Farmer Agency: a Practical Approach for Farmer-Inclusive Food Systems

Family farms are the food producers of the world. They produce food for themselves, for the rural areas where they live and for the growing urban population. Paradoxically, smallholder farmers also make up the largest part of food insecure people. This course concentrates on family farms as central actors in food systems. The course introduces an action-oriented approach and shares many practical tools for promoting farmer entrepreneurship, the organisation and collective action of farmers and their collaboration with other actors and stakeholders. Join and become a facilitator of food system transformation, for making a difference, with and for farmers!

Organised by Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation

Mon 12 September 2022 until Fri 9 December 2022

Scholarships Yes
Scholarship Application February / March
Course Format Online
Credits Certificate

The course is about designing and facilitating farmer-inclusive development. Key elements are:

  • Realities of smallholder farmers
  • Governance, management and performance of farmers’ organisations
  • Value chain analysis
  • Improved stakeholder collaboration
  • A more enabling environment for farmer-inclusive development.

Don’t miss the opportunity to become a facilitator knowing how to bring about effective collective action of farmers’ organisations.

What will you learn?

Upon completion of the course you will:

  • To interpret farmer entrepreneurship in their own context;
  • To use methods and tools for farmer-inclusive agro-economic development;
  • To profile farmers to reveal their diversity and tailor interventions;
  • To assess the governance, management and performance of farmers’ organisations;
  • To analyse an agro-economic system including value chain and stakeholder mapping;
  • To strategize for improving farmers’ relations with other stakeholders, such as sourcing companies, financial institutions, research, extension and others;
  • To plan and accompany the development of agribusiness cases piloted by farmers and their organisations.

To course details

For whom is this course?

Are you eager to promote farmer inclusion? If so, then this three-week course, emphasising farmer entrepreneurship and collective action, is for you. We welcome professionals from farmers’ organisations, governmental organisations, private sector, civil society organisations, universities, research and extension from different regions of the world. Proficiency in English is required.

Course programme in more detail

Family farms constitute the majority of the world’s small and medium enterprises. Ninety percent of all farms worldwide are family farms, mostly smallholders. These 500 million family farms represent one third of the world population, and provide 80% of the world’s food. Family farms are and will remain crucial for food availability and nutrition security. Family farms are small enterprises and make up the largest part of the private sector. However, the habit to treat farmers as target groups or beneficiaries of development programs is persistent. Government, company and donor efforts to listen to, and learn from farmers are still limited. As a result, farmers are still only partially involved in the design and implementation of rural development programmes.

Duration Part-time / 13 weeks
Studyload 130 hours
Programme 58 hours of facilitated sessions / 72 hours of self-study (assignments). Twice a week there is a 2,5 hrs. facilitated session.
Break Yes, break from 3-7 Oct. and from 31 Oct. - 4 Nov.

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Courses are currently online

Our courses are currently online. Check the course details for more information about the online course format.

Application for this course

On top of this page you can apply for the course 'Farmer Agency: a Practical Approach for Farmer-Inclusive Food Systems'. Depending on your nationality, your organisation and the type of course you wish to join, your eligibility and the application procedures may differ. Find out more about the requirements and the application process.