ARTICLE


Why get organised into a cooperative?

Together you are stronger.

You can pool resources: knowledge, best practices, finance, labour, equipment, land.

  • For sharing your agricultural knowledge, learning from each other, developing best practices;
  • For greater access to loans and subsidies (banks, government, development ngo’s, international organisations);
  • For joint purchasing of certified seed potatoes;
  • For making a good division of labour for maximum efficiency;
  • For jointly buying, operating and maintaining equipment;
  • For building upon collective knowledge and experience;
  • For realising a larger-sized continuous land area (easier to prepare, grow, irrigate, fertilise, use machinery on).

Research & Development

A large group of farmers has ‘investment power’. Jointly purchase certified seed potatoes. If you want applied research done on a particular issue you have with growing potatoes, writing a proposal, getting it financed and researched is relatively easy.

Growing

A large group of farmers has ‘growing power’. Use the knowledge, experience and manpower available within the cooperative to work the larger-sized land area together. Improve preparing, planting, irrigating and fertilising. Jointly buy, operate and maintain equipment.

Harvesting

A large group of farmers has ‘harvesting power’. Join your many hands and get your harvest off the fields in record time. Reduce postharvest losses. Clean, sort and grade quickly in preparation for storing, trading and processing.

Storage

A large group of farmers has ‘storing power’. Firstly, by being able to invest in a modern cold storage facility. Secondly, storage often also means higher prices. Do not put your complete harvest on the market immediately. Partly store it and wait. That gives your cooperative more control over supply and demand (surpluses and shortages).

Trade

A large group of farmers has ‘supplying power’. This will help you towards a profitable deal when doing business with a trader. As a cooperative you are able to guarantee a year-round stable supply in terms of volume and quality. The result: higher prices.

Marketing

A large group of farmers has ‘marketing power’. A cooperative is able to meet demands, requirements and standards from various markets: the traditional market, traders, processors, retailers and export countries.

Distribution

A large group of farmers has ‘distribution power’. Examine the possibility of organising transport and distribution yourselves. More quality control adds value to your potatoes and potato products.

Processing

A large group of farmers has ‘supplying power’. This will help you towards a profitable deal when doing business with a processor. If as a cooperative you are able to guarantee a year-round stable supply in terms of volume and quality, you will get higher prices.

Consumption

A large group of farmers has ‘consumer power’. Your cooperative is able to fund market research with live tasting panels for your potatoes and potato products. You may be able to launch a marketing campaign.

Extension service

A large group of farmers may be better able to organise their extension service. This means applying scientific research and new knowledge to agricultural practices through farmer education.

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