| By A.Bebbington, J. Quisbert and G. Trujillo | Published in Public Administration and Development, vol. 16(3): 195-213 |
Abstract: At a time when public sector agricultural and rural development administration is changing quite profoundly, and when farmer organizations are being asked to assume more significant roles in rural and agricultural development, in‐depth analysis of these organizations is an important input into policy and programmatic discussions. This article is an analysis of one type of small farmer organization, a regional economic organization called El Ceibo in Bolivia. It is one of the most successful cases of small farmer organization around technology generation and product transformation and marketing in the Andes. El Ceibo has been able to open new markets for its products, adapt product transformation techniques appropriate for these markets, and develop technology in support of its marketing strategy. Factors favouring Ceibo’s success include long‐term financial and technical support from external agencies, isolated location, and a cash/export crop specialization. The impacts of Ceibo are significant, although it is not clear how far Ceibo’s activities foster a more broadly based regional development in the Alto Beni area. The article also compares the strategies and impacts of economically based organizations such as El Ceibo with those of more traditional, representative and politically oriented small farmer organizations.