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AsiaDHRRA, CSA to hold North-South Learning Exchange Visit

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AsiaDHRRA conducts regional training-workshop on financial sustainability for NGOs and RPOs

Cebu City, Philippines – AsiaDHRRA organized the “2nd Regional Training of Trainers (ToT) on Financial Sustainability: Social Enterprise and Project Development” on 6-8 April 2017 at Montebello Villa Hotel, Cebu City, Philippines.

The training-workshop aimed at providing venue for DHRRA leaders and staff, as well as their respective partner-rural people’s organizations’ (RPOs’) leaders, to appreciate social enterprise initiatives by agri-cooperatives (LAMAC and GlowCorp), some DHRRAs, understand its key success factors, and, learn from its challenges. The training-workshop also targeted to reinforce project development skills of participants through proposal writing. It was attended by 40 DHRRA secondliners and leaders of their partner-RPOs from Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, and, Thailand.

1d 2nd ToT

This training-workshop is part of a series of regional ToTs for leaders and secondliners of DHRRAs and partner-RPOs to be implemented through the ReCoERDO-Asia program.

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AsiaDHRRA holds PMEAL training for FOs

Hanoi, Vietnam – AsiaDHRRA, through VNFU, conducted a training-workshop on “Project Planning, Implementation, Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (PIMEAL)” last 25-26 March 2017 in Hanoi, Vietnam.

This training-workshop was organized in response to VNFU’s expressed need to enhance project management capacities of its provincial staff, as well as, officials of members and partner farmers’ organizations (FOs) at the local level.

1b PMEAL

It was attended by at least 20 participants from VNFU’s local offices and from FOs being supported by AsiaDHRRA and CSA.

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AsiaDHRRA, VNFU conduct knowledge exchange workshop on cooperative

Hanoi, Vietnam – AsiaDHRRA, together with Collectif Stratégies Alimentaires (CSA), Vietnam Farmers Union, and the Asian Farmers Alliance for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA), successfully co-organized the “Workshop on Knowledge and Experience of Agricultural Cooperatives in Vietnam and Delivery of Services to Accelerate their Growth and Development” on 27-29 March 2017 in Hanoi, Vietnam. It was made possible for AsiaDHRRA through the Knowledge Management task in AgriCord on agri-cooperatives. Invited were other AgriCord member agri-agencies working in Vietnam, namely, Agriterra , We Effect , and FFD who anchors the KM task. Other key national organizations provided substance to the workshop such as the Ministry for Agriculture and Rural Development and the Vietnam Cooperative Association.

1c Viet Coop

The workshop was a follow through of from the 2016 ASEAN Cooperative Business Forum (ACBF) held in Manila and from the Post-ACBF Regional Planning Workshop by FOs that were both co-organized by AFA, AsiaDHRRA, We Effect, and, CSA together with the government of the Philippines through its Cooperative Development Authority.

The follow-through national workshop was among a series of initiatives that would help local partners in Vietnam strengthen their cooperation among themselves, with other stakeholders, including the government. It was aimed at:

  1. Sharing of knowledge and experiences on good practices for strengthening and supporting agricultural cooperatives in market access, value chain participation and provision of services to their members;
  2. Providing inputs for review of agricultural cooperatives on the form of best intervention practices that can serve as model for intervention strategies to strengthen agricultural cooperatives.
  3. Determining key priority focus areas of work that would help accelerate the growth, strengthening of agricultural cooperatives including mechanisms of cooperation among primary agricultural cooperatives;
  4. Providing greater and deeper understanding on the dynamics of agricultural cooperatives vis-à-vis international principles an characteristics agreed and set forth by the members of the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA);
  5. Gathering important insights on the processes involved in transforming old cooperative models to the new cooperative model based on the 1997 Cooperative Law and its revisions in 2003 and 2012 ; and
  6. Identifying areas of collaboration and cooperation among partners in working with agricultural cooperatives in Vietnam.

It was participated by at least 70 participants representing cooperative leaders from different communes, districts, and, provinces, as well as from national alliances such as VNFU and Vietnam Cooperative Alliance.

Click here to download summary of workshop results.

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Local and National Farmers’ Organizations in Indonesia Exchange Experiences, Technologies, and, Learning

10b FO forum

Yogyakarta, Indonesia – AsiaDHRRA and Bina Desa, together with CSA and Agriterra, organized a three-day farmers’ organizations (FOs) and partners exchange forum, with the theme: “Building Synergy and Cooperation among Partner FOs and Their Supporting Agri-Agencies in the Development and Growth of FOs.” The forum and synergy was held last 22-24 May 2016 at Sheraton Hotel, Yogyakarta, Indonesia with support from AgriCord and the Dutch Ministry for Foreign Affairs (DGIS, Netherlands). It was attended by at least 33 representative from agri-agencies, and, leaders of national and local FO, namely: Aliansi Petani Indonesia (API), Amanah Cooperative, Kooperasi Permata Gayo, Komunitas Swabina Pedesaan Salassae (KSPS), Ngudi Makmur, Ngudi Mulyo, Petani Organik Dairi, Serikat Paguyuban Petani Qaryah Thayyibah (SPPQT), Serikat Petani Indonesia (SPI), Kelompok Petani Alami (KPA), and, Wahana Masyarakat Tani dan Nelayan Indonesia (WAMTI).

