Agri Advisors


Even in today’s society, not all farmers are able to respond to the rate of today’s growing economy and advanced technology. Reason for this being, is that they may not have the ability/capacity/knowledge to cope with the fast growing economy or maybe because their culture may restrict them in moving along with the world, or it can be stem from the inability of farmers to acquire adequate credit to invest in technology.  

However, even if farmers have the capital to invest in technology, their ability to grasp its use and efficiently use technology to its fullest capacity curtails most farmers. Thus, programs should be put in place to assist farmers in this regards.

Cooperatives might be outdated in this age, but in the past, its purpose was to help the small-scale farmer’s access markets, and in this era, the function is the same. Thus, having cooperatives in this age may not be such a bad idea. Cooperatives assist small farmers by informing them on the market condition; negotiating the sale of crops directly to buyers/giving them a market to supply their products, provide access to equipment in which small farmers would not be able to purchase etc.

However if Cooperatives wish to exist in this age then they will have to divert from the traditional practices and be in par with today’s developing world so as to reduce transportation  cost, transaction cost and other factors that may hinder them from achieving their sole purpose. Thus, the need arises to incorporate technology with cooperative practices in order to assist  farmers in today’s market.