Table of Contents

Cooperatives, Economic Democratization and Rural Development

Cooperatives, Economic Democratization and Rural Development

Edited by Jos Bijman, Roldan Muradian and Jur Schuurman

Agricultural cooperatives and producer organizations are institutional innovations which have the potential to reduce poverty and improve food security. This book presents a raft of international case studies, from developing and transition countries, to analyse the internal and external challenges that these complex organizations face and the solutions that they have developed. The contributors provide a greater understanding of the transformation of traditional community organizations into modern farmer-owned businesses. They cover issues including: the impact on rural development and inclusiveness, the role of social capital, formal versus informal organizations, democratic participation and member relations, and their role in value chains.

Chapter 4: Smallholder organization through farmer (producer) companies for modern markets: experiences of Sri Lanka and India

Sukhpal Singh

Subjects: development studies, agricultural economics, development economics, economics and finance, development economics


Farmer collectives are viewed as an important element in linking smallholders with modern markets as they provide many benefits for this interface. This chapter examines the experience of a unique set of farmer collectives. Farmer companies (FCs) in Sri Lanka and producer companies (PCs) in India have been in existence for the last 18 and 10 years respectively in law and in practice. The chapter compares and contrasts the rationale, legal provisions, processes of setting up such FCs/PCs and role of promoters, especially the state. It examines the differential performance of these companies within each country and across the two countries and analyses the factors affecting their performance, based on case studies of such companies in Sri Lanka and India. It draws lessons, based on theory and practice, for better organization, promotion, management and performance of such producer agencies for more market-oriented performance for improving livelihoods of small producers.

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