The conclusion summarises some key findings drawn from our experience and work with this methodology:
- Improved product marketing is a key factor in order to increase farmers’ revenue. This activity that should be given high priority.
- Ingrained prejudices and set notions do not provide the key to finding solutions. Merchants are not necessarily thieves: they offer services, and their “opportunistic” behaviour can be attributed to a shifting and insecure environment. This same low level of security can lead farmers in a precarious position to adopt short-term individual strategies that hinder the collective dynamics of a FO.
- There exists a range of possible collective and individual solutions. These are more or less complex depending on the individual circumstances of farmers.
- Processing, marketing and transporting goods are activities that require knowledge. These professions cannot simply be picked up, without training, and FOs cannot substitute themselves for professional workers. Furthermore, these kinds of “frontal attacks” are not the most profitable for the farmers themselves.
- In order to be effective, farmers and their organisations need to be actors in the initiatives and projects that concern them, working closely with development actors. Adequate methods, tools and time are required as communicating and sharing work between these different families of actors calls for preparation and followup to maintain the process.