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FAO, ASEAN, OECD conduct forum on food security and nutrition

Naypyidaw, Myanmar – AsiaDHRRA, together with AFA and partner CSOs in the region, participated in the Regional Conference on “Policies to Enable Food Security, Agricultural Productivity and Improved Nutrition” organized by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) on 14-15 June 2016 at the Hotel Amara in Naypyidaw, Myanmar.

Marlene Ramirez, AsiaDHRRA’s Secretary General, presented the civil society inputs during the round-table session on Multi-Stakeholder Collaboration for Agriculture Productivity and Improved Food Security and Nutrition. She emphasized the importance of investing in strengthening the formation and organizing of smallholder farmers and food producers (as agri-cooperatives, if not associations) as an imperative to sustainable rural development and poverty eradication.

The conference was geared toward drawing together “policy research and experiences from around the region, the FAO and across the OECD countries to discuss the challenges and opportunities for policies to better enable food security, agricultural productivity and improved nutrition”, and was attended by at least 70 senior government and intergovernmental officials and civil society representatives. Oxfam and AsiaDHRRA jointly mobilized resources to support the participation of CSOs in the event.

AsiaDHRRA is an affiliate entity of ASEAN and a CSO-interlocutor of FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific.

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AsiaDHRRA launches its new program: ReCoERDO Asia

Jogjakarta, Indonesia — DHRRA representatives from Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam, with partners from regional and global development organizations, such as the ASEAN Secretariat, the ASEAN Foundation, Asian Farmers Association, Collectif Strategis Allimentaires, and, World Rural Forum, gathered last 18 May 2016 at Sheraton Hotel, Yogyakarta, Indonesia for the launching of a new regional program for rural peoples of Asia called, Regional Cooperation to Empower Rural Development Organizations in Asia or ReCoERDO-Asia.

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ReCoERDO-Asia is a regional program that aims to contribute to the improvement of the socio-economic well-being of members of rural people’s organization in Southeast Asia through strengthened capacity of CSOs in responding to rural development issues.

It is a cooperation with the European Union under the Framework Partnership Agreement (FPA) to operationalize AsiaDHRRA network’s vision of self-reliant organized rural communities that are just, free, prosperous, living in peace and working in solidarity. In doing so, the action is geared toward strengthening the network’s capacities and optimizing its established leadership and social capital in the regions towards the improvement of the socio-economic well-being of members of RPOs in Asia.

Specifically, ReCoERDO – Asia aims to:
1. Strengthen the organizational capacities of the CSOs in delivering effective services to rural peoples’ organizations;
2. Strengthen the role and engagement of the AsiaDHRRA network in regional and global platforms; and,
3. Empower grassroots rural peoples’ organizations by building capacity to effectively engage public and private.

Dr. Hiroyuki Konuma, former Assistant Director-General (ADG) and Regional Representative for Asia and Pacific of FAO (UN), now Senior Advisor to the President of Asia Institute of Technology (AIT) Thailand, graced the launching. In his speech he said that was very honoured to be part of the ReCoERDO – Asia Project, and have accepted the invitation of AsiaDHRRA to be part of the Project Advisory Committee (PAC) in recognition of the network’s critical works and contribution for rural development in the region. He continued, “…support for rural population is imperative if we want food security”. He also stressed that development support should not only focus on traditional agri-production but instead should approach rural development in a much broader way to encompass value-chain, farmers-market linkages, making sure that their produce is much needed by consumers.

Soestrisno Kusumohadi, Vice-Chairman of InDHRRA (Indonesia Development Partnership for Human Resources in Rural Areas), and one of AsiaDHRRA’s Council of Elders said, “for many years, the voices of rural peoples in Asia were put on the sideline by governments. This program will strengthen Asian rural peoples in voicing out their issues, but more so, [it] will be done in terms of enhancing their capacities to participate in development.”

“With the launching of this new regional program, the many potentials of Asian rural peoples Organizations will be unleashed,” this according Marlene Ramirez, Secretary General for AsiaDHRRA.

For Dwi Astuti, InDHRRA’s Executive Director and concurrent AsiaDHRRA Chairperson, “in the end ReCoERDO – Asia is more than just an agreement between the European Commission and AsiaDHRRA. It is re-building human relationships among rural peoples.” ReCoERDO–Asia will be implemented in 8 countries across Asia: Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, and, Thailand together with the national DHRRAs and other partners of AsiaDHRRA.


