Building a stronger network for systems change

AMEA is now a stronger active network ready to create greater sustainable impact and systems change supporting more professional farmer organizations. Over 40 highly committed and engaged practitioners met at the first ever AMEA Global Alliance Convening, in Delft Netherlands, on 5 and 6 November 2018. Including ACDI VOCA, Cargill Cocoa and Chocolate, Church of Sweden, CNFA, CTA, Farmstrong, FCA/WCFO, FMO, GIZ, HRNS, ICCO, ICRA, IDH, IFC, Koppert Foundation, NCBA CLUSA, Nuru International, Oikocredit, Progreso, Rabobank, Rainforest Alliance, Rikolto, SCOPEinsight, Small Foundation, and UCA.

Opportunities for greater and sustainable impact and systems change to advance professional farmer organizations were created through active networking.

The Convening included various sessions to cultivate trust among the participants and understand how self-interest can be nurtured to serve common goals through collaboration with the other members of the AMEA network. The participants found a shared understanding of the AMEA origins, achievements to date and network purpose,  and agreed to active collaboration in six AMEA workstreams.

Key AMEA network priorities


The participants at the Convening agreed to move forward with existing workstreams on the Global Guidelines, Toolbox, Trainers and Coaches and Local Networks.

In addition to these, attendees of the Convening proposed two additional workstreams for 2019 – Achieving Bankability and Ag-tech digital tools, all for the purpose of finding more efficiency and effectiveness in building more professional farmer organizations.

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AMEA workstreams in 2019

Global guidelines

With the expected publication of the International Workshop Agreement (IWA) on the Guidelines for Professional Farmer Organizations in January 2019, AMEA members will collaborate to support widespread recognition of the IWA, coordinate the learning agenda and explore the possibilities and interest on moving the IWA into a full ISO standard in a few years.


In 2018, three assessment tools and four curricula have been peer-approved according to agreed criteria including alignment with the global guidelines. Collaboration in 2019 will involve a wider review of best-in-class tools available, development of a clear feedback loop from trainers and users of the tools back to the tool owners, and mapping of tools for quick understanding of applicability.

Trainers and coaches

Most AMEA members would benefit from more sharing details on qualified local trainers. In 2019  AMEA members aim to find solutions to the factors that may limit this sharing and substantially expand the number of trainers identified as qualified in key countries.  

Local networks workstream

AMEA local networks bring together practitioners at a country level with the common objective of effective and efficient development for professional farmer organizations. For 2019, AMEA members aim to progress AMEA local networks in Ethiopia, Côte d’Ivoire and Uganda and starting at least three new ones for example in Kenya. Local networks will map and address the needs and interests of local AMEA members in each country. Local networks aim to facilitate partnerships among AMEA members and with corporates looking for technical assistance services in the country.

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These technologies can range widely in application, from digitising supply chains through to monitoring and enhancing trainers and coaches’ service delivery to farmers and their organizations.


AMEA members will collect and share knowledge on useful digital tools, experiment with, and create and share case studies. The focus is on high performance applications that can add value to AMEA members’ work and/or applications which are potentially disruptive technologies.


Achieving Bankability workstream

Lack of access to financial services remains a key constraint for smallholder farmer organisations.  Capacity development of professional farmer organizations for better access to finance and markets is essentially de-risking farmer organizations.

Ag-tech workstream

As many new disruptive technologies emerge, participants at the AMEA Convening saw a need to collaborate on understanding the significance and potential value addition of digital tools to their work.

Many AMEA members commit to find the bridge between financial institutions needs and the work of AMEA members. Key partners for this workstream are financial institutions, capacity builders and data-led service providers.

A vibrant network with a more effective and efficient collaboration


Improving livelihoods for farmers globally requires solutions at many levels. AMEA members collaborate through active networking and use their collective and transformative power.

In his closing remarks, Alan Johnson, Chairman of the AMEA Board, expressed his hopes that the Alliance will become an even more vibrant and effective network, better able to work together to achieve large-scale positive impacts on farmer professionalism.

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