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Last December 16-18, 2013, AsiaDHRRA participated in the launching and conduct of the start-up planning workshop held in VMQ Hotel, Hanoi, Vietnam. This activity is part of the Phase 2 of the Project entitled Building VNFU staff’s capacity in using right tools to support the development of collective economic forms in agriculture. This project is supported by Collectif Stratégies Alimentaires (CSA), an agriagency-member of Agricord based in Belgium with funds from the Belgian Development Cooperation (DGD) through Agricord. AsiaDHRRA provides technical support and accompaniment to the project.
At the opening ceremony, Mr. Lai Xuan Mon, VNFU Vice-Chair supervising the Economic Department and Mr. Pham Huu Van, Director, Economic Department, expressed his very strong support to this project as strategies for collective economic forms in agriculture is very important for VNFU members in the context of globalized trade, ASEAN economic integration and the growing strength of private agricultural companies. Also, the very energetic Ms. Hoang Thi Hau, chairwoman of the Thanh Xuan Commune Farmers Union, spoke about their experiences in engaging markets with their organic vegetable products. Mr. Than Dy Ngu, Director of Ecolink, a private company, also spoke about its company’s experiences in relating with organized farmers for the supply of agricultural products. A summary of lessons from the 6 studies of collective economics was also presented. All these pointed out many weaknesses, including those from the supply side (farmer groups), product quality, economies of scale, pole-vaulting and difficulties in terms of rural infrastructure, transport and logistics, among others.
Ms. Hoang Thi Hau, Thanh Xuan, Chairwoman of Thanh Xuan commune farmers’ Union presented their experiences in marketing organic vegetable in Thanh Xuan commune, Soc Son district, Hanoi, Vietnam. Thanh Xuan organic vegetable model has been started since July 2008 with the participation of only 11 farmer members. In September 25, 2009, Thanh Xuan organic vegetable production inter-group was established. Now, there are 13 organic farmers’ groups, supplying the vegetable to markets in Hanoi with 23-28 tons of vegetables a month.
Mr.Than Dy Ngu, Director of Ecolink, Hiep Thanh Group of Companies also presented the company experiences in linking up with farmers union for supply of agricultural products. Established in 2001, the Company’s strategy was to provide high-quality sustainable products by contracting farmers’ groups producing organic tea, herbs, spices and food items. The tea value chain includes farmers’ groups/production teams (about 10,000 farmers), sell their products to ten processing factories that was established by the company in the provinces. The company exports tea and sell other products in the domestic market. The company exports around 5,000 tons of tea every year.
In the organic tea supply chain, there are 1,200 farmers’ households participating in managing the quality of products based on internal certification system (ICS). The organic tea and spice factories follow the export standards set by EU and North America. Other products are sold through the online selling system of ECOMART. The Company focuses on supporting farmers’ group development, contracting with farmers’ groups and building the product trademarks. However in the process of cooperation, the company finds some difficulties in developing organic tea production models. Farmers pole-vault on supply agreements. The State and local authorities has yet to provide regulatory mechanisms to ensure the sustainable linkage between enterprises and farmers. There is also poor infrastructure facilities in the tea production areas. The road network is difficult to pass during the rainy season, delaying delivery and transportation of tea products. Poor storage and drying facilities also affect product quality which in turn downgrades farm gate prices.
These were some of the challenges facing farmer commodity groups and agricultural company business relations. The company promised long-term relationship with farmer groups but need to work together for a favorable supporting policies and programs of government especially on the role of local authority to help in the development of physical support in terms of infrastructure and facilities that help farmers produce and develop quality products.
AsiaDHRRA continues to support Viet Nam Farmers Union (VNFU) in building capacity of leaders and staff in policy advocacy by providing technical and program assistance in the launching of the Phase 2 of the project entitled “Building capacity of VNFU leaders and staff in Policy Advocacy, Phase 2” last December 11, 2013. The conference held at VMQ Hotel in Hanoi aimed at raising VNFU leaders awareness on the importance of policy advocacy in the changing agricultural landscape. The project is supported with funds from the Belgian government cooperation under DGD through Agricord.
A planning workshop followed in December 12 and 13. Phase 2 of the project aims to develop the skills of 40 selected participants from VNFU Headquarters in Hanoi and from different Provincial Farmer Unions who will undertake an 8-day Training or Trainers (ToT) on Policy Advocacy and Constructive Engagement in February 2014. Beginning April, ToT participants will conduct training workshops on policy advocacy and constructive engagement at the district and commune levels.
