We still do need cooperatives, but their functions should be more than just connecting farmers and small businesses to markets. A common problem in agriculture is that farmers tend to be small and dispersed which leads to the problem of information asymmetry. Even though technology has made communication easier it has not eroded the problem of information distribution. Farmers are notorious for being risk adverse and slow to adapt new technologies, so it’s probably interesting to know how exactly the technological increase affected farmers. Cooperatives can now assist in this regard to help in cooperate the use of these new communication technologies; show how exactly the communication mechanisms available can lead to productivity increase.
The FSN Forum is supported by the project Coherent food security responses: incorporating right to food into global and regional food security initiatives.