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Chapter 3 : Insights from the participatory analysis of local initiatives

Chapter 3 : Insights from the participatory analysis of local initiatives
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alothore , patrickdelmas 18 janvier 2010

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This chapter discusses the main points and key questions related to initiatives by farmers and FOs to improve
the marketing of agricultural products. We cannot deny the important role played by FOs in facilitating access
to markets and the marketing of agricultural products grown by farmers. However, are FOs always capable of
assuming all of these types of activities ? Can or should they try to do everything ?
The question of the relation between farmers and their FOs is a constantly recurring one. Farmers may see
themselves as more or less involved, as indebted, or as simple users of collective activities carried out by FOs,
which itself is not without problems. Are FOs simply service providers among a host of others available on the
market ?
This chapter also addresses reflections on the method and tools used by the Working Group, and more broadly
the methods and tools used to reinforce the activities of FOs in terms of the marketing of agricultural products.
What results can we gather from this entire process, with its multiple spaces of exchange and reflection between
actors (case studies, work exchanges and forums held with their involvement) ? What are the impacts and
possible consequences, if any, of adopting “best practices” ? What structures with a larger geographical scope
can be envisioned, extending beyond local initiatives ?
Participatory methods of collective reflection are complicated and take a long time to put in place, requiring
specific forms of funding that allow for effective involvement. Still, despite limits in human and financial capital,
it is necessary to address this issue.

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