A cross case synthesis of the social and economic development of three Guatemalan coffee cooperatives
Cooperatives in the international coffee sector can help build farmer capacity, increase coffee productivity, and improve farmer welfare. The purpose of this research was to examine Guatemalan coffee cooperatives to determine unique attributes, social capital perspectives, and social impacts on small holder farmers. Four perspectives on social capital and economic development were examined across cases: (a) the communitarian view, (b) the networks view, (c) the institutional view, and (d) the synergy view. The research design was mini-ethnographic case study with cross-case synthesis. The emerging themes were (a) economic impacts, (b) multiple generation farmers, (c) capacity building trainings to improve crop management, (d) use of shade trees and organic matter for soil amendments, (e) service learning/agritourism, and (f) use of microloans to enhance economic development. Based upon the exploratory cases, each community had similar and unique internal and external interactions that could be triangulated with social capital perspectives. Networks were formed between members of the co-ops (intracommunity) giving a sense of community and purpose (i.e. agritourism, service learning) and external sources (i.e. workshops/trainings and a USAID research plot). The concept of social capital perspective gives insight into an explanation of economic development.
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Copyright (c) 2020 Kim Dooley, Catherine Dobbins, Leslie Edgar, Bradley Borges, Sarah Jones, Jose Hernandez, Amanda Birnbaum
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