Nature of the AgriCord alliance
Farmers’ and rural peoples’ organisations and cooperatives in several countries around the globe have formed development agencies - agri-agencies – that in 2003 started to work together in AgriCord.
Agri-agencies are governed by farmers’ and other rural people’s organisations and cooperatives. They focus their development work on strengthening similar farmers’ organisations and cooperatives in developing countries. All strongly believe in the power of organized farmers to foster more inclusive and prosperous societies.
Each agency supports professional farmers’ organisations and cooperatives, thus developing family based farming by promoting their entrepreneurial capacities and driving development by promoting farmer-led rural off-farm rural employment and service provision.
Among the agri-agencies, differences exist in target groups and organizations, focus countries and approaches. This creates opportunities to cover the different needs, types and levels of farmer’s organisations and cooperatives in various contexts, and to adapt strategies to the potential and the diversity of the farmers involved. The 2016 re-engineering of the alliance allows to take advantage of these differences among agri-agencies and complement each other’s strengths.
Strengthening farmers’ organisations and cooperatives is a necessary condition for economic, social and political development. The theory of change of Farmers Fighting Poverty builds on the vision that farmers’ associations and cooperatives will contribute to more democratic societies (better institutions and dialogue), to higher economic growth (more and better services and products) and to a more equal and more inclusive distribution of income and wealth (increasing involvement of smallholder farmers, particularly women and youth).
The end of poverty and hunger, starting with rural areas
Good governance and democracy
Sustainable economic development
Better distribution of income
Influential role of organised farmers in society and economy in developing countries
A world with a productive family farm sector that is able to feed the world, can only be attained by investing in agriculture and in transformation services and by giving farmers in an organised way full participation in the design and implementation of the development path, leading to a smooth structural transformation of the economy without jeopardising the employment and food provision.
Sustainaible development perspectives
“Family farms are absolutely vital when it comes to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals to end hunger (as outlined in SDG 2) and achieve inclusive and efficient agricultural and food systems (as in SDG 12). Raising the income of family farmers is recognised as the key to rural poverty reduction (as in SDG 1).
AgriCord supports farmers’ organisations as vital actors for the implementation of the SDGs. This view on roles and involvement of farmers’ organisations, following peer-to-peer pathways and focusing on their catalytic roles in development processes, is shared with FAO. AgriCord’s theory of change aims at
inclusive and enabling governance and policy processes, within farmers’ organisations and facilitated by these organisations (SDG 16 & 17);
increased entrepreneurship, access to markets and finance through gender equitable value chains (SDG1, 5, 8 & 12).
farmers’ adaptation and resilience to address climate change, food security and nutrition (SDG 2, 13, & 15).
improved and gender equitable access to social and cultural services (SDG 3 & 10).
 For a more exhaustive presentation of this theory of change: J. Bijman, R. Muradian, J. Schuurman (ed.), Cooperatives, Economic Democratisation and Rural Development: the role of producers’ organisations (forthcoming), Edward Elgar Publishing, 2016, pages 261 sqq.
 EU Commissioner Phil Hogan speech at ASEAN Foundation, 7th November 2016, Jakarta.