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Sources – Farmer Organisations

Banking on self-help groups: Twenty Years On

Book cover: Banking on self-help groups

Ajay Tankha, July 2012, SAGE India, 328 p., ISBN 9788132109648

The book reviews the existing state of affairs in respect of the SHG (Self-help Group) movement and addresses the question of what should be the next phase of development of the SHGs. It identifies the policy gaps and opportunities that exist for the SHGs to be mainstreamed further into the formal financial system.

The author examines elements of strategy and design being adopted by the National Rural Livelihoods Mission as also the potential role of NABARD in the development of SHGs in the future. The study focuses on three core issues pertaining to SHGs. These relate to (i) costeffectiveness, (ii) sustainability, and (iii) impact, i.e., the development cost of SHGs and SHGbased institutions, the sustainability of SHG models and community institutions fostered by them, and the economic and social impact on SHG members. The book concludes with a discussion of proposals and institutional arrangements that provide the way forward for the continued and uninterrupted growth of SHGs as an agency for change in the rural sector of India.

Good practices in building innovative rural institutions to increase food security

Book cover: Good practices in building innovative rural institutions to increase food security

Denis Herbel, Eve Crowley, Nora Ourabah Haddad, Maria Lee, 2012, Food and AgricultureOrganization of the United Nations (FAO), Rome (Italy) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), ISBN 978-92-5-106898-4

New forms of institutional innovations have emerged recently to provide a response to the numerous constraints that small producers face in rural areas. These innovative organizations and institutional arrangements can provide small producers an array of services including improving market access and strengthening small producers’ negotiating power, enhancing access to and management of natural resources and improving access to information and knowledge. They are also an effective means to empower small producers by helping them build their capacity to formulate and express their needs and concerns within their organizations and vis-àvis influential economic actors and policy-makers. There is a need to recognize the critical role of these innovative organizations and institutional arrangements in order to be more effective in poverty reduction and food security efforts. This case study-based publication presents a collection of thirty-five cases of successful small-scale producer innovative organizations and institutional arrangements, from different regions in the world.

Informal Institutions and Rural Development in China

Book cover: Informal Institutions and Rural Development in China

Biliang Hu, May 2012, Routledge, 384 p., £26.00, ISBN 978-0-415-54285-2

Providing an account of the role of informal institutions in Chinese rural development, this book, based on a decade of fieldwork of village life in the Chinese countryside, puts forth a distinctive argument on a very important topic in Chinese economic and social affairs.

Focusing in particular on three major informal institutions: village trust and Rotating Savings and Credit Associations (ROSCAs), guanxi community and Integrating Village with Company (IVWC) governance, it argues that informal institutions, traditions and customs are all critical factors for facilitating modernization and social and economic development, promoting the integration of trust, reciprocity, responsibility and obligation into economic and social exchange processes and considerably lowering risks and transactions costs.

This detailed account is an invaluable resource for postgraduates and researching, studying and working in this area.