Category Archives: Issue: ASEAN

AFA emphasizes small scale farmers’ role in OECD-ASEAN conference on food security

Bogor, Indonesia – AFA attended the regional conference on policies for food security between OECD and ASEAN held last November 11-12, 2014 at Hotel Salak, Bogor, Indonesia. AFA was represented by its policy advocacy officer, Ms. Lany V. Rebagay. The main objective of the conference was to provide a venue for exchange of policy experiences between OECD, ASEAN countries and international organizations in the region, with a special focus on food security. The conference also hoped to identify knowledge gaps and issues, on which the OECD could make a contribution in the region, and facilitate the exchange with regional partners.

During the conference, the newly endorsed ASEAN Integrated Framework for Food Security-Strategic Plan for Action for Food Security 2015-2020 (AIFS-SPA-FS) was presented. Ms. Rebagay acknowledged the goals of AIFS-SPA-FS which include the improvement of livelihood of small-scale farmers. She further reminded the delegates that small-scale farmers in the ASEAN region have been recognized as one of the key main investors in agriculture and should therefore be considered as key stakeholders in any discussions on food security. She added that ASEAN member states’ efforts like the provision of a multi-quality price policy or differentiated purchase price for quality rice in Indonesia should be implemented to encourage small-scale farmers to continue producing healthy and organic rice which is good both for the consumers and the environment as well.

The differentiated purchase price policy was recently approved based on strong advocacy by CSOs particularly the organized small-scale farmers including AFA’s member Aliansi Petani Indonesia (API) together with other farmers group like Serikat Petani Indonesia (SPI) and WAMTI  composing the Farmers Forum / platform supported by the Medium Term Cooperation Program Phase 2 (MTCP2) funded by IFAD and SDC.

Ms. Rebagay also reiterated the need for support for community-based food reserves system including rice and seed banks as important initiatives to ensure food self-sufficiency and ensure resilience amidst climate change. In addition, the need to encourage young farmers to engage in sustainable farming was also emphasized particularly as one important sustainability factor for ensuring availability of nutritious food for all.

Click here to download the Conference Agenda

Click here to visit the Conference Website

AFA Chairperson meets with ASEAN Ministers

Vientianne, Laos — The AFA Chairperson, Mr.Oun Sophal, represented the farmer sector in the 2nd Private sector dialogue with ASEAN Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF) held last September 27, 2012 in Vientianne, Laos. With support from broader civil society delegation, Mr.Oun Sophal reiterated the call for the creation of ASEAN small-scale farmers/producers council as continuing mechanism for engaging small-scale farmers in the decion-making processes within ASEAN. He also put forward the call for a regional ASEAN standard on good agricultural investment that would protect the interest of small-scale farmers and rural people amidst growing agricultural investment within the region. He mentioned that many small-scale farmers are exploited in agricultural investment schemes due to lack of government support for legal advice on contract negotiation and other marketing intermediation assistance.

Farmers call for creation of ASEAN small-scale producers’ council

Bangkok, Thailand – The Asian Farmers’ Association (AFA), together with other CSOs, called for a more institutionalized mechanism for participation of small-scale farmers in key decision-making processes in ASEAN, particularly on issues of food security/sovereignty, agricultural trade, climate change, etc, through the creation of an ASEAN Small-scale Farmers’/ Producers’ Council.

The groups made the call during the preparatory forum for the 2nd ASEAN Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF)-Private-Public Dialogue (PPD) organized by the ASEAN-USAID MARKET project last September 6-7, 2012 at Athenee Plaza in Bangkok, Thailand.

The forum intended to provide a venue for various stakeholders including farmers and fishers organizations, non-government organizations, as well as regional and international agribusiness to exchange views and identify common agenda along three major concerns, namely, agricultural productivity, agricultural credit and role of women in agriculture.

AFA delegates actively pushed for access and control over productive resources (land, water, seeds, energy) as imperative for increasing agricultural productivity alongside the promotion of sustainable agricultural farming practices and access to affordable credit with appropriate crop insurance coverage for both women and men small-scale farmers.

AFA also emphasized the need for an enabling legal environment for organizing and strengthening farmers’ association/cooperative in recognition of the crucial role of farmers’ associations and cooperatives in facilitating collective marketing.

AFA, VNFU, AsiaDHRRA, VietDHRRA co-organize prep meeting for first CSO-GO dialogue with ASEAN SOMRDPE

AFA, together with its member VNFU, is co-organizing with AsiaDHRRA and VietDHRRA a CSO preparatory meeting today, June 11, 2012 in Danang, Vietnam. The CSO preparatory meeting hopes to bring together CSOs attending the first CSO-GO dialogue with the Senior Officers Meeting on Rural Development and Poverty Eradication (SOMRDPE), which will be held in Furasama Danang Hotel. The CSO Preparatory Meeting aims to provide a venue for CSOs to share ideas and information, dialogue and discuss priority areas of cooperation that could be pursued in the next 3 years, within the context of the ASEAN Rural Development and Poverty Eradication Framework action plan 2011-2015 (RDPE-FAP) \ and beyond, keeping in mind the many initiatives being pursued by CSOs on the same agenda at all fronts. Specifically, the one day preparatory meeting shall (1) revisit the 2011-2015 ASEAN RDPE-FAP and other existing ASEAN frameworks on food security and climate change and level off on understanding and expectations, ( 2) arrive at some recommendations to explore collaboration between and among CSOs and GO, in relation to the various related ASEAN frameworks for action, including the discussions of appropriate coordination mechanisms at all levels (In particular, discuss strategies per thematic thrusts, anchored on current work and strengths of the CSOs), and (3) discuss the strategic roles and interest of CSOs in pursuing the ASEAN RDPE agenda.

