The role of producer organisations in rural advisory services

The role of producer organisations in rural advisory services

This Position Paper was written to raise awareness of the roles of producer organisations in rural advisory services, and to contribute to discussions about how their effectiveness in these roles can be increased so that they contribute to improved livelihoods and
poverty reduction. It is aimed at all actors involved in the provision of rural advisory services, including producer organisations themselves.

The paper argues that rural advisory services will contribute
to improved rural livelihoods and poverty reduction if they are demand-driven and pluralistic. Demandorientation ensures that services meet the expressed needs of farmers. Pluralism – the co-existence of a variety of rural advisory service providers with specific comparative advantages – ensures that services can
match the diversity of rural livelihoods.

It concludes that to build effectively on their advantages, producer organisations should:

  • increase their capacities in good governance, organisational management, and federal-level coordination
  • develop mechanisms for delivering financially sustainable rural advisory services
  • promote a better understanding among farmers of the role of producer organisations in demand driven rural advisory services
  • intensify their partnerships with other actors in the agricultural innovation system
  • increase their capacity to provide rural advisory services, especially concerning demand-orientation, brokerage, flexibility, and communication


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