Community Supported Agriculture programs, commonly known as C.S.A.’s, were born in Japan and Switzerland in the 1960s and 1970s.  Since then, C.S.A.’s have expanded globally and are now becoming increasingly popular worldwide.  These programs enable consumers to buy fruits, vegetables, meats, and other goods in advance that are grown by local farmers.  Most commonly, consumers receive baskets weekly containing the goods specified in their subscriptions.  The growth of these programs is due largely in part to the numerous advantages that both consumers and farmers are experiencing.

Farmers are receiving payments in advance and this is greatly increasing the cash flow for their farms before the growing season begins.  In locations where conditions are only suitable for growing certain months of the year, marketing is done in the winter months.  This alleviates some of the strain on farmers who would usually have to find time to market amidst a busy farming schedule.

Consumers are also finding many advantages in participating in these programs.  From a health perspective, consumers are getting access to food that is extremely fresh and commonly organic.  Because of the variety of foods offered by these programs, consumers are being exposed to new ways of cooking and even have the chance to visit the farm that produces their food once a season.  This enables them to learn more about agriculture and gives them the opportunity to develop a relationship with the farmer who produces their food.

In Morocco, Community Supported Agriculture programs are rapidly gaining popularity.  Many of these operations are run by local farmers who do most of the farming by hand.  Experts believe that this small-scale, personalized farming method is well-suited for countries that do not yet have industrialized farming practices. 

C.S.A.’s are growing worldwide in developed and developing countries.  Although methods of production may vary, a similar result is produced.  These programs offer a fresher and healthier alternative to large-scale agricultural production and are growing in popularity because of this. 

On behalf of globalEDGE, I encourage you to stay tuned this week for more blog posts regarding agribusiness.

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