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GWENGWERE COOPERATIVE MAKES STRIDES IN COMMODITY MARKETING

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For an individual smallholder farmer, sourcing markets for produce can be a tiresome and costly activity. Even after the efforts, one is never guaranteed that they will get the best possible deal. Such challenges are likely to lead smallholder farmers to turn away from farming activities and look for other less involving and profitable economic activities or perpetuate subsistence farming . To smallholder farmers who are members of Gwengwere cooperative, these challenges have been remitted to the archives of history. African Institute of Cooperative Citizenship (AICC) organized farmers into collective marketing groups and trained smallholders farmers under Gwengwere cooperative to be engaged in commodity aggregation and collective marketing. The intervention made the cooperative to establish an outlet that is bridging the gap between the Cooperative  and potential markets thereby allowing them guaranteed access to markets.

Under the intervention, farmers now are able to meet the demands of major buyers for their produce at  pre-negotiated prices. The quality of the produce has also improved as the buyers set the standards that the farmers adhere to. This is a marked difference from the traditional approaches where farmers depended on middle men who rarely cared about the production process and were always looking for a cheaper bargain. “We are now concentrating our energies on production while being sure about the market.. This has  increased the quality and quantity of our yields and we have also seed improved farmers’ wellbeing ,” says the chairman of the cooperative.