Review of National Policy Framework on Tenure Rights in the Context of VGGT

vggt research report

The Voluntary Guidelines for the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (or VGGT) is the first global document that addresses policy, legal and organizational frameworks that regulate tenure rights. Adopted by the Committee on World Food Security1 (CFS) last May 2012, the VGGT provide guidance on responsible governance of tenure on land, fisheries and forests as a means to alleviate hunger and poverty, enhance the environment, support national and local development and reform public administration.
While the VG has far-reaching potentials, it however needs a strong push at the country level for it to be adapted and effectively implemented. Primordial task is to keep small-scale farmers aware of the VG so that they can exercise their claim-making efforts to pressure government to adapt it. In addition, concerned national government agencies also need to understand and appreciate the VG as an instrument to improve existing legal frameworks in addressing tenure of land, fisheries and forests.

The Asian Farmers Association for Sustainable Rural Development, (AFA) implemented the project entitled “Popularizing the VGGT Among Small Scale Farmers Organizations, Relevant National Government and Inter-governmental Organizations“, with the support of the International Land Coalition (ILC) . The project helped AFA produce country reports that examine national policy framework on land/fisheries/forest tenure and propose how to improve it using the VGGT.

In this publication, we compile the country reports of three partner FOs : Farmer and Nature Net and Farmer and Water Net in Cambodia; Kendrio Krishok Moitree and Action Aid Bangladesh in Bangladesh and Union of Water User Association in Kyrgyztan.
The project itself, which ran from August 2014-August 2015, brought about better understanding of VGGT, more interaction among relevant stakeholders during local, national and regional consultations.

As the AFA members said during the regional consultation last August 2015 in Myanmar, LAND is LIFE . And small scale family farmers, through their organizations will continue efforts to claim their rights on their lands, waters, and forests, with VGGT as a powerful instrument for staking claim.

Ma. Estrella Penunia
Secretary General
Asian Farmers Association for Sustainable Rural Development

Making Public Procurement Programs Work for Asian Family Farmers

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Public procurement refers to the process
through which governments or public agencies
acquire goods and services to undertake its
daily operations, and deliver basic services to
its constituents. Governments buy, lease and/
or secure goods and services through other
means of exchange in order to implement their
plans and programs. In its simplest form, public
procurement programs enable governments
to secure resources needed to help them fulfill
their functions.
However, beyond this basic use of public
procurement, there is an increasing awareness
regarding its importance as a tool for (1)
helping governments and countries achieve
key development goals, such as environmental
sustainability, food security and poverty reduction
and (2) helping small scale men and women
farmers to organize themselves, to build their
capacities to engage their governments, to meet
the demands of a sustainable market and to
increase their members’ incomes and well-being.

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AFA participates in GCARD 3

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[The third Global Conference in Agriculture Research for Development (GCARD3), April 6-8, 2016, Johannesburg, Africa (c) IISD]
April 8, 2016. The third Global Conference in Agriculture Research for Development (GCARD3) was held last April 6-8 in Johannesburg, Africa. It brought together more than 500 participants from 83 countries to address the over-all theme of “No One Left Behind: Agri-food Innovation and Research for a Sustainable World.” AFA was represented by its Secretary General Esther Penunia.

The GCARD3 was co-organized by CGIAR and the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) and was hosted by the Agricultural Research Council of South Africa (ARC). AFA represented the farmers’ constituency in the Organizing Committee for GCARD3.

GCARD3 participants discussed five key challenges to realizing the full development value from agriculture food and innovation systems: (1) ensuring better rural futures; (2) keeping science relevant and future-focused; (3) scaling up from research to impact; (4) showcasing results and demonstrating impacts and (5) sustaining the business of farming. AFA was one of the catalysts for the first challenge, having managed a grassroots foresight work implemented in three local communities, one each from Philippines, Indonesia and India.

The outputs of the discussions in each of the five challenges were the identification of main collective actions that can be pursued at all levels. A Collective Action is identified by GFAR as a multi-stakeholder programme of work at national, regional and international level, initiated by three or more Partners and prioritized by GFAR, always including producers and with a particular focus on women and youth, contributing to the objectives of the Global Forum and the GCARD Road Map.

