Establishing Agro-Enterprises towards Inclusive Development: The Case of Nueva Segovia Consortium of Cooperatives in the Philippines
AbstractThis study analyzed the case of a local cooperative in the Philippines engaged in agro-enterprise development (AED). It aimed to gather microlevel insight on AED’s contribution to inclusive development, in the context of inclusive agri-business. The researchers profiled the AED initiatives of the Nueva Segovia Consortium of Cooperatives (NSCC), determined the challenges in implementing these initiatives, and analyzed the perceived impacts of the initiatives on the beneficiaries in relation to inclusive development. Data were gathered through key informant interview, focus group discussion, and review of project documents. Based on NSCC’s experience, key informants perceive that the AED initiatives have led to material, cognitive, perceptual, and relational change in its beneficiaries. These resulted from continuous capacity building and directly linking farmers to modern value chains through agro-enterprise development. The changes contribute to empowering the member farmers thereby promoting inclusive development at the local level. The key challenges faced by NSCC are related to production and the policy and institutional landscape for agro-enterprise development. Addressing these challenges, as well as capacitating the agro-enterprises to implement post-production value-adding activities, can maximize the gains towards inclusive development. In-depth studies on the impacts of agro-enterprises on beneficiaries are recommended to further substantiate the potential of agro-enterprise development to promote inclusiveness.
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