Current living conditions and the bottlenecks that restrain agriculture’s progress in Colombia justify the exploration and implementation of public policies aimed at rural development. This dissertation focuses on rural development through smallholders’ agricultural cooperatives. Its main objective is to determine whether the main socio-economic conditions that allow these organizations to successfully develop are currently met in Colombia and to formulate policy implications on how the State may contribute to them. This dissertation argues that the conditions that facilitate the development of agricultural cooperatives are not adequately achieved in Colombia. Furthermore, it suggests that the State and other external agents may have a role to play in advancing these conditions. In short, it proposes the formulation of policies that allow the State to exert a facilitating role that aims to “midwife” the formation of self-reliant grassroots organizations. This “facilitatory” role would represent a third-way between two previous approaches that have failed in Colombia: the “top-down” interventions on farmer enterprises devised by the State in the 1960s and 1970s and the “hands-off” approach that was indifferent toward the development of smallholder organizations in the 1990s and 2000s.