For the challenge on ensuring better rural futures, the key collective action agreed upon is “establishing foresight platforms that bring together farmers (via farmer organizations in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Central Asia/Caucasus, Latin America, Europe, the Mediterranean basin and the NENA regions) with research and innovation actors from around the world to develop and select preferred future scenarios; and then collectively plan, design and implement initiatives to change the present to shape/achieve the desired future”. For the challenge on sustaining the business of farming, the collective action agreed upon is clustering smallholder farmers to participate more effectively in research and development, and access finance and markets and build value-chain partnerships while recognizing traditional farming methods and practices.

GCARD3 is a broad, two-year consultative process, preceded by national and regional multi-stakeholder consultations in 2015 and early 2016 aimed at realigning research needs and priorities with countries’ own development needs and with the SDGs. The Asia consultation was held last December 2015, organized by APAARI, and attended by 7 representatives from AFA.

Click here for the GCARD3 Outcome statement

Click here for more information on GCARD3

MTCP2 AFOSP conducts program review in Cambodia

2016-05-28 12.20.19

The mid-term review (MTR) of MTCP2 AFOSP project implementation in Cambodia was conducted May 25-28 , 2016 by Peter Situ, main evaluator, accompanied byRIA represented by Esther Penunia from AFA, CFAP NIA represented by Sok Sotha and Thoern Yap , and FNN represented by Seu Rany and Pan Sopheap. The team conducted meetings with CFAP and FNN, IFAD, SDC, DAPC of MAFF, as well as field visits to four farming families and their cooperatives , located in Takeo and Suay Reng provinces.

Over,all there is good progress: capacity building activities are felt by members at the ground level, there is growth in membership in the national platform, increase in the number of cooperatives being formed, there are initiatives to get involved in agriculture programs of the government and IFAD. With the passage of the Agri Cooperative law in 2014, FOs are now challenged to maximize opportunities under this law and minimize whatever damage it may cause to family farmers . Another challenge is to get significant involvement in the agri-related programs of development partners IFAD, SDC, EU.

The MTCP2 ASEAN is a component of the ASEAN Farmers Organization Support Program (AFOSP) , which is a capacity building program aimed at improving the livelihoods and food security situation of smallholder farmers and rural producers in ASEAN countries. The programs’s purpose is that farmer organizations in ASEAN countries evolve into stable, performing, accountable organizations capable of providing effective and sustainable services to their members and of influencing policy and corporate processes on agriculture and food security issues at local, nationla, ASEAN regional and global levels.

AFA is in a consortium with La Via Campesina in managing this program at the regional level.

AFA, Agriterra support VNFU’s FACT roll out in Vietnam

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Coaching mission for FACT trainers in Hue province, Vietnam. March 14-15, 2016.

The Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA), in cooperation with its partner Dutch agri-agency Agriterra, is supporting the roll out of FACT trainings by its member Viet Nam Farmer Union (VNFU) in 10 provinces through trainings of trainers and coaching missions for the trainers. Continue reading AFA, Agriterra support VNFU’s FACT roll out in Vietnam

AFA Participates in Asia Pacific Forestry Week 2016 in consortium with AIPP, NTFP-EP

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The Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA) participated in the just concluded 3rd Asia Pacific Forestry Week 2016, held last February 22-26 at Clark Freeport Zone, Philippines, coinciding with the 26th session of the Asia Pacific Forestry Commission of The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Continue reading AFA Participates in Asia Pacific Forestry Week 2016 in consortium with AIPP, NTFP-EP

AFA participates in sixth global farmers’ forum

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The Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA) participated in the just concluded 6th global farmers’ forum held at the headquarters of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in Rome, Italy on February 15-16, coinciding with its tenth anniversary. Continue reading AFA participates in sixth global farmers’ forum

Rural Women Enterprise: Experience from India

Smita Bhatnagar from India in South Asia shares experiences and lessons in developing and runnning a women-led agriculture enterprise (17 Feb 2016, Sixth Farmers’ Forum, IFAD, Rome).

