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Farmer unity, a powerful influence on state policy Home / Farmer unity, a powerful influence on state policy

Farmer unity, a powerful influence on state policy

Co-ops hold the possibility of transforming the agricultural life and business of small-scale farmers across the region, but the farmers themselves must take responsibility for setting up co-ops and for keeping them relevant to farmer needs. “Once the co-op is formed, members can begin to push their agendas,” said Kingsley.

Organised farmer groups have the power to influence policy makers, a tool used worldwide by farmers and other stakeholders in the agricultural sector. “We really need to sit down as small-scale farmers and get organised,” said Kingsley. “This is how we will successfully address the challenges we face.”

For instance, it is common knowledge that small-scale farmers are harassed on the roads when transporting their goods to market. But, said Kingsley, if farmers got together and organised small vehicles to transport produce this kind of difficulty could be a thing of the past.

“Rather than rushing toward the money, the first focus should be on farmer challenges and how to solve them.” By implication, a good foundation will allow farmers to reap the rewards of their efforts after sensible progress has been made.

“People will go to the land if they know that you can farm and create wealth,” Kingsley said. The small-scale farmers carry the responsibility of making that message a reality and they need all the help they can get to make it so.