AFA, CSOs hold brown bag session with ASEAN

Mr. Mohammad Nuruddin, Secretary General of API and active ExeCom member of AFA, gives an opening message during the ASEAN Session on “Civil Society Organization (CSO) and the Agriculture and Forestry Sector in the ASEAN Region, held at the ASEAN Headquaters in Jakarta, Indonesia last February 16, 2012. The activity was attended by Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, ASEAN Secretary General and other key ASEAN staff and Dialogue partners and CSOs. The objective of the session was to encourage building enabling environment for meaningful engagement between ASEAN & civil society organizations in agriculture and forestry sector development. AFA and its partner AsiaDHRRA also presented their experience in relating with ASEAN in the panel discussion.

In his message, Mr. Nuruddin said, “I hope that through this CSO 101 session, the small spaces for participation at the member state level and at the ASEAN level can be widened to hear more loudly the grassroots voices  of small-scale women and men farmers, fishers, indigenous peoples and other marginalized sectors.”

“We hope that through this “getting- to-know you” session, we can find more allies and friends from the ASEAN member state representatives and staff who will recognize and appreciate our role in building a more food secure, healthy, happy and caring ASEAN community,” he added.

Click here to download Mr. Nuruddin’s Opening Message

Click here to download AFA -AsiaDHRRA’s Powerpoint Presentation

ASEAN co-organizes CSO 101 session

AFA is co-organizing a regional sharing session dubbed as ASEAN CSO 101 together with ASEAN, ASFN, NTFP-EP, ASIADHRRA and AFA  with support from SDC and the government of Indonesia . The session aims to encourage building enabling environment for meaningful engagement mechanisms and initiatives between government bodies & civil society organizations in agriculture and forestry sector development. Specifically, the session hopes to  have a clearer picture of the CSO sector and the various perspectives and approaches used by various CSOs in rural development, particularly in forestry and agriculture sector initiatives, to bring forth and highlight positive examples of CSO–government/intergovernmental collaborations, and to further identify key themes and points where ASEAN-CSO engagement and constructive dialogue is crucial in rural development,  forestry and agriculture sectors towards sustainable development.

Mr.Muhamad Nuruddin, API Sec.General and a member of AFA ExeCom will be giving an opening message to all the participants and Ms.Lany V.Rebagay, Policy Advocacy Officer of AFA will also be sharing the AFA and AsiaDHRRA experience in engaging ASEAN.

AFA pushes rural development agenda in ASEAN

Civil society organizations concerned with rural development have been engaging ASEAN in order to pursue agriculture, fisheries and people-centered development, which promotes the well-being of the rural poor and marginalized sectors, especially farmers, fishers, and indigenous peoples.

In the process, they also aim to develop institutionalized mechanisms for the regular consultation and participation of farmers, fishers, indigenous peoples, rural women, and rural development NGOs on matters affecting these sectors.

AFA had another opportunity to push forward this agenda in the recently concluded ASEAN Special Seniors’ Officers’ Meeting for the 32nd ASEAN Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry (SSOM-AMAF) held at Angkor Era Hotel in Siem Reap, Cambodia last August 8-9, 2011.

Continue reading AFA pushes rural development agenda in ASEAN

AFA to join ASEAN food security conference in Manila

AFA will participate in an ASEAN food security conference to be held in Manila, Philippines on July 18-19, 2011.

The conference will enable the private sector to participate in efforts to address food security in the region and will focus on food production, post-harvest, and rural-market linkages.

AFA will be represented by Mr. Uon Sophal (FNN President) and Mr. Pan Sopheap (FNN Executive Director) from Cambodia; Mr. Vicente Fabe (PAKISAMA National Council Chairperson) and Mr. Raul Socrates Banzuela (PAKISAMA National Coordinator) from the Philippines; and Ms. Victoria Serrato (AFA Marketing Ofifcer).

Mr. Sophal will make a presentation on the the topic “Improving Food Security through Improving Productivity: Perspectives from Producers,” while the rest will make interventions during the sessions.

Through the conference, an action agenda will be developed for discussion at the first-ever ASEAN Private Agrifood Sector Consultation with the ASEAN Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF), which will meet on October 3-8, 2011 in Jakarta, Indonesia.

For more information about the conference, visit the conference blogsite at: http://aseanfoodsecurityfoodproduction.wordpress.com/

AFA co-organizes two workshops at the ACSC/APF 2011

AFA is co-orgnizing two workshops at the ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ ASEAN Peoples’ Forum (ACSC/APF) 2011, which is being held on May 3-5, 2011 in Jakarta, Indonesia with the theme “Claiming a People-Centered ASEAN for a Just Global Community:”

1) Agriculture and the Peasantry in ASEAN: Challenges and Way Forward (co-organized by with Asiadhrra, API, SPI, SP, BINA DESA, APNFS, and LRAN); May 4, 2011; 9:00AM-12:00NN; Hotel Ciputra.

Click here for the program

2) Food Price Volatility and Food Reserves in ASEAN(co-organized with AsiaDHRRA, API, Bina Desa, and AAI); May 4, 2011, 3:00PM-6:30PM; Hotel Ciputra.

Click here for the program

AFA joins regional conference on food security

Nov 16, Bangkok – The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) held a “Regional Conference on Food Security” last Nov 