Today in Rome Coopermondo, the NGO of Confcooperative (the Italian Confederation of Co-ooperatives), and the IFAD, the International Fund for Agricultural Development of the United Nations, signed an agreement for the support of agricultural cooperatives in developing countries. The agreement was reached during the side-event organized by Coopermondo, “The experience of the Italian cooperatives and the development of partnerships with farmers’ organizations”, created as part of the sixth edition of the “Farmers’ Forum”, the world meeting organized by IFAD to promote dialogue with the governments of the member states and Fermers Organizations in the partner countries.
The signing came as the natural evolution of a dialogue started in 2015 to build a partnership in support of farmers’ organizations which already work with the governments of countries supported by IFAD. A commitment appreciated by the Italian agricultural and food cooperation. “In the world,” emphasized in his speech the president of the Alliance of Italian Cooperatives for the food industry, Giorgio Mercuri, “over 82% of farmers own less than 2 hectares. Cooperatives are an appropriate tool to ensure economic sustainability for small farmers and contribute significantly to global development agenda“.
“In many developing countries and emerging economies,” continued Mercuri, “our entrepreneurial model can combine knowledge and sectorial expertise, needed to enable small producers to get united and present themselves on the international market; at the same time it can creates niche markets for Italian companies that are nowadays exporting agricultural and food products in the world for a value of 36.85 billion euros”.
“The experience of the Italian cooperatives,” added Danilo Salerno, director of Coopermondo, “can significantly contribute to this project by sharing knowledge and technical know-how on economic services, such as Consortia and platforms of distribution. In addition, partnerships with other key stakeholders, such as NGOs and finance institutions, are an effective tool that should be further developed”.