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Asiadhrra to hold 9th General Assembly in Myanmar on October 2-4, 2014

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Asiadhrra will hold its 9th General Assembly on October 2-4, 2014 in Yangon, Myanmar.  The event will also commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the DHRRA Network which was born in 1974 in Swanganiwas, Thailand ushering the birth of country DHRRAs accompanied by CENDHRRA until 1994, when AsiaDHRRA was evolved to focus on the regional DHRRA network process. It will conclude with the approval by the General Assembly of  the AsiaDHRRA thrusts and strategic objectives for 2015-2020.

The General Assembly will commence with a Regional Forum on the theme of: “Empowering Family Farmers and Building Resilient Communities in Rural Asia:  The role of civil society organizations, government, and the donor community”.   (Please see attached a provisional Program).

It aims to bring together AsiaDHRRA partners in the development community to take stock of the progress of rural development and poverty eradication efforts in our region and identify strategic areas for action by the network and its members, hand in hand with many of its partners. It also hopes to create further convergence of understanding among  DHRRA leaders and development partners on the priority issues confronted by family farmers, small scale food producers, and marginalized rural communities in the context of the International Year of Family Farming 2014.  Likewise, having the GA in Myanmar will bring a deeper understanding among DHRRA leaders and partners of  the rural development context and strategic areas for cooperation in Myanmar, in light of the on-going and planned cooperation in the country with partner farmers’ organizations, CSOs, and other rural development players, including government.

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Kyone Ta Loke Farmers Association starts implementing its project

Kyone Ta Loke Farmers Association starts implementing its project

Around 80 KTLFA farmer leaders, members, representatives of 6 villages, local authorities, Caritas Pathein and AsiaDHRRA joined the project launching and start-up planning workshop.

A project launching and planning workshop was held recently in Kyone Ta Loke participated by officers, representatives from 6 villages and members of Kyone Ta Loke Farmers Association (KTLFA).  The launching and planning workshop is a start-up activity of KTLFA’s project entitled “Enhancing rice productivity and organizing for collective marketing” involving 3,500 farmers in Eimme Township, Myaungmya District in Ayeyarwaddy Division, Myanmar.

 

Lorna David of AsiaDHRRA briefed KTLFA officers and members about the financial reporting of the project.

Lorna David of AsiaDHRRA briefed KTLFA officers and members about the financial reporting of the project.

 

KTLFA gets support from AsiaDHRRA through Agricord’s “one for all-international coordination of support to farmers’ organizations” program (“DGIS 14ALL”), component 1 which draws funds from the Directorate-General for International Cooperation (DGIS) of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands for the  Farmers Fighting Poverty (FFP) Programme.

 

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The start-up planning workshop was aimed at 1) arriving a common understanding on the objectives, processes and outputs/deliverables expected from the project between and among Kyone Ta Loke Farmers Association, Karuna Pathein and AsiaDHRRA; 2)to discuss and agree on the implementation plan and schedule of key activities of the project; and provide guidance on the reporting requirements of the project.

 

KTLFA President, Mr. Michael Tun signed the agreement of cooperation with AsiaDHRRA while Fr. Henry Eikhlein, Director of Caritas Pathein and representative of the local government witnessed the signing of the agreement.

KTLFA President, Mr. Michael Tun signed the agreement of cooperation with AsiaDHRRA while Fr. Henry Eikhlein, Director of Caritas Pathein and representative of the local government witnessed the signing of the agreement.

 

Representatives from the local authorities, Caritas Pathein and AsiaDHRRA came to participate in the project launching and workshop, including the signing of the Agreement of Cooperation between and among KTLFA, Caritas Pathein and AsiaDHRRA.

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Asiadhrra facilitates Farm and Livelihood Rehabilitation Projects in Typhoon Yolanda Affected Areas in the Philippines

Contract signing between SEaSPOC and AsiaDHRRA.

Contract signing between SEaSPOC and AsiaDHRRA.

By Cezar Belangel, Program Manager
AsiaDHRRA joined hands with farmer-fisherfolk associations in the rehabilitation efforts in the Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) affected areas in the Visayas Region and in Palawan Province.

Together with Fondation de France and AgriCord, AsiaDHRRA set up the Post Yolanda Fund  for Local Initiatives which initially channeled a total of 20 Million Pesos for rehabilitation projects, 80% of which are grant and 20% local counterpart, to four  farmer-fisherfolk associations, namely, Kahugpungan sa mga Mag-uumang Ormocanon, Inc. (KAMAO, Inc) based in Ormoc City covering 15 barangays; Unahin Lagi Ang Diyos – Bito Lake Fisherfolk and Farmers Association (UNLAD-BLFFA) based in McArtur, Leyte covering 3 barangays; Southeastern Samar PO Consortium (SEaSPOC) covering the municipalities of Lawaan, Salcedo, and Guiuan with a total of 9 barangays ; and Tagbanua Tribe of Coron Island Association, Inc. (TTCIA) of Coron, Palawan with 2 barangays.

