Cooperatives

Community Work Among Women Improves Lives in Peru’s Andes Highlands

At more than 3,300 m above sea level, in the department of Cuzco, women are beating infertile soil and frost to grow organic food and revive community work practices that date back to the days of the Inca empire in Peru such as the "ayni" and "minka".

Energy Cooperatives, Fogged Mirrors for Latin America

“It made me angry that a company from outside the region was making money from renewable energy and I wondered why people weren't getting involved," says Petra Gruner-Bauer, president of the German co-operative SolixEnergie.

A Natural Climate Change Adaptation Laboratory in Brazil

The small pulp mill that uses native fruits that were previously discarded is a synthesis of the multiple objectives of the Adapta Sertão project, a programme created to build resilience to climate change in Brazil's most vulnerable region.

Village Savings: Helping Small Farmers Weather Climate Shocks

In the past, Lameck Sibukale only knew savings in the form of rearing chickens, goats and more importantly, cattle—a long cherished cultural heritage of the Tonga-speaking people of southern Zambia.

How Low-Income Bangladeshis Use Loans

Bangladeshis have a long tradition of borrowing from family, neighbors and other informal sources. Microfinance institutions (MFIs) have proliferated over the past three decades and offer a more formal loan service that has been taken up with enthusiasm, and today some 25 million Bangladeshis borrow from MFIs.

SLIDESHOW: Two Models of Development in Struggle Coexist in Brazil’s Semi-arid Region

Irrigated green fields of vineyards and monoculture crops coexist in Brazil’s semiarid Northeast with dry plains dotted with flowering cacti and native crops traditionally planted by the locals. Two models of development in struggle, with very different fruits.

Improved Fish Processing Brings Dramatic Gains for Women

Fishing is the capture of aquatic organisms in marine, coastal and inland areas. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), marine and inland fisheries, together with aquaculture, provide food, nutrition and a source of income to 820 million people around the world, from harvesting, processing, marketing and distribution. For many, it also forms part of their traditional cultural identity.

Local Farmers and Consumers Create Short Food Supply Chains in Mexican Cities

Víctor Rodríguez arranges lettuce, broccoli, potatoes and herbs on a shelf with care, as he does every Sunday, preparing to serve the customers who are about to arrive at the Alternative Market of Bosque de Tlalpan, in the south of the Mexican capital.

Top 300 Cooperatives Generate 2.5 Trillion Dollars in Annual Turnover

The top 300 cooperatives alone generate 2.5 trillion dollars in annual turnover, more than the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of France, according to the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA).

Women Small-Holder Farmers, Key Drivers for Sustainable Production

The shouts can be heard from a distance as one approaches Domboshawa, 30 kilometres northeast of the Zimbabwean capital, Harare.

Poor Rural Communities in Mexico Receive a Boost to Support Themselves

Jilder Morales, a small farmer in Mexico, looks proudly at the young avocado trees that are already over one metre high on her ejido - or communal - land, which already have small green fruit.

Fishing Villages Work for Food Security in El Salvador

After an exhausting morning digging clams out of the mud of the mangroves, Rosa Herrera, her face tanned by the sun, arrives at this beach in southeastern El Salvador on board the motorboat Topacio, carrying her yield on her shoulders.

Innovative Credit Model Holds Out Lifeline to Farmers in Honduras

In this village in southern Honduras, in one of the poorest parts of the country, access to credit is limited, the banking sector is not supportive of agriculture, and nature punishes with recurrent extreme droughts.

Nicaraguan Women Push for Access to Land, Not Just on Paper

A group of women farmers who organised to fight a centuries-old monopoly over land ownership by men are seeking plots of land to farm in order to contribute to the food security of their families and of the population at large.

Drought Deals Harsh Blow to Cameroon’s Cocoa Farmers

Tanchenow Daniel fears he will lose more than half a tonne of his cocoa yield during the next harvest at the end of this month.

Asia, Looking Beyond the Green Revolution

More than 2.2 billion people in Asia rely on agriculture for their livelihoods, but the Asian Development Bank warns that stagnant and declining yields of major crops such as rice and wheat can be ultimately linked to declining investments in agriculture. Public investments in agriculture in India, for instance, have been roughly the same since 2004.

Nurturing African Agriculture

While agriculture could be the driving force to lift millions of Africans out of poverty and alleviate hunger, its full potential remains untapped. For example, only between five and seven percent of the continent’s cultivated land is irrigated, leaving farmers vulnerable to climate shocks like the devastating El Nino-driven drought in southern Africa. That's why international agencies like the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) are forging key partnerships to enhance agricultural production, sustainable natural resource management and increased market access.

Climate-Smart Agriculture for Drought-Stricken Madagascar

Mirantsoa Faniry Rakotomalala is different from most farmers in the Greater South of Madagascar, who are devastated after losing an estimated 80 percent of their crops during the recent May/June harvesting season to the ongoing drought here, said to be the most severe in 35 years.

No More Dumping of Milk in Laikipia

Daniel Mithamo, 28, grew up knowing that dairy farming is about producing milk in large quantities. You sell a few litres, consume some with your family, and dump the rest for lack of cold storage and decent roads to access markets.

Traditional Mexican Recipes Fight the Good Fight

In a clay pot, Araceli Márquez mixes tiny Mexican freshwater fish known as charales with herbs and a sauce made of chili peppers, green tomatoes and prickly pear cactus fruit, preparing a dish called mixmole.

Is Demise of Small Farmers Imminent?

Imminent demise of small farmers is predicted as they are not competitive in a context of transforming agrifood markets. Most important is the transformation of the "post–farm gate" segments of the supply chains.

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