Congratulations to Margitta Minah who defended her PhD thesis at the end of January 2022 titled “The role of farmer organisations in rural development: Revisiting their membership, impacts and external support”
Farmer organisations, such as cooperatives, associations or producer groups, are self-help groups found in many rural areas in the Global South that in theory provide services to enhance smallholder productivity, incomes and poverty reduction. However, many farmer organisations are dependent on support from either the state or funding organisations, and often they are prone to fail.
It remains unclear to what extent and under what conditions farmer organisations actually improve smallholder livelihoods in countries in the Global south, in particular given the unequal participation amongst households. In her thesis, Margitta Minah combines cooperative and collective action theory and applies mixed-methods to better understand how farmer organisations provide tangible benefits to (in particularly disadvantaged) smallholders and how development actors can support them in the process. It includes four peer-reviewed articles that present findings on farmer organisations activities, membership, impacts and possible effects from government support.