Popular and solidarity economy. Policies and realities in the local context. the case of the agricultural productive associations of El Valle, Ecuador

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The popular and solidarity economy (EPS) emerges as an alternative approach to poverty aligned with the principles of sustainable development; in this sense, some countries in the region have adopted policies for its growth and development, among them Ecuador. The experience of a rural community was shown; the objective of the study was to identify the factors that hinder the achievement of better efficiency indexes, regarding the implementation of policies at the local level, with respect to rural productive associations. The case of the agricultural productive associations located in the parish of El Valle, Cuenca, Ecuador, was studied. The type of research was mixed: quantitative to support the information extracted from the instruments applied and derive the pertinent analysis and qualitative to collect primary information from the actors involved in the study. We used the action research model through the use of surveys, interviews and focus groups. The key contribution of this work was to making visible and understanding the needs of the rural communities of the sector from their development perspectives, respecting their ancestral knowledge and articulating from the academy the private–public action for the generation of policies for gover-nance, effective application of democracy and promotion of the technical and associative potential of the agroecological productive units. The results show regularities in terms of their socioeconomic situation, their mode of action and the impact caused on their productive dynamics by the atomized decisions of local actors in the exercise of governance. These fail to articulate the implementation of policies at the territorial level to the detriment of their effectiveness and efficiency and, therefore, do not bring about substantial changes in their levels of dependence and dynamics of productive activity—diagnostic components that will be used for the formulation of joint multilevel policies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13469
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number23
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
In the analysis of this problem, [56] proposed an involution in relation to the development of associativity in the country, referring in particular to the implementation of projects that derive from policy action. They described the example of FARPSE, whose origin is recent (2018); this program limits its scope to a few provinces and also depends on external funding from the Agricultural Development Fund (FIFA). This evidences the existence of limitations in the implementation of national policies, given their dependence on international institutions that are alien to the concrete situation that exists in the country.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Agricultural productive associations
  • Policies
  • Popular and solidarity economy
  • Sustainability


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