The cooperative research team was formed in 2017 as a result of converging interests of several researchers at the Department of Economics and Development of the Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences.
The main long-term objective of the research team is to study collective actions of small producers in developing countries with socialist historical background. The main focus is on profit-making cooperatives as a tools for improving market access for small farmers. However, non-profit rural institutions and professional farmers’ organizations are covered as well. Recently the main research activities cover several countries of Eastern Europe – Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine; Central Asia – Mongolia; and Africa – Ethiopia, Kenya and Zambia. The common historical background of the collapse of state-controlled cooperatives and their current revival by national governments is the main unifying factor for all involved countries.
The analysed research topics include economic and social impact of the producer collective actions, importance of leadership and social capital, determinants of motivation of farmers to join such groups, their impact on gender and youth in rural areas, and typology of various forms of farmers’ cooperation. Topic of community-based decision-making and sharing of information through farmers’ networks are covered as well.