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Thursday, October 18 • 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Cooperatives: Key to Ending Hunger

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The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, IFPRI, USAID, the US Overseas Cooperative Development Counciland the World Bank are pleased to invite you to a panel discussion on:

“Cooperatives: Key to Ending Hunger”
Cooperatives are present in all countries and all sectors – agriculture, food, health care, marketing, insurance and credit, and contribute greatly to the global economy. In the US alone, there are 30,000 coops representing 73,000 places of business, and generating US$500 billion in annual revenue. An estimated 1 billion people worldwide are members of cooperatives, and in developing countries an estimated 250 million farmers participate in agricultural cooperatives.

Eliminating hunger and malnutrition requires the establishment of an enabling environment that allows small producers to take full advantage of available opportunities. Strong cooperatives and producer organizations are an essential part of that enabling environment. But what constitutes an enabling environment for cooperatives?

Cooperatives have proved to be superior to other forms of organization in certain situations in developed countries. So why is it that many cooperatives in developing countries are not as vibrant as they are in developed countries? Why are they not mobilizing collective action of the kind that would result in fewer hungry people and more sustainable development? What factors undermine the success of agricultural cooperatives and contribute to their demise? Are there early signs to determine organizational weakness? How can development specialists assist in supporting collective entrepreneurship? What does the macro and micro environment contribute to agricultural cooperatives’ probability of success?

Please join us for a lively discussion around these issues with three distinguished panelists representing three distinct perspectives:

- Dr. Michael Cook has worked with agricultural cooperatives for more than 40 years, as an employee and in academia. Today, he holds the Robert D. Partridge Chair in Cooperative Leadership and serves as professor of agricultural and applied economics at the University of Missouri. His Graduate Institute on Cooperative Leadership attracts coop leaders from across the United States.

- Dr. Marco Ferroni is the Executive Director of the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture. The Foundation’s mission isto develop scalable solutions for small farmers in developing countries and emerging markets. Under Dr. Ferroni’s leadership, the Foundation has developed pioneering crop insurance products, mobile phone-based applications, approaches to what the Foundation calls “market-led extension”, and business models for groups of growers linked to specific value chains. The Foundation is also a catalyst of public-private cooperation in agricultural research.

- Jacqueline David Mkindi is the Executive Director of the Tanzania Horticultural Association (TAHA). She is an experienced business and trade professional, and under her leadership TAHA has promoted and developed the horticultural industry, which is now the most effective agricultural sub-sector in Tanzania.

MODERATED BY: Alan Bjerga, Bloomberg News

Please contact Gabriel Laizer at Gabriel.Laizer@FAO.org for additional information.

Thursday October 18, 2012 3:30pm - 4:30pm CDT
Council Bluffs Room (3rd Floor) Downtown Des Moines Marriott