Promoting Farmer Entrepreneurship through Producer Organizations in Central and Eastern Europe

Providing technical assistance to farmer cooperatives and producers’ organizations
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This paper presents the summary of a report that analyzes the development of producer groups and farmer cooperatives across Central and Eastern Europe, including new European Union members and the Balkan states.

In theory, voluntary member-owned, financed and controlled producer groups and farmer cooperatives should enable their members to take an active part in their own development. In reality, however, very few have a major share in supplying inputs, providing rural services or marketing production and even fewer influence national policy.

Producers and rural communities need technical assistance to mobilize their resources in order to respond to the pressures of competitive markets. Technical advisors could help by:

  • Providing support in developing competitive agricultural and rural-based business enterprises;
  • Addressing demand for project feasibility studies, planning, marketing and development of added value activity;
  • Encouraging cross fertilization of ideas between groups.