Through the Medium Term Cooperation Program Phase Two (MTCP2), the Asian Farmers Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA), in consortium with La Via Campesina, documents innovative experiences on the ground in order share lessons learned with farmer organizations to support policy engagement and service delivery efforts in the Asia Pacific region.

Empowering Producers through Agricultural Cooperatives: Experience from Mongolia

Altatuya Tsende-ish from Mongolia in Central Asia shares experiences and lessons in empowering producers through agricultural cooperatives (16 Feb 2016, Sixth Farmers’ Forum, IFAD, Rome).

Through the Medium Term Cooperation Program Phase Two (MTCP2), the Asian Farmers Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA), in consortium with La Via Campesina, documents innovative experiences on the ground in order share lessons learned with farmer organizations to support policy engagement and service delivery efforts in the Asia Pacific region.

Non-Formal Education for Rural Youth: Experience from Fiji

Serenia Madigibuli from Tu Tu Taveuni, Fiji in the Pacific shares experiences and lessons in developing capacities of rural youth in agriculture (16 Feb 2016, Sixth Farmers’ Forum, IFAD, Rome).

Through the Medium Term Cooperation Program Phase Two (MTCP2), the Asian Farmers Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA), in consortium with La Via Campesina, documents innovative experiences on the ground in order share lessons learned with farmer organizations to support policy engagement and service delivery efforts in the Asia Pacific region.

Attracting the Youth to Agriculture: Experience from the Philippines

Ana Sibayan from Mindoro, Philippines in Southeast Asia shares experiences and lessons as a young person adopting organic agriculture (16 Feb 2016, Sixth Farmers’ Forum, IFAD, Rome).

Through the Medium Term Cooperation Program Phase Two (MTCP2), the Asian Farmers Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA), in consortium with La Via Campesina, documents innovative experiences on the ground in order share lessons learned with farmer organizations to support policy engagement and service delivery efforts in the Asia Pacific region.

AFA participates in policy dialogue on agricultural research

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AFA farmer leaders and staff joined the High Level Policy Dialogue on Investment in Agricultural Research for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific organized by APAARI in collaboration with ACIAR, DOA, Thailand, FAO-RAP, GFAR and IFPRI on 8-9 December 2015 in Bangkok.

The Policy Dialogue aimed to promote investment in agricultural research and innovation for sustainable development through appropriate policies, strategies and actions.

A GCARD3 social reporter posted this about one of the informal sessions between AFA representatives and researchers during the conference: http://blog.gfar.net/2015/12/10/the-revolution-happens-in-the-hall-and-over-half-empty-cups-of-tea/

In the News: Farmer-Scientist Group, Petitioners Won Case Against Bt Eggplant

(Note: PAKISAMA, AFA member in the Philippines, is a member of the NO2GMO coalition)

Baños, Laguna – After almost four years of litigation, farmers and consumers can finally have peace of mind knowing that their eggplant, commonly known as talong, will now be safe from genetic modification. Yesterday, the Supreme Court has permanently stopped the field testing of Bt talong, an eggplant variety genetically engineered to produce its own toxin. Apart from permanently stopping the field testing of Bt talong, it also declared the Department of Agriculture’s administrative order No. 8-2002 null and void resulting to a halt on the application for field testing, contained use, propagation and importation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) pending the promulgation of a new administrative order. Continue reading In the News: Farmer-Scientist Group, Petitioners Won Case Against Bt Eggplant

AFA and FAO sign MOU

afa fao signing

The Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN signed a Memorandum of Understanding last November 26 in Bangkok, Thailand.

The MoU provides a framework for cooperation between the Parties with an overall goal of supporting countries to strengthen capacities of of farmers’ organizations to improve organizational development, service delivery, market access, good governance on land, gender equality, lobbying and advocacy for policy change in the Asia and the Pacific region.

