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Characterization of a collective action between farmers' organizations and institutions in an innovative process to face liberalization in Costa Rica

Faure G.. 2004. Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension, 10 (3) : p. 121-131.

In Northern Costa Rica agricultural production conditions change very rapidly due to public policies that encourage the exportation of new crops according to the liberalization process imposed by the international context. For many years, farmers' organizations at the local, regional and national levels have taken initiatives to respond to this new context and develop relationships with institutions (the Ministry of Agriculture, national universities, NGOs, international agencies, the private sector) promoting innovations and attaining better access to information, training and financial resources. A action-research program, Aid to Farmer's Organization of Northern Costa Rica, contributes to the strengthening of farmers' organizations and tries to induce change dynamics through the elaboration of a shared vision of peasant agricultureimplying the production of safe food, the protection of natural resources, the development of qualified local employment and the defense of the rural culture. The present paper will analyze the dynamics of such a collective action. Action is structured around various activities such as the exchange of experiences between farmers' organizations, the elaboration of a common vision on the future of family agriculture between different actors, the training of the members and leaders of organizations and the design and implementation of innovative projects. This collective action induces the construction of new and useful knowledge, changes in the relationships between the actors, the implementation of new institutional mechanisms and the development of new rules inside and outside of the organizations. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : organisation paysanne; libéralisation des échanges; association d'agriculteurs; costa rica; recherche-action

Thématique : Economie et politique du développement

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