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 8: ‘Informal virtues’ and ‘formal vices’? Understanding the implications of producer organizations for pastoralists in India

Stefano Pascucci and Jessica Duncan

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


In this chapter we aim to better understand and conceptualize the effect of formalization on informal mechanisms of collective actions, with a focus on pastoralists in Gujarat, India. More specifically, we look at participation in milking activities of both pastoralists and dairy farmers as related to a number of conditions and attributes of the different communities and rules, as well as participant-related features. Through the analysis of the case study, this chapter highlights ways that pastoralists are being organized (formally and informally) within the dairy chain context. Particularly we analyse how intervention in the ordering of Indian dairy markets has produced tensions between formal and informal collective action, and examine the potential impacts on informal collective action of pastoralists. We conclude with a call for development practitioners and policy makers to reflect on the relationships between formal and informal collective action to support more inclusive policies and programmes.

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