(In the photo is AFA Chairperson Shimpei Murakami and FAO ADG Kundhavi Kadiresan)

SOURCE: http://www.fao.org/asiapacific/representative/photos/en/

Aliansi Petani Indonesia hosts World Rural Forum’s Asia-Pacific Desk in Jakarta

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Jakarta, Indonesia, 4 November 2015 — Following the 5th Global Conference with the theme “Let’s Build The Future: Family Farming” held in Bilbao last 21-24 September 2015, the World Rural Forum (WRF) has set up its Asia-Pacific Desk in Indonesia and appointed Dr. Daniel Ruiz de Garibay as the Asia-Pacific Sector Coordinator.

Aliansi Petani Indonesia (API) will host the desk in its National Secretariat office in Jakarta.

Today, API held a warm official welcome meeting with Dr. Daniel in his new office.

“We introduced each other, telling our experience with WRF (during IYFF 2014), the latest event we participated in Bilbao, and a brief explanation of our plan (the National Committee of FF in Indonesia),” said Ika Krishnayanti, International Relations Staff of API.

“API is glad that Indonesia National Committee of Family Farming and WRF have joined forces in favor of family farming in Indonesia and in the region,” she added.

(Issue Paper) Challenges and Opportunities in Promoting VGGT to Secure Tenure Rights of Family Farmers

issue paper cover vggtChallenges and Opportunities in Promoting VGGT to Secure Tenure Rights of Family Farmers, AFA Issue Paper, Volume 7, Number 3, September 2015

Ma Win of a small village in Myanmar is anxious. An officer of the Forest Department has asked her and co-villagers to move out of the village, based on a piece of paper saying that the 700-acre land
where they were staying, has been granted to the wife of a high ranking officer. Since 2000, she and co-villagers have been growing beans, lemons, pineapples, papaya and vegetables. From the nearby forests they have extracted fuel wood, medicinal plants and bamboo shoots. The villagers have long ago understood that the land was unclassified public forest. But now the officer said that the land had been reclassified as a wasteland and thus could be given to a private individual. If they leave, where will they go? Will her family survive? Today, some of the village leaders will be filing a complaint to the President. Will the President listen to their complaint? Will they be granted the right to stay in the village?

Published by AFA with support from the International Land Coalition (ILC)

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(Issue Paper) Seeing the Forests and the Farms Together: Promoting the Rights and Livelihoods of Forest and Farm Producers in Asia

issue paper cover fffSeeing the Forests and the Farms Together: Promoting the Rights and Livelihoods of Forest and Farm Producers in Asia, AFA Issue Paper, Volume 7, Number 2, August 2015

There is a very close relationship between forestry and farming. Both forests and farms are source of food (both from plants and animals), nutrition, health, and livelihoods for family farmers. Besides, forests provide sources for fuel, energy, water and medicines. Forests beautify and contribute to biodiversity in a particular landscape.

Many women and men farmers in Asia live inside or near forest areas and as such, are also engaged in gathering and producing food, wood and other products from the forests. Moreover, they plant their crops near forests, and often strive to augment their incomes by engaging in farm as well as forest-based production and services. Many people who live inside forests are also into farming. Out of 17 member organizations in 13 countries of the Asian Farmers’ Association (AFA), 10 member organizations in nine (9) countries have members or partner farmer groups living inside or near forests.

This issue paper looks at the situation of farmers living inside or near forest areas, i.e. in forested landscapes. It examines the challenges confronting forest and farm producers in Asia, and presents their initiatives and recommendations on how to address these challenges. The content of this paper is drawn from the output of nine national consultation workshops (done by AFA members in Indonesia, Philippines, Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Nepal, Mongolia, Bangladesh, Kyrgyztan) participated by 250 persons, as well as from a regional sharing and learning session wherein 52 representatives from 15 AFA member organizations and partners in 12 countries participated.

According to FAO, “farm and forest producers are women and men, smallholder families, indigenous peoples and local communities who have strong relationships with forests and farms in forested landscapes. Such producers grow, manage, harvest and process a wide range of natural resource-based goods and services for subsistence use and for sale in local, national or international markets.”

Published by AFA with support from the Forest and Farm Facility

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Empowering small scale women and men farmers in Asia