Experts discussed how co-operatives can contribute to achieving global food security at World Food Day Colloquium 2018.
Photo: © Angelika Beck

26.10.2018

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What is the role of co-operatives in developing countries, especially today? And how can they contribute to achieving global food security? These were the two central issues that this year’s World Food Day Colloquium discussed at the University of Hohenheim in Germany. Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen, the father of rural co-operatives, was born exactly 200 years ago.

At the World Food Day Colloquium of the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart/Germany on the 16th October 2018, participants addressed the topic of co-operatives. In Germany and in other European countries, the notion of co-operatives spread rapidly in the second half of the nineteenth century. European emigrants took the concept with them to their new homes, for example in Brazil, where they then set up the first co-operatives.

Leadership is crucial

Today, Brazil has 6,600 co-operatives with a total of 13.4 million members. The co-operative organisations were given new impetus at the beginning of the twenty-first century following a phase in which Brazilian agriculture had suffered under the impact of the country’s unstable economic situation, as Professor Gilson Martins of the Federal University of Paraná, Brazil, explained. One of the features of the Brazilian co-operatives is that they can offer their members special credit lines for agricultural investments, which makes them attractive.

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