Participants of the SEaSPOC project launch last May 16, 2014

Participants of the SEaSPOC project launch last May 16, 2014.

The farmer-fisherfolk associations launched their projects in their respective communities last May 16 and 17, 2014. In attendance during the launch were the members and Board of Trustees of each association, representatives from local government unit (barangay and municipal level), representatives from the Department of Agriculture, NGO partners, and  AsiaDHRRA. During the project launch, the leaders briefed their members, partners, and local officials about the project and responded to clarifications and suggestions from the community. The public launching was viewed as a good exercise towards a transparent and participatory project governance. The memorandum of agreement between AsiaDHRRA and the concerned association was also signed before the community members.

The projects aim to support the participating families to revive their farming and fishing livelihood activities as the relief operations of the government and many local and international humanitarian organizations begin to wind down. The projects will embark on “cash for work” strategy to encourage the participating families in clearing their farms with fallen debris, and planting of short duration vegetables and crops following an integrated diversified organic farming system, and re-establishing their sea-based livelihood (e.g. seaweed farming). In addition, the projects will provide farming or fishing inputs and materials.

Board meeting of SEaSPOC last May 16, 2014.

Board meeting of SEaSPOC last May 16, 2014.

While the priority objective of the projects is to revive the farming-fishing livelihood activities, they also put importance in creating family and organizational vision for their farms or fishing activities – with serious consideration on the twin issue of production and marketing. To do this, the projects will provide opportunities to the participating families to formulate their farm plans, and join several capability building activities to increase their individual and collective awareness, knowledge and skills.

AsiaDHRRA looks at this rehabilitation initiative within a development paradigm.  At the core of this initiative, AsiaDHRRA puts importance in building the capacity of the farmer-fisherfolk association as member-based organizations to become active participants in the entire development process of their communities.  Non-government organizations and other well-established development institutions were tapped to provide technical support and expertise, backed up with clear terms of reference or partnership agreement with the local association.

The development partners/service providers supporting the cooperation with local FOs are the Philippine Partnership for the Development of Human Resources in rural areas (PhilDHRRA), Guiuan Development Foundation, Inc (GDFI), Pambansang Kilusan ng Samahang Magsasaka (PAKISAMA), Philippine Association of Foundations for Intercultural Development,Inc. (PAFID); the Institute for Strategic Research and Development Studies – Visayas State University (ISRDS-VSU), Social Action Center of Leyte, and the Save Our Biodiversity Aggrupation (SOBA).

Members of the Board of KAMAO, Inc. with Asiadhrra’s Cezar Belangel during the project start up planning workshop on May 13, 2014.

Members of the Board of KAMAO, Inc. with Asiadhrra’s Cezar Belangel during the project start up planning workshop on May 13, 2014.

AsiaDHRRA also participates in broad-based meetings on Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation to optimize opportunities for collaboration.  It also initiated meetings with the Department of Agriculture (DA),  the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Peace and Equity Foundation, and International NGOs to explore complementarity of support and to link FO partners where possible and needed.  At least seven local government units through their Municipal Mayors and Agricultural Officers have participated in the project development process.

The projects mentioned above are part of the first set of approved projects. A second batch is expected by the end of June 2014. The programmed funds are for one year cooperation but with a perspective of long-term cooperation in light of the rehabilitation objectives.

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FASAP successfully concludes Leadership and Organizational Strengthening Project

By Florante Villas

Participants of the FASAP Evaluation Workshop held last May 14-15, 2014..

Participants of the FASAP Evaluation Workshop held last May 14-15, 2014..

Farmers Association for Sustainable Agriculture Production (FASAP) conducted an end-of-the-project evaluation last May 14-15 in FASAP Office and Training Center, Khoun District, Xingkhouang Province. The project entitled “strengthening of leadership and organization capacity of FASAP” is funded by AsiaDHRRA under the Farmers Fighting Poverty programming of AgriCord with support from the DGD Belgium Cooperation

Mr. Pa Kao Wue, FASAP President briefed the participants on the process flow and activities of the project

Mr. Pa Kao Wue, FASAP President briefed the participants on the process flow and activities of the project

Mr. Pa Kao Wue, FASAP President briefed the participants on the process flow and activities of the project beginning with training needs analysis based on the surveys and focused group discussions with groups of officers and members, the formulation of training design and in the conduct of training workshops and other capacity-building activities. The final outputs of the project include the amendments to FASAP by-laws, FASAP logo and FASAP strategic plan for the period 2014-2018.

FASAP Treasurer gave a financial report on the expenses incurred by the project.

FASAP Treasurer gave a financial report on the expenses incurred by the project.

