Smallholder farmers often face the challenge of accessing markets and selling their produce at competitive prices because they produce in small quantities that may not be commercially viable.
The farmers are now being advised to adopt market interventions such as 'collective action' where they can come together as a group to pool their harvests and sell it in bulk.
A study conducted by the World Agroforesty Centre (ICRAF) in Cameroon has shown that effective implementation of collective action improves market access for smallholder producers of agroforestry products and reduces transaction costs leading to improved income and food security.
The study, published in the journal Current Opinions on Environmental Sustainability, says smallholder farmers, who are mostly in rural areas, often do not have access to information regarding prices in urban areas, furthermore, most production systems in Africa are done on a small scale and, hence, farmers acting individually are not able to participate in new markets such as supermarkets where larger quantities and standardization of products are often required.
ICRAF scientist and marketing specialist Dr. Amos Gyau and co-authors synthesize some of the lessons learned over two decades of implementing collective action, and cite studies that show how collective action in marketing agroforestry products has enabled farmers to access information and sell in markets which would otherwise be out of reach.
"Farmers are able to obtain the necessary information, meet quality standards and operate on a larger scale when they pool financial and labor resources together".
The scientists says that in view of the fact that most African countries are characterized by weak institutional structures that support agricultural growth and development, collective action is more likely to be efficient when combined with other interventions such as access to credit and market information among others.
The scientists conclude that the experience from Cameroon, offers an opportunity for effective implementation of collective action to benefit smallholder producers of agroforestry products by improving their access to markets and reducing transaction costs.
They however appreciate that collective action among farmers is difficult to organize, coordinate and manage and that one of the key lessons learned is that for collective action to succeed it should include the farmers' own motivation, favorable environment and the inclusion of social activities in the implementation of their group activities.
Daniel Kapsoot | EurekAlert!
Six-legged livestock -- sustainable food production
11.05.2017 | Faculty of Science - University of Copenhagen
Elephant Herpes: Super-Shedders Endanger Young Animals
04.05.2017 | Universität Zürich
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy