REPRESENTATIVES OF FNN PARTICIPATE IN SECOND REGIONAL CONSULTATION WORKSHOP ON “AGRICULTURE LAND LAW”

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[FNN participates in consultation on land law in Cambodia. (c) Pan Sopheap/FNN]

(Farmer and Nature Net (FNN) in Cambodia actively participates in the improvement of land management and the land law in the country by representing farmers interests’ and giving inputs to consultations. FNN is a member of AFA and ILC through which it participates in efforts to protect and promote land rights and sustainable smallholder farming systems at regional and international levels.)

By Pan Sohpeap, FNN

Battambang City — The second regional consultation workshop on “Agriculture Land Law” has been held on July 12-13, 2016, at Khemara Battambang-1 hotel in Battambang province, which presided over by Mr. Uk Siphan, representative of General Department of Agriculture (GDA), Her Excellency Nhim Sokun, Deputy Governor of Battambang, Dr. Tek Vannara, Executive Director of NGO Forum, Mr. Sor Sontheary, representative of Star Kampuchea, and farmer organization. The workshop organized by the GDA/MAFF, which sponsored by NGO Forums, Caritas Cambodia, and Star Kampuchea, where around 135 participants attended. As part of its strategic network development, six FNN’s representatives, whom include Ms. Khuon Sey, FNN’s vice president, Ms. Bun Eng, FNN provincial network leader of Banteay Meanchey, Mr. Chak Thoeun, FNN provincial network leader of Kampong Chhnang, and Mr. Meach Saru, representative of FNN Kampong Cham provincial network, Mr. Pan Sopheap, FNN Executive Director, and Ms. Kong Sokchhoin, FNN Project Coordinator, attending the workshop. The main objectives of the workshop are to (1) enhance meaningful participation of civil society organizations and farming communities with qualified inputs in constructive dialogues for the improvement of the draft legislation on the agricultural land management and (2) collect inputs from stakeholders for improving the draft Law on Agricultural Land.

It is important to be noted that the first regional consultation workshop, known as workshop for coastal areas, was held in Preah Sihanouk province in March, 2016, the second workshop known as low land areas or Tonle Sap area– on going now – and the third workshop – known as high land areas – will be held in Kratie province on July 18-19, 2016.

AFA participates in ADB Food Security Forum in Manila

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June 24, 2016. The ADB organized a Food Security Forum with the theme “Safe, Nutritious and Affordable Food for All” last June 23-24 in Manila, Philippines. AFA was represented by Mr. Jonjon Sarmiento and Mr. Soc Banzuela from PAKISAMA and AFA Secretary General Ms. Esther Penunia. The Forum was attended by around 300 participants all over Asia and Pacific.

During this Forum, AFA Secretary General was panelist during the opening session ” Leaders’ Roundtable : The Future of Food”, where she stressed that a key to ending hunger and poverty  is to invest in farmers’  work on securing rights to natural resources, on promoting sustainable agriculture, fisheries and forestry and  on strengthening cooperatives through their farmers organizations.

A plenary session on “Voices from the Field”, moderated by the AFA Secretary General, was also conducted. The session had as panelists  four farmers : Mr. Aynal Haque from Bangladesh ; Mr. Reynaldo San Jose  Mr. Jonjon Sarmiento and Mr. Bon Ian dela Roca from Soro-soro Ibaba Development Cooperative (SIDC), one of the biggest primary cooperatives in the Philippines. The panel also included Ms. Lourdes Panopio from JAMLA corporation, one of the major processors of cacao beans in the Philippines and Mr. Luck Wajananawat, President of the Bank for Agriculture and Cooperatives of Thailand. In his closing remarks, Mr. Jonjon Sarmiento called on the audience to “love your farmers and support them, because no farmer, no food.”

The Forum was preceded by a Partnership Dialogue focused on identifying strategies to promote high level technology to end hunger. During this dialogue, AFA stressed that for technologies to be relevant, sustainable and easily adopted by small scale farmers, technologies should be affordable, environment-friendly, energy efficient,  manageable and controllable by farmers. To produce more food with better nutrition and with less destruction to the environment, AFA members’ strategies have been to promote integrated, diversified, ecological, organic farming systems and multi-purpose farmers’ cooperatives. Aside from AFA, other partners who gave presentations included the  multi lateral funding institutions (World Bank, IFAD, GAFSP); international research institutions (AVDRC, CIMMYT, CABI, ICARDA, IFPRI, CIP,IRRI,Murdoch University, WorldFish); development cooperations ( DFAT, Germany, JICA, GIZ, USAID); intergovernmental organizations ( FAO, WFP); and private sector (GRAINPRO, Inc , OLAM, Syngenta).

AFA, FNN, LFN and VNFU attend Mekong region land forum

mrlg land forumJune 23 — AFA, FNN, LFN and VNFU attended the Mekong region land forum organized by MRLG last June 21-23 in Hanoi, Vietnam. Sokchhoin of FNN; Phoutthasinh, Khammone and Phonepaseuth of LFN; and YVoan and Hue of VNFU ; and Jun Virola of the secretariat joined the different sessions and participated in the round table discussion on large scale land acquisitions and foreign direct investments in the context of AEC where it presented smallholder perspectives on land issues and the need to promote land rights and smallholder agriculture. AFA also presented the Land Matrix Asia initiative during the open space for knowledge sharing. The delegates were also able to network with different government and civil society groups working on land issues in the Mekong region.

Click on the link for more information: http://mrlg.org/resources/mekong-regional-land-forum-21-23-june-2016/

 

 

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

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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

AFA participates in OECD-FAO-ASEAN Conference on Policies to Enable Food Security, Agricultural Productivity and Improved Nutrition

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[OECD-FAO-ASEAN Regional Conference on Agricultural Policies to Enable Food Security, Agricultural Productivity and Improved Nutrition last June 14-15 in Nay PwiTaw, Myanmar.]
June 16, 2016. The OECD-FAO-ASEAN jointly organized a Regional Conference on Agricultural Policies to Enable Food Security, Agricultural Productivity and Improved Nutrition  last June 14-15 in Nay PwiTaw, Myanmar. It was attended by about 80 people from ASEAN governments, FAO and OECD secretariats, and CSOs. AFA was represented by Mr. Michael Kiyarlin of Agriculture and Farmer Federations of Myanmar (AFFM)  and AFA Secretary  General Esther Penunia. 

The conference examined the enabling environment for agricultural productivity growth, policies to build 
resilience to food insecurity risks. These themes are subject of an ongoing work of the OECD under OECD’s ASEAN-wide project on “Building Food Security and Managing Risk: A Focus on Southeast Asia”. The conference  also discussed how to  make nutrition-sensitive agriculture and food system policies that provide a more coherent approach to improving nutrition in the region. Eradicating hunger and improving food security and nutrition requires a multisectoral approach that begins with food and agriculture and includes complementary interventions in public health, rural development, education and social protection.
 
AFA gave a presentation on “Enabling Polices to Improve Food Security and Nutrition,” highlighting the role of women farmers. The conference was a good opportunity to build and renew contacts with ASEAN agricultural officials, FAO staff on nutrition, and OECD policy researchers.
Click here for the AFA presentation
click  here for FAO presentation
Click here for OECD presentation
Click here for ASEAN presentation 

AFA participates in CSO Foum on Social Forestry

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[CSO Forum on “The Role and Importance of Tenure and Governance Mechanisms in Securing SF Contribution to the ASEAN Economic Community” , June 10-15 , Palawan Island, Philippines (c) NTFP-EP 2016]

June 15, 2016, Palawan, Philippines. AFA participated in the 5th CSO Forum focused on “The Role and Importance of Tenure and Governance Mechanisms in Securing SF Contribution to the ASEAN Economic Community” , held last June 10-15 in Palawan Island, Philippines. The meeting was held parallel to the ASEAN Social Forestry Network (ASFN) Meeting. AFA was represented by Ms. Maria Clara Dulas from PAKISAMA and Ms. Vicky Serrato from the Secretariat. Ms. Dulas was able to interact with some Philippine government officers who have promised support to visit her area to look into her group’s concern about a planned mega-dam project that will displace her communities. USec Orlan Ravanera of the Philippines Cooperative Development Authority also spoke on how agricultural cooperatives can be integrated in Social /Community Forestry enterprises. The CSO Forum participants also agreed to establish a national social forestry network (SFN) in each country. AFA can explore its roles in the establishment of these national SFNs. The CSO Forum also crafted its strategic vision for 2017-2020.

Making Public Procurement Programs Work for Asian Family Farmers

ppp issue paper cover image

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.

Download a PDF copy

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

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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 participates in Grow Asia Forum 2016 in Malaysia

wefMay 31, 2016. Grow Asia is a multi-stakeholder partnership platform in ASEAN member countries that enables partners to collaborate on agriculture value chains. Its goal is to reach 10million smallholder farmers by 2020, enabling them to increase productivity, profitability and environmental sustainability by 20%. The platform was catalyzed by the World Economic Forum (WEF)in collaboration with ASEAN secretariat and was launched at the Grow Asia Forum 2015 in Jakarta. A Grow Asia Partnership Committee is in place, with representation from donor countries Australia and Canada, from ASEAN member states represented by Philippines, from the business community represented by Nestle and Sinar Mas, from the CSO community represented by Mercy Corps, and from the FO community represented by AFA.

The WEF conducted its yearly Grow Asia Forum, this time in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, last May 31. AFA was represented by Seu Rany and Sopheap Pan of FNN, Rene Cerilla of PAKISAMA and  AFA SecGen Esther Penunia from the Secretariat. The AFA SecGen was a panelist at the opening plenary where she emphasized that FOs’ capacity to build and strengthen their cooperatives should be sufficiently supported . She also encouraged country platforms to replicate the regional Partnership Steering Committee at the country level, with representatives of farmers organizations and cooperatives as recognized partners and decision-makers.

During the Forum, many partners echoed the need to have a strong monitoring and evaluation process to measure the results of the Grow Asia partnership according to its goals and targets.

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/

Empowering small scale women and men farmers in Asia