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July/August 2003
Updated June 2005

Announcement of a new publication

Agricultural cooperative development: A manual for trainers

In the framework of its cooperative training of trainers programme aimed at helping developing countries and countries in transition transform their agricultural cooperatives into genuine self-help organizations, FAO published an innovative manual in 1998 which was geared to encouraging greater membership participation, improving management and familiarizing political and administrative decision-makers with new cooperative development approaches. The training manual is composed of seven modules, as follows:

  • Understanding Cooperatives
  • Participation & Learning
  • Communication
  • Organizational Development
  • Cooperative Management
  • Tools for Planning and Organizing Cooperative Activities
  • Participatory Appraisal, Monitoring and Evaluation

Throughout these modules, the manual deals with ways in which trainers and promoters of cooperatives can support cooperative members and management in the development of their cooperative organizations. Its objectives are:

  • to broaden the trainers' view of their role, and ways in which they can react to circumstances, and to increase their confidence in their own capabilities. In short, to increase their competence.
  • to help the trainer become an effective facilitator and moderator. That is to say, someone who can offer new methods for dealing with problems and tasks, assist in solving conflicts, draw attention to alternatives and assist in the more effective operation of the cooperative.
  • to equip the trainer with tools to act as a resource person, providing information to the cooperative organization, its members, leaders and managers.
  • to familiarize the trainer with participatory techniques which involve all parties concerned with the future of cooperative organizations.
  • to support the trainer in the various tasks of raising awareness among cooperative promoters, members, decision-makers, leaders and managers of their problems/constraints as well as in their potential/capabilities, without taking the initiative away from them.

The manual guides trainers through the process of training by providing a standard structure in each module, including the following units: Objectives of the unit, Key learning points, Teaching strategy, and Reference information. A range of examples and exercises are also given.

In 2001, the French version and in 2003 the Spanish version of the Manual were also published and are being disseminated. In the meantime, in response to the great demand, an amended reprint of the English version has also been issued. The new version includes an additional, comprehensive module (Module 8) on Cooperative Accounting. This supplementary module has been added to the Spanish language version and it will added to the French laguage version, as well. As a next important step in the process, preparation of the Arabic language version is in progress.

(Also available in French, and Spanish.)

Click here to go to see the document (pdf format).

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