Why it pays to form a farmers’ group

Posted on February, 23, 2021 at 09:05 am

For people living in the same area and engaged in a similar economic activity it is common for them to discuss among themselves the general problems they face in the course of their work and to celebrate together the successes and achievements they make.

Actually, there is a commandment in John13.34 for all people (including farmers) to love one another. They ought to go even further and trust one another and pool their resources for the common objective of improving their livelihoods. Let’s for example assume that some 50 or 60 farmers in an area grow mangoes and oranges. Such farmers would often discuss the common pests and diseases that attack their crops.

They would most probably complain about the high cost of inputs and their transportation. They would rejoice over a bumper harvest every now and again. They would individually worry about an uncertain market for their products. They would also most probably worry about losing their products due to lack of storage facilities and quick transport to markets. They would certainly worry about unstable prices dictated to them by middlemen.

Perpetual low prices lead to frustration and poverty. Each farmer would face the mentioned problems individually using the small personal available resources.

However, if all the 60 mango and orange farmers in the neighbourhood agreed to form a registered group and decided to sell all their products to a juice factory  or to some fruit trading company they would put together their resources and effectively overcome most of their production challenges.

They could, for instance, decide as a group to negotiate better prices for their oranges and mangos since now they will be selling in bulk. They could decide to deduct a small amount of money from each farmer’s earnings and use it to buy a refrigeration facility to store their harvested crop or a truck to transport the fruits to the factory in real time.

They would save the time they would individually spend transporting the fruits to the market. They could arrange to purchase farm inputs in bulk and cheaply and then distribute them among themselves.

Source: Daily Monitor