Brussels, Belgium – AsiaDHRRA and Collectif Strategis Alimentaires (CSA) hosted the North-South Learning Exchange in Belgium and France on 2-10 May 2017. This exchange visit aims to look at various models of “territorial development” as EU’s approach for sustainable rural development.
The event brought together the members of AsiaDHRRA and leaders of their respective partner people’s organizations, mostly members of the Asian Farmers Association (AFA), key representatives of ASEAN, namely the RDPE and cooperatives sectoral bodies, and the Secretariat, and partners of the CSA such as members of Fédération Wallonne de l’Agriculture.
The delegation visited Gembloux City and interacted with representatives of Reseau Walloon de Development Rural (network for rural development) and Grouperments d’Action Locale (local action groups). The said groups implement agricultural and non-agricultural development activities in the Walloon region with co-funding from the EU and the Walloon Government.
From Belgium, they proceeded to France and visited various Farmers Organizations including the Cooperative for Utilization of Agricultural Machines of La Croix au Bois, Au Panier Vert Agricole Cooperative, Prosperite Fermiere Cooperative, Prim’Allia/Expandis in Marchais, Wine Cooperative, Coopérative Fermes de Figeac, Farmers Dairy Cooperative, and, Ségala Agriculture et Energie Solaire Cooperative.
The delegation visited several agricultural cooperatives to discuss successes and challenges in establishing and sustaining various models of farmers’ cooperatives and enterprises. Of interest are experiences in territorial rural development where farmers’ organizations take central role.
The North-South Learning Exchange visit was organized as part of the Regional Cooperation to Empower Rural Development Organizations in Asia (ReCoERDO-Asia), with support from the EU.