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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

vnfu 2nd phase ToT_12

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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Vietdhrra conducts capacity development trainings in Quang Ninh Province

Vietdhrra Capacity Dev Training

Vietdhrra continues to provide capacity development trainings to rural communities in Vietnam in line with its goal of accelerating rural development.

From April 20-27 2014, under the guidance of Mr. Thang Tai of Vietdhrra, trainings on goat raising techniques and establishing interest groups were successfully conducted in 4 different communes in Binh Lieu district, Quang Ninh province.

Here are some photos from the two activities:

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Fondation de France Post-Yolanda Reconstruction Guide for Philippines

Solidarity with the The Philippines - Solidarity with The Philippines -Brief handbook for building reconstruction

Benjamin Bellegy, International Aid Program Manager of Fondation de France, is sharing their Reconstruction Guide. It “aims at guiding NGOs in the elaboration and implementation of their building reconstruction/rehabilitation projects. This guide can be used in order to help FO’s that plan some rebuilding activities to (build back better) and to have a clearer vision of the follow-up modalities of this type of activities. A local architect advisor is presently being recruited and it will also be possible to contact him in order to get some technical advices. Already now our architect advisor in Paris can be contacted in case of question with regard to reconstruction activities.”

Post in the comments below if you need more info about the guide or Fondation de France’s Post Haiyan projects in the Philippines.

Download the english version of the Reconstruction Guide here…

Here is the link to updates and info about Fondation de France’s Haiyan Project in the Philippines.

Asiadhrra and Fondation de France are currently setting up the mechanisms for the Post Haiyan Funding program.

Visit their website at www.fondationdefrance.org

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Asiadhrra breaks ground for new opportunities for rural development cooperation in Myanmmar

Myandhrra leaders pose with Asiadhrra Execom

In October 2013, hosted by ECE of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Myanmar (CBCM), Asiadhrra  leaders  engaged in a partnership dialogue with MyanDHRRA leaders. This is in light of the new opportunities to strengthen cooperation focused on supporting  farmers’ organizations and building learning models of rural farming communities. The stakeholders’ capabilities are also expected to be improved and development platforms supported, wherein, farmers’ groups/clusters or associations, NGOs and the government are able to address food security and significantly reduce poverty among their ranks with a view of replicating them at the wider and broader rural agricultural communities in Myanmar.

Asiadhrra Execom meeting Yangon
A deeper understanding about the situation of MyanDHRRA has also been grasped with the first Asiadhrra ExeCom meeting in the country. Ideas on how Asiadhrra can help strengthen the in-country DHRRA in the next three years were articulated. In order to explore cooperation support for farmers’ groups, a field visit was undertaken in the following areas: Kyone Ta Loke Village in Eimme District, Pathein, in the Ayeyarwady Division, which was led by Fr. Eikhlein Henry, Director of Karuna  (Caritas) Pathein. Asiadhrra had a discussion with local farmers on their production and marketing activities and existing constraints. It is expected that Asiadhrra will launch a two-year project by the first quarter of 2014 to prepare the grounds for more programmatic cooperation with national and local partners towards farmers’ organizing and building their economic activities.

Asiadhrra with the community of Eimme Pathein

Field visit to Kyone Ta Loke Village in Eimme District, Pathein, in the Ayeyarwady Division, Myanmar with Fr. Eikhlein Henry, Director of Karuna Pathein.

Asiadhrra field visit  in Eimme Pathein

Asiadhrra field visit  in Eimme Pathein

The ExeCom also had for its main agenda the regular updating and discussion on the progress of 2013 Asiadhrra operations and also tackled 2014 opportunities especially in light of its role as an agri-agency member of the AgriCord network. The ExeCom and MyanDHRRA had the opportunity of meeting with the AgriCord Managing Director, Ignace Coussoument, who explained its mandate of empowering farmers organizations and the cooperation that it could have with Asiadhrra and its members/partners in the Asian region. AgriCord and Asiadhrra had an earlier mission in the country to meet with high level officials of the cooperative ministry and with other rural development agencies in the capital, and with a national farmers’ organization and the country office of a partner donor agency. It is hoped that through the planned preparatory cooperation, other Agri-agency members will be enjoined to support and play complementary roles to respond to the many challenges confronted by family farmers in Myanmar.

AgriCord Managing Director, Ignace Coussoument meet with Myandhrra

The ExeCom finally resolved that Asiadhrra 40th anniversary celebration and general assembly will be held in Myanmar on October 2014, the decision of which was warmly  welcomed by MyanDHRRA.

The Asiadhrra Execom

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Happy Lunar New Year 2014!

Happy Lunar New Year! - Greetings from Asiadhrra

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