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AsiaDHRRA sits in the 11th ASEAN SOC-COM

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Jakarta, Indonesia – AsiaDHRRA, represented by its Secretary General, Ms. Marlene Ramirez, joined in the 11th Coordinating Conference on the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (11th SOC-COM) on 29-30 March 2016 at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta, Indonesia.  The 11th SOC-COM was participated by heads of ASEAN Sectoral bodies under ASEAN Socio-Cultural Committee (ASSC), other relevant bodies under ASEAN Political Security Community (APC) and ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), as well as the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN (CPR), and, relevant regional entities.

The 11th SOC-COM aimed at:

  1. “Attaining a shared understanding of the ASCC Blueprint 2025, including its linkages with other regional and global frameworks such as the AEC and APSC Blueprints and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; and, as such are able to effectively communicate and cascade key messages on these documents to their respective sectoral bodies;
  2. “Making an initial assessment of cross-cutting themes and cross-sectoral opportunities leading towards a more effective operationalization of the ASCC Blueprint, which includes the identification of elements and potential coordination and collaboration platforms on cross-cutting themes and cross-sectoral issues, and the development of standard definitions of terminologies; and,
  3. “Discussing the linkage between the monitoring, reporting, and outreach of the ASCC Blueprint 2025 and the sectoral work plans/work programmes of the ASCC Sectoral Bodies; and, have provided guidance on the development of the new monitoring framework of the ASCC Blueprint 2025.”

AsiaDHRRA is an affiliated entity of ASEAN.

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AsiaDHRRA, MyanDHRRA to host workshop on market empowerment of small farmers

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This training workshop aims to develop understanding of participants and enhance their skills in utilizing available strategies and tools to build small producers market bargaining power.  The participants’ insights and views will also serve as guide in succeeding capacity building activities.

The participants include representatives from national and local farmers’ organizations, civil society/NGOs, and faith-based groups interested and working with/for the empowerment of small men and women producers.

The training activity is part of the capacity building component of the “Preparing the Grounds to Strengthen Farmers’ Organizations” in Myanmar project of AsiaDHRRA and MyanDHRRA.  The project is financed through the AgriCord cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland.

For further details, please e-mail Nonoy Villas at

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IFAD/EU unveil 16 million euro ASEAN farmers’ organizations support program at the 37th Ministers meeting


Makati City — A new development programme designed to improve the income and food security of 10 million small-scale farmers and rural producers was launched earlier this month at the 37th meeting of the ASEAN Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF) in Makati City.

Supported by the European Union (EU) in partnership with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the 16 million euro ASEAN Farmers’ Organizations Support Programme (AFOSP) will assist farmers’ organizations to more effectively influence agriculture and food security policy on a national, regional and global level.

“Approximately 80 per cent of agriculture investments are made by smallholders who provide 80 per cent of the world’s food supply. These farmers deserve support from governments and international finance institutions,” said Hoonae Kim, Director, Asia and the Pacific, IFAD.


Some 40 national organizations and 300 local associations will benefit from AFOSP investments in agriculture services, training centres and marketing facilitation.

IFAD currently invests in rural development in eight ASEAN member countries including Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines and Viet Nam.

As of the end of 2014, IFAD was providing more than US$1.8 billion in financing for 56 ongoing programmes and projects in 20 of the region’s 34 countries. With cofinancing by development partners and funds from governments and other domestic sources, these operations represent a total investment of more than $4.2 billion.


photo courtesy of

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PAKISAMA bags 2nd ASEAN Leadership Award on Rural Development and Poverty Eradication

Quezon City, Philippines – The Pambasang Kilusan ng Samahang Magsasaka (PAKISAMA) is  the Philippines’ official recipient nominee of the 2nd ASEAN Leadership Awards on Rural Development and Poverty Eradication. It is held bienially in conjunction with the ASEAN Ministers Meeting for Rural Development and Poverty Eradication.

The ASEAN – RDPE Leadership Award aims to recognize the outstanding achievement and contribution of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) towards rural development and poverty eradication. PAKISAMA, together with other nominees from 10 ASEAN Member States, will receive the award during the 4th ASEAN Forum on Rural Development and Poverty Eradication and Related Events on 15-17 October 2015 in Vientiane, Lao PDR.

AsiaDHRRA conceptualized the rural development leadership award and offered it to ASEAN  as a concrete form of cooperation with civil society working for sustainable rural development, with the aim of promoting efforts of civil society, including grassroots organizations, that are contributory to ASEAN’s goal of people-centered and people-driven society.

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