Cooperatives

OPINION: Innovation Needed to Help Family Farms Thrive

Family farms have been contributing to food security and nutrition for centuries, if not millennia. But with changing demand for food as well as increasingly scarce natural resources and growing demographic pressures, family farms will need to innovate rapidly to thrive.

Civil Society in Cuba Finds More Space Under the Reforms

Cafés, real estate agencies, taxis and other small privately-owned businesses and cooperatives in Cuba have brought new life to the depressed local economy and have given rise to pockets of prosperity in the country’s towns and cities.

Puerto Rico’s Green Crusaders Still Going Strong

The heart of Puerto Rico’s central mountain range is the site of an extraordinary story of struggle and triumph.

Boosting Incomes and Empowering Rural Women in Cuba

Leonor Pedroso’s sewing machine has dressed children in the Cuban town of Florida for 30 years. But it was only a few months ago that the seamstress was able to become formally self-employed.

Kenya’s Ogiek Women Conquer Cultural Barriers to Support their Families

Just two years ago, Mary Ondolo, a 50-year-old mother of nine from Kenya’s marginalised, hunter-gatherer community, the Ogiek, used to live in a grass thatched, mud house. She'd been living there for decades. 

New Fund to Build on “Unprecedented Convergence” Around Land Rights

Starting next year, a new grant-making initiative will aim to fill what organisers say has been a longstanding gap in international coordination and funding around the recognition of community land rights.

Organic Farming Taking Off in Poland … Slowly

Polish farmer Slawek Dobrodziej has probably the world’s strangest triathlon training regime: he swims across the lake at the back of his house, then runs across his some 11 hectares of land to check the state of the crops, and at the end of the day bikes close to 40 kilometres to and back from a nearby town for some shopping.

Salvadoran Peasant Farmers Clash With U.S. Over Seeds

Under a searing sun, surrounded by a sea of young maize plants, Gladys Cortez expresses her fears that her employment in the cooperative that produces seed for the Salvadoran government may be at risk, if United States companies achieve participation in seed procurement.

Mauritian Sugar Farmers Squeezed by Low Prices as Bagasse and Ethanol Become Popular By-products

While Mauritius has been forced to transform its sugar industry because of low prices for the commodity, the country’s small-scale sugarcane farmers who contribute to it say they are barely earning a living.

Traditional Wisdom to the Rescue in Cyclone Season

May and November bring the most vicious cyclones to the Bay of Bengal rim countries in Southeast Asia.

Community Electricity Lights Up Spain

Until recently it was inconceivable for small groups of organised citizens in fully electrified industrialised countries like Spain to generate their own power from clean sources of energy, challenging the prevailing energy model.

Tanzania’s Farming Cooperatives Struggle to Bear Fruit

John Daffi climbs to the top of a hill overlooking a scenic Rift Valley wall and the Ngorongoro forest, where wildlife migrates between the world famous Ngorongoro crater and Tanzania’s Lake Manyara. Daffi, 59, looks down upon his family’s farm below and reminisces about the time his father first brought him here as a boy.

Rural Costa Rican Women Plant Trees to Fight Climate Change

Olga Vargas, a breast cancer survivor, is back in the countryside, working in a forestry programme in the north of Costa Rica aimed at empowering women while at the same time mitigating the effects of climate change.

Women Turn Potatoes into Gold in Zimbabwe’s Cities

Shyline Chipfika, 26, is one of thousands of Zimbabwean women in urban centres who have struck gold by growing potatoes. And a lot of their success has to do with an import ban.

Sun Shines on Forest Women

Chintapakka Jambulamma, 34, looks admiringly at a solar dryer. It’s the prized possession of the Advitalli Tribal Women’s Co-operative Society- a collective of women entrepreneurs that she leads.

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