AgriCord was set up early 2002, after a 5-year period of gestation. Agri-agencies, future members of AgriCord started contacting each other and exchanging experiences in 1997. First meetings took place in Arnhem (Netherlands) and in Oslo (Norway), initiated by Agriterra and by NorgesVel, the Norwegian Royal Society for Development.
During this first period, the Dutch farmers’ organisation LTO together with the Belgian Boerenbond were the key players. Their ambition was to create an international farmers’ platform, with a genuine participation of farmers’ organisations from developing countries. Gerard Doornbos, the 1998-2002 president of IFAP (the International Federation of Agricultural Producers), also president of LTO and of Agriterrra, turned this ambition into reality. Amongs others, this allowed for a new and stronger position of developing country farmers in critical meetings of the WTO.
Kees Blokland of Agriterra, and Ignace Coussement of Boerenbond contacted farmers’ organisations over the world, via IFAP, via COPA/COGECA as well as via the agri-agencies, the development agencies belonging to these farmers’ organisations. Consensus was build for a comprehensive, worldwide, effort for capacity building of farmers’ organisations in developing countries. Interest came from a broad series of countries, mainly European, but also from Canada, Japan, the US.
In a decisive meeting of the Development Co-operation Committee (DCC) of the International Federation of Agricultural Producers (IFAP) in 2002, at the OECD (Paris), agri-agencies confirmed their intention to set up the international AgriCord alliance.
In the beginning of 2003, eight agri-agencies formally created AGRICORD: AFDI (France), AGRITERRA (Netherlands), DAC (Denmark), IDACA (Japan), IVA (Belgium), FERT (France), NORGES VEL (Norway) and UPA-DI (Canada). In May 2004, SCC (Sweden) joined AgriCord. Later on, others followed: CSA (Belgium) in 2010, and two organisations from non-OECD countries, one from the Asian region, AsiaDHRRA (agri-agency for AFA, Asian Farmers’ Association) and one from Senegal, Asprodeb (agri-agency for a large group of Senegalese farmers’ organisations), joined the alliance in 2011.
2007-2008 Farmers Fighting Poverty presentations by I Coussement to the world’s farmers’ organisations at IFAP meetings in Canberra and Bangkok