FAO Outlines Good Practices in Building Innovative Rural Institutions

FAO18 September 2012: The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) has developed case studies describing institutional innovations from around the world that demonstrate the role of strong rural organizations, such as producer groups and cooperatives in rural development.

In the context of continued population growth, urbanization and rising incomes increasing demand for food, questions have emerged regarding why small scale producers have not been able to benefit from high food prices. In response, the FAO publication, "Good Practices in Building Innovative Rural Institutions to Increase Food Security," highlights constraints facing small producers. It describes opportunities related to enhancing access to and management of natural resources, accessing input and output markets, improving access to information and knowledge, and facilitating small producers' participation in policy making.

The publication suggests that effective and sustainable producer organizations are a result of three relationships: bonding or intragroup relationships among small producers within organizations; bridging relations between small-producer organizations to create "apex organizations"; and linking relations between small producer organizations and market actors and policy-makers. The publication stresses that these new forms of collaboration provide an opportunity to build on success stories. [Publication: Good Practices in Building Innovative Rural Institutions to Increase Food Security]