The Chairperson of the Project Committee implementing the project presented the evaluation results while FASAP Treasurer presented the financial report and the expenses incurred during the evaluation of the project. A workshop followed to discuss the priority needs of FASAP that will be addressed in the following period and a subject of the next project proposal that will be submitted to AsiaDHRRA. The participants presented almost in unity that FASAP should address the problems confronting FASAP members in the production and marketing of organic rice.

FASAP’s Vice Chairperson and Head of the Project Committee presented the Project Evaluation Results .

FASAP’s Vice Chairperson and Head of the Project Committee presented the Project Evaluation Results .

 

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FAKZ gets a boost for organic rice production and marketing

By Florante Villas

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Farmers Association of Khangvieng Zone (FAKZ) and AsiaDHRRA held a joint planning workshop for a project “Enhancing capacities of 3,000 farmers in organic rice production and marketing.” Attended by officers and farmer-leaders from 9 villages in Khangvieng, the planning workshop facilitated a unity of understanding between and among members and leaders of FAKZ, Community Development of Environment Association (CDEA), FAKZ’s partner agri-agency, the local government unit of Khangvieng and AsiaDHRRA last May 16, 2014 in Khangvieng Zone Office in Pek District, Xiengkhouang Province in Laos. FAKZ was briefed on the reporting and financial guidelines required by AsiaDHRRA and the donor organization. A general implementation plan and schedules of activities were also agreed.

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On this occasion AsiaDHRRA and Farmers Association of Khangvieng Zone (FAKZ) also signed an agreement of cooperation for the FAKZ project entitled “Enhancing capacities of 3,000 farmers in organic rice production and marketing.” AsiaDHRRA agreed to finance the implementation of the project under the Farmers’ Fighting Poverty Programming of AgriCord, with support from the Dutch government under the Directorate-General for International Cooperation (DGIS) of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.

Kum Khangvieng or Khangvieng zone is part of Peck district, Xiengkhouang province. It is 35 kilometers from Phonsavanh City, capital of Xingkhouang in the northern part of Laos, where mountains cover around 85% of the area.

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Khangvieng is among the hundreds of poor rural communities in Xingkhouang Province and in Lao PDR. The community has limited access to water during the dry season, forcing women and children to walk long distance to fetch water for their homes. For cooking and warming purposes people use fire wood from the forest. Every year after rice harvest children and women have to spend about 30 days in the forest to cut trees for fire wood. Approximately 20-30 cubic meters of fire wood that each household use for cooking and heating every year.

In 2011, the Community Development for Environment Association (CDEA) initiated a project in Mieng village aimed at providing clean and potable water supply and improve sanitation. The project organized a project management committee. With the jump-start project, members of the community managed to create the Community Development Fund (CDF) at the village. The CDF has now accumulated around 40,000,000 Kip (US$5,000). Villagers can borrow money from CDF to carry out income activity then pay acceptable interest 1% per month, for illness 0.5%, for children going to school 0.5%.

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The Khangvieng Farmers Association was then established. With a good track record, the local government office of Kum-Khangvieng, proceeded to approve and register the establishment of Farmer Association in Khangvieng Zone (KAKZ) and was approved subsequently by the Pek District Authority on 21 March 2012. FAKZ FO covers 9 villages namely: (1) Bane Mieng, (2) Nalam, (3) Phonh-thaong, (4) Bane Lao, (5) Bane Phay-Ngam, (6) Bane khangvieng (7) Bane Manh-Somg, (8) Bane Pungpanh, (9) Bane Sykhoune. Khum-Khangvieng Farmer Association focus on organic farming in order to protect environment, improve and diversify agricultural production, establish enterprises and find ways and means to help members adapt to climate change.

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The overall objective is “to improve living conditions of people in target communities according to the government’s MDGs for poverty reduction” and facilitate the over-all strengthening of FAKZ services to members as well as other farmers in Khangvieng. Specifically, the project aims to 1) Enhance the capacities of 600 lead producers in the production of quality organic rice for members to comply with organic rice quality standards and provide extension, coaching and mentoring services to more than 3,000 farmers in Pek District; 2) Form and strengthen organic and brown rice collectives to achieve economy of scale in marketing and benefit from better marketing terms (premium price, cash on delivery payment terms, realistic delivery schedules, better milling services and logistical support, lasting business/marketing relations with markets, and Increase incomes of 3,000 member organic rice producers of FAKZ by 15% to 20%.

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VNFU Training on Effective Policy Advocacy

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Training activities related to the 2nd Phase of Asiadhrra cooperation with the Vietnam Farmers’ Union on Constructive Engagement for effective policy advocacy resulting to responsive services and programs to its members continue on with the latest  activity conducted on March 30 – April 6, 2014 in Hanoi, Vietnam.

The knowledge exchange is being brought down to the provincial level through training of trainers (ToT). Much thanks to Vietdhrra-CAEV for the constant support.

More pictures of the ToT can be found in Program Manager Nonoy Villas Facebook album here…

 

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