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Evolving and Strengthening the Cooperative Approach for Agroforestry Farmers in Bangladesh: Lessons Learned from the Shimogo Cooperative in Japan

1
Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Kyushu University, Hakozaki, Fukuoka 812-8581, Japan
2
Department of Agroforestry, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh-2202, Bangladesh
3
Forest Policy Laboratory, Faculty of Agriculture, Kyushu University, Hakozaki, Fukuoka 812-8581, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 617; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10030617
Received: 23 December 2017 / Revised: 10 February 2018 / Accepted: 24 February 2018 / Published: 27 February 2018
Although an agro-based country, the farmers of Bangladesh do not receive significant returns from their products, due to some obstacles blocking the achievement of this ultimate goal. This study tries to identify the major challenges of the agroforestry product supply chains in Bangladesh, and offer an alternative solution through the involvement and experiences of farmer cooperatives within a Japanese cooperative model. The objectives were outfitted by two case studies, and the Bangladesh case clearly showed that the involvement of many intermediaries in agroforestry product supply chains was one of the main obstacles that stunted the outcomes of the agroforestry programs. The intermediaries have maximized their profit by buying the farmer products at low prices and selling them back at higher prices, which resulted in high marketing margins. Meanwhile, the Japanese case study had articulated that the farmer-driven cooperative approach, with its good marketing strategies and service functions, could successfully eliminate the intermediaries’ involvement in farmer products, and make a cooperative a strong economic organization. Despite a few challenges, the farmer-driven Japanese cooperative approach would be a good solution that could tackle the middleman problem, and make agroforestry a sustainable production system in Bangladesh. View Full-Text
Keywords: farmer cooperative; marketing channel; intermediaries; production systems; Asia farmer cooperative; marketing channel; intermediaries; production systems; Asia
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Islam, K.K.; Fujiwara, T.; Sato, N.; Hyakumura, K. Evolving and Strengthening the Cooperative Approach for Agroforestry Farmers in Bangladesh: Lessons Learned from the Shimogo Cooperative in Japan. Sustainability 2018, 10, 617.

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