Investment in Agriculture Together We Revolutionise Nation Economy
Agricultural cooperatives and farmer associations have proven to play an intricate role in food security and poverty reduction worldwide.
Examples from all over the world have shown investments in agricultural associations have positively influenced hunger reduction and development of rural areas.
By operating in larger groups, smallholders are able to improve resource sharing and bargaining power to negotiate better terms in contract farming, market access, agricultural input prices, and position in the supply chain to earn higher incomes.
Service cooperatives (or farmer’s self-help bodies) are important alternatives to private intermediaries, which provide smallholders with a range of services from agricultural inputs and machinery to packing, transportation and agricultural credit.
Economic growth, structural transformation and wide-scale poverty reduction require good and high productivity gains in agriculture. It acceleration offers a potentially powerful tool to lead broad-based income grow among the rural poor.
Michael Lipton (2005) reported that no country has ever achieved mass dollar poverty reduction without prior investment in agriculture. Typical examples include England’s agricultural revolution of the mid-1700 that set the stage for its subsequent industrial revolution (Timmer, 1974), India’s green revolution of the 1960s and 1970s (Hazell et al, 1999).
The characteristic of the smallholder farmer is the first and major obstacle to market access.
First and foremost interventions should target to overcome problems associated with smallness.
Efforts that enable smallholders operate at economies of scale such as formation of strong associations/cooperatives that are market oriented.
Also, emphasizing on strong and good governance structures so that these farmers are not taken advantage of and exploited by the very associations that are meant to serve them.
The successful implementation of one nation the agriculture policy very much depend on participation of transformed and well-organized agricultural producers, among other things.
Farmers’ Organisations (FOs) such as State Farmers’ Organisation (SFO) and National Farmers Association of Malaysia (NAFAS) brings together producers of different sizes and often of varying interest and thus enabling governments to speak to organized groups of farmers and also works hand-in-hand with government to interpret government’s policies to its members (farmers).
Farmer organisations are therefore key government partners in development.
It is not all organizations that can collaborate in development, only those that consider it fundamental to mobilize people and promote a fairer and just society.
Farmers’ cooperatives and farmers’ associations are organizations of that type, well prepared to make a difference in rural areas.
Nakhumwa, Teddie and Peiris, Heshan, (2009) Empowering Of Smallholder Farmers In Markets.
Pinto, Armando Costa, (2009) Agricultural Cooperatives and Farmers Organizations – role in rural development and poverty reduction.
World Bank (a). (2004) Doing Business in 2005: Removing Obstacles to Growth. World Bank: Washington D.C.