The forum is the very first in bringing together FO leaders supporterd by their respective agri-agencies under the Farmers Fighting Program (FFP) in Indonesia. It aims to:

  1. Enable FOs to meet and to learn from each other, and their support organizations, as well;
  2. Link local work of partner FOs with national, regional, and global developments impacting agriculture, food systems (production, markets), identify issues, challenges faced, and solutions; and,
  3. Facilitate discussions on strengthening of FO services to members and plans for areas for joint action, learning exchanges and other forms of cooperation.

A presentation of case briefs written by 9 local FOs were presented covering three agricultural commodities: beras (rice), kopi (coffee), and, kakao (cocoa). The cases featured each FO’s unique experience in influencing local units of national government agencies and local programs and budgets to support their economic initiatives. The forum also featured a walk-through exhibit wherein FOs showcased their respective technologies and products.

The three-day activity was capped with a field visit in the cacao farms of Ngudi Mulyo in Gunung Kidul. It was an opportunity for the FO leaders to engage each other on the available on-site farm technologies implemented by Ngudi Mulyo.

One concrete output of the exchange visit was the commitment made between two FOs Ngudi Mulyo and Ngudi Makmur—the latter will sell rice seeds to Ngudi Mulyo at a lower price than the commercial seeds. Both Ngudi Mulyo and Ngudi Makmur are being supported by InDHRRA.

AsiaDHRRA is a member of the Agricord since 2012.

FO Leaders from Yolanda Affected Areas Visit Successful Agri-Coops

Batangas, Philippines – Nine farmer leaders representing farmers associations in the provinces of Eastern Samar and Leyte (Region 8) and the province of Palawan went on learning visits to Soro-Soro Ibaba Development Cooperative (SIDC) on 23 November 2015 and to Buklod Unlad Multi Purpose Cooperative on 28 November 2015. Both cooperatives are located in the province of Batangas and are engaged in successful commercial-scale hog raising with auxiliary business operations such as feed milling and meat processing.

In 2014, with support from Fondation de France and AgriCord, AsiaDHRRA launched a funding facility, dubbed as Post-Yolanda Fund for Local Initiatives to extend assistance to farmers’ and fisherfolks’ organizations (FOs) affected by the super-typhoon Yolanda. The objective of the program is to rehabilitate the farming and fishing activities in the affected areas, especially after the end of the relief operations.

One of the strategies implemented by FOs was to immediately plant fast growing crops for household consumption while, at the same time, looking at long-term livelihood. Before the onslaught of the ST Yolanda, the most of the partner-farmers were used to monocropping systems. Through the program, they were introduced to “integrated, diversified and organic farming systems” or IDOFS, which include animal raising.

In the course of project implementation, there was an increased interest on hog raising, especially among Region 8 partners. The farmer leaders saw a good business potential with the increased numbers of hogs being raised in their respective communities. They started considering possible processing and marketing for their produce. Thus, the famer leaders decided to conduct learning visit to successful cooperatives, such as SIDC and Buklod Unlad, with hog production business.

For over 40 years, the SIDC  evolved from a small consumer store cooperative to a diversified hog feed milling and hog producer’s cooperative with over Php 1.8 Billion in assets. It provides almost complete services to its members’ hog production– from pig stocks, feeds, veterinary extension services, marketing, and, meat processing, among others. Meanwhile, founded in 1991, Buklod Unlad is a smaller hog producing cooperative having about Ph 350M in assets.

During the visit with SIDC, SIDC expressed interest to expand its membership-based in Region 8. Buklod Unlad, on the other hand, committed to share with the farmer leaders some of their technical processes in raising hogs. They are willing to provide them with training when needed.
Buklod 2
The learning visit provided opportunity for the farmer leaders to understand the concept of cooperative and how it can benefit to small farmers and fishers. Also interesting for them is the hog production processes employed by the two cooperatives and the services extended to their respective members. Such processes and services help reduce economic-related risks to the small farmer-members.

The visit raised hopes for the farmer leaders; it provided them with concrete models and actions that could be adopted in their respective areas. But, most importantly, they realised the need to work together, especially in consolidating small municipal associations in the provincial level to achieve economy of scale.

The nine farmers associations from Region 8 is currently organizing itself into a Region 8 Farmers Alliance or R8 Alliance.
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