Aggregation for strengthening farmers’ capacity
Aggregation is one of the most effective means of reducing the risk in agriculture and strengthening the livelihoods of small and marginal farmers. By collaborating through farmer groups and FPOs, farmers have better capacity for and access to technical know-how on crop planning and management, inputs (including seed production), credit, post-harvest management, value addition, marketing infrastructure and better market linkages. The aggregation approach also helps small and marginal farmers in accessing various benefits of government schemes for rural development. The process involves mobilising farmers into groups of between 15-20 members at the village level and building up their associations into Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs). RIDE AFRICA has done pioneering work on promoting and strengthening the FPO structure as a tool to address the challenges of access to investment, technology, quality inputs and integration with markets that the small and marginal farmers face.