Policy advocacy is now among VNFU’s 7 key tasks approved by the 6th National VNFU Congress held last July 2013. Policy advocacy is a new key task of VNFU. Policy advocacy is not only a task of VNFU at national level, but at all levels of the organization. Constructive engagement is the framework of VNFU’s policy advocacy with government and the private sector. As a new task, there is a need to raise the level of awareness and knowledge of VNFU leaders to be able to help them carry out the task effectively.
The ASEAN has published the ASCC MTR Report. This can be accessed at the following links:
Asiadhrra was tapped to conduct the Medium Term Review of the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) Blueprint.
About the ASCC MTR (excerpted from the report)
The Cha-Am Hua Hin Declaration on ASEAN Roadmap for an ASEAN Community 2009-2015 of 1 March 2009 established that the three Community Blueprints – Economic, Political-Security, and Socio-Cultural – and the 2nd IAI Work Plan constitute the ASEAN Roadmap. The ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) Blueprint’s primary goal is “to contribute to realising a people-centred and socially responsible ASEAN Community by forging a common identity and building a caring and sharing society.” The ASCC Blueprint is a framework for action and is structured into 6 Characteristics1 or strategic-level development and cooperation outcomes and impacts toward ASEAN Community building. Underlying each Characteristic are Elements or inter-woven cross-pillar, thematic, sectoral and cross-sectoral outcomes. Each Element is in turn buttressed by Action Lines of which there are a total of 339 or specific results or activities to be achieved or undertaken through programmes, projects or special activities. The Blueprint contains an implementation arrangement laying out a schedule of key milestones and a coordination mechanism or governance structure delegating roles to the ASCC Council, Sectoral Ministerial Bodies, Senior Officials Meetings and other ASEAN affiliated bodies and associated entities. In carrying out the Blueprint, ASCC is required to identify and address resource requirements, and to enumerate a communications plan that helps to enhance awareness, broaden and raise funds.
Asiadhrra together with fellow Agri-agencies will launch the AgriCord Philippine Network during the workshop entitled “Social Solidarity Economy: How family farmers benefit from it” which takes takes on October 16, 2013 at the University of the Philippines College of Social Work and Community Development (UP- CSWCD) Room 301 and 302.
The workshop will showcase family farmers’ successes of building social solidarity economies. Selected cases from our network of farmers’ associations on pursuing social enterprises covering aspects of employment generation, enterprise development and market integration will be presented. From the cases, AgriCord partners will do an analysis on sustainability and best practices. Invited to the workshop with AgriCord partners and representatives of the Agri-Agencies are key stakeholders of the network from Government, CSOs, multinational organizations and donors.
The Agri-Agencies’ workshop is organized as part of the 5th RIPESS International Meeting on Social Solidarity Economy (SSE) on October 15-18 co-organized by the Intercontinental Network for the Promotion of Social Solidarity Economy (RIPESS) and the Asian Solidarity Economy Council (ASEC).
To be hosted for the first time in Asia, the event’s theme is “Building SSE as an alternative model of development.” Several topics on SSE will be discussed during the 1st day by international solidarity economy experts. On October 16-17, participating organizations will conduct their own “self-organized activities” (SOA). The last day, October 18, will be devoted for synthesis including presentation of specific commitments, actions and goals for 2014-2017.
Asiadhrra will present its experience of creating market access for calamansi producers in the country. It will focus on addressing annual over supply of fresh calamansi fruits at the production level.
Agricord is a global network of Agri-Agencies or non-governmental organizations for development cooperation mandated by their country national farmers’ associations, of which five are implementing programs in the Philippines, particularly Agriterra, Asiadhrra, CSA, WeEffect and Trias.
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International Year of Family Farming
News from our Partners
- AFA raises concerns about proposed Global Alliance on Climate Smart Agriculture
- 6th AFA GA: “Seizing the Momentum to Get Concrete Gains for Small Scale Farmers this IYFF”
- Asian Farmers and IYFF – What is it for us during the International Year of Family Farming?
- Philippine CSOs gear up for IYFF 2014 events
- UN says more support urgently needed to tackle growing food insecurity in the Sahel
- EU and FAO partner to help flood-affected Serbian farms rebuild
- Global plans of action endorsed to halt the escalating degradation of soils
- FAO welcomes commitment to fight hunger from the Community of Portuguese Language Countries
- FAO warns of fruit bat risk in West African Ebola epidemic