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Manuals | June 1, 2012

Organizing and Managing Farmers' Groups

A SMART Skills Manual

Getting organized is vital for small-scale farmers in developing countries. On their own, individual farm families can do little to improve their livelihoods: they lack the capital, skills, experience and scale to solve problems, invest, market or innovate.

But if they work together, they become strong. Together they can save enough to invest in their enterprises; they can identify and exploit opportunities; they can learn from each other and build their skills; they can analyze problems and find solutions.

This manual shows how field agents, extension workers and program managers can help farmers get organized. The 17 lessons, available in English, French and Spanish, cover the following topics:

  • Why work with groups, and the role of the group promoter
  • How to start working with farmers in communities and help them get organized
  • How to help them plan and implement activities
  • How to deal with communication and networking issues

Each lesson includes guidelines, field exercises to do with a group of farmers and quizzes to test your understanding.

This is one manual in a series on SMART Skills—the skills that field agents need to help farmers in developing countries improve their livelihoods.