The United Nations has declared 2012 the International Year of Cooperatives in order to showcase cooperatives’ impact on poverty reduction, employment generation and social integration. Through the theme “Cooperative Enterprises Build A Better World,” the Year will raise awareness about cooperatives worldwide and promote their establishment and growth.

IFDC recognizes and supports the International Year of Cooperatives and has a long-standing commitment to building agricultural linkages through the development of producer and agro-dealer groups. The development of associations and cooperatives is a powerful tool to assist both agro-dealers and farmers in building their businesses.

For example, IFDC’s CATALIST project has partnered with several producer groups to develop the professionalism of the organizations and train members in agricultural best practices. For more information about these partnerships, please see the following case studies:

  • The Central Agricultural Cooperative of North Kivu (COOCENKI) includes 25 cooperatives working in Rutshuru, Lubero and Beni in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). With assistance from CATALIST, COOCENKI plans to be the first organization in the Kivu to specialize in agro-input market development.
  • The Confederation of Agricultural Producer Associations for Development (CAPAD) is a key partner of the CATALIST project in Burundi. CAPAD includes 72 cooperative organizations.
  • The League of Women Farmers’ Organizations of North Kivu (LOFEPACO) was established in 2000 to create opportunities for women farmers in the war-torn North Kivu Province of the DRC. IFDC’s CATALIST project is strengthening the organization by training its members in agricultural intensification techniques and facilitating access to credit.