The Tunisian national context is increasingly conducive to the organization of producers and therefore to the action of Fert association. Thus, at the beginning of 2018, Fert joined forces with Ager, a Tunisian consultancy firm created on its initiative, for a 3-year program to identify organizations of agricultural producers and gradually build new partnerships.
Progressivity and pragmatism to build a trusting relationship and a long-term partnership
2018-2019: meetings and exchanges with farmers and their organisations
The first two years were dedicated to “prospecting” and “diagnosis”.
About twenty Farmer Organizations – FOs (mutual society of agricultural services and agricultural development groups) from 8 governorates were met on various occasions.
The aim was to meet farmers, to exchange on their agricultural activities and practices, but also to perceive the coherence and dynamics of the farmers’ groups, the leadership and vision of the leaders, as well as the ambition and commitment of the collective.
2019-2020: first supporting activities – getting to know each other
The first exchanges in 2018 and 2019 enabled us to identify the FOs that have strong dynamism, a real commitment of the leaders, a group coherence …
With these FOs, the first accompanying activities have been co-constructed in 2019 and others will be organised in 2020.
The progressivity adopted in the implementation of accompanying activities allows the FOs, Ager and Fert to:
- get to know each other, in action
- fine-tune knowledge of the FO and its leaders, as well as their expectations and interests
- compare their values
- exchange on the principles of action and the partnership relationship
In 2020, for some FOs, because they are more mature and/or the meeting is older, a small, but broader action plan has even already been imagined.
For example, it is planned, with a recently created cooperative (SMSA), bringing together young male and female farmers producing apples, to accompany them (i) technically in apple production (pruning, organic and mineral fertilization, protection of orchards, …), (ii) in the setting up of a service for the supply of inputs (animal feed, phytosanitary products, small equipment) and (iii) on the marketing of processed aromatic and medicinal plants.
If, through the action, the FOs, Ager and Fert note that they share the same values and the will to work together on some of the FO’s services, more consequent partnerships could be established from 2021.