Cooperatives and Producer Organizations

FAO recognizes the crucial role of inclusive and efficient cooperatives and producer organizations in supporting small agricultural producers and marginalized groups such as young people and women. They empower their members economically and socially, and create sustainable rural employment through business models that are resilient to economic and environmental shocks.

FAO: building partnerships with Cooperatives and Producer Organizations

In order to be fully productive, small farmers, fisher folk, livestock keepers and forest users in developing countries are in need of services that are often lacking in rural areas. Cooperatives and producer organizations provide an array of services ranging from:

1) Enhancing access to and management of natural resources;

2) Accessing input and output markets;

3) Improving access to information and knowledge;

4) Facilitating small producers’ participation in policy-making processes.

FAO works with cooperatives and producer organizations by:

  • Supporting the establishment of an enabling environment, which includes assisting member governments to develop appropriate regulatory and legal frameworks, a conducive investment climate and consultation frameworks for policy-related dialogues which actively involve cooperatives and producer organizations;
  • Enhancing their effective participation in policy dialogue processes to advocate for their members’ needs, making their voice heard at the national, regional and global level;
  • Facilitating the development of producers’ capacities, including their technical, managerial, organizational and marketing skills, as well as their ability to integrate into value chains and networks, and to influence policy-and decision-making processes; and
  • Sharing knowledge in the form of publications, learning training modules, briefing notes and good practices.