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The main aim of this report is to provide a wide overview on how different institutions support the establishment of farmer-based organizations. It introduces best practices in terms of cost-effectiveness, replicability, sustainability and the impact on local communities, women and youth. To this end, a desk study was carried out including on-line available databases of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation, including the partnership initiative on South-South and Triangular Cooperation for Agricultural Development and Enhanced Food Security (SSTC-ADFS), and other available data sources, such as interviews with relevant stakeholders and enhanced knowledge exchange. The desk study is also supplemented with field experiences acquired during the implementation of the selected projects and study tours in some participating countries, such as Algeria, Morocco, Sudan and Tunisia in the Arab States region, and Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey and Uzbekistan in the Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) region.

In general, it is extremely challenging to define what is a farmer-based organization, because the terminology is widely used but rarely clarified, and can result in misunderstandings among the stakeholders coming from very different historical, economic and social backgrounds.

The aim was also to collect information on the most relevant centres of excellence, which would yield a list of institutions that could contribute to local development of farmer-based organizations based on locally collected experiences and research. This report also contains a list of decision-making institutions in the countries where the related legislative work is carried out and the most crucial administrative and support decisions are made. The research showed significant differences between the countries: in some cases, the centres of excellence are traditional think tanks, whereas in others, there are organizations or sectoral institutions that act as knowledge centres.

Using IFAD’s web resources, projects to combat rural poverty and measures to develop agricultural activities, value chains and in some cases, the farmer-based organizations themselves, were identified. The South-South and Triangular Cooperation for Agricultural Development and Enhanced Food Security online mapping database (www.southsouthworld.org) contains solutions and mechanisms to help rural people to secure their incomes and GIZ the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The core part of this report shows five ready-to-use practical solutions to help smallholder farmers and other stakeholders to effectively manage their farmer-based organizations. The solutions can serve as guidance to other self-help organizations throughout the world. These solutions include ideas on how to reach the market and increase incomes through value-adding processes, how to take steps towards vertical integration, and how to enforce self-development and prioritize education. This chapter also provides a brief and clear analysis on how to meet the set objectives. It can provide concrete assistance to stakeholders, notably, decision- and policymakers, consultants and supportive institutions in selecting the most feasible solution for their specific local situations and challenges.

On the basis of an extensive study, recommendations were formulated to help decision-makers, policymakers and national, international, governmental and non-governmental donor institutions to improve supportive actions to develop rural areas by improving the local farmer-based organizations.

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