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Farm Radio Weekly is a news and information service for rural radio broadcasters in sub-Saharan Africa. It is published by Farm Radio International.

Farm Radio Weekly

Notes to broadcasters on co-operatives

Two stories this week mark the 17th UN International Day of Cooperatives, to be observed on 2 July, 2011. For more information, visit: http://www.copac.coop/idc/2011/index.html

For more information about co-operatives in Africa, visit the website of the International Co-operative Alliance Regional Office for Africa: http://www.ica.coop/africa/index.html

This news item from Rwanda was adapted from an IFAD video posted on YouTube. Bernadette’s story is covered in the first three minutes at this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vH_ngiaRH4&feature=youtu.be

For more information about Rwanda: http://www.ruralpovertyportal.org/web/guest/country/home/tags/rwanda

And Malawi: http://www.ruralpovertyportal.org/web/guest/country/home/tags/malawi

Farmers’ co-operatives can benefit members in many ways. They can improve access to resources, facilitate knowledge sharing, and boost social status. Co-operatives often focus on the processing and marketing of an agricultural product. The following stories from past FRWs provide some examples:

Zambia: Better incomes through sorghum (FRW 118, July 2010). http://weekly.farmradio.org/2010/07/05/2-uganda-drama-and-song-raise-awareness-of-climate-change-by-sawa-pius-for-farm-radio-weekly-in-uganda/[A1] [VJ2] 

Burkina Faso: Women live better thanks to cooperative’s fair trade certification (FRW 68, June 2009). http://weekly.farmradio.org/2009/06/01/1-burkina-faso-women-live-better-thanks-to-cooperative%E2%80%99s-fair-trade-certification-farm-radio-weekly/

Uganda: Organic certification allows farmers to tap export market (FRW 68, June 2009). http://weekly.farmradio.org/2009/06/01/2-uganda-organic-certification-allows-farmers-to-tap-export-market-by-sawa-pius-for-farm-radio-weekly-in-kampala-uganda/

For Farm Radio International scripts on the subject of co-operatives, go to: http://farmradio.org/english/radio-scripts/cooperatives.asp

Do farmers in your area work together to obtain better market prices for their products? You may wish to find a farmers’ group or co-operative and prepare a news story or arrange an on-air interview which profiles the group and their marketing efforts:

-Who are the members of this group? Are they grouped by area, the type of crop they produce, etc.?
-When did they come together? What were individual farmers’ experiences with selling their crop prior to forming the group?
-Ask the members to describe in detail the process they use to identify markets for their crops, gather them together, and sell them. Did they try other methods before determining that one method worked best?
-How much extra income do farmers earn as a result of group marketing? What are the other benefits of working as a group (saving time, learning from each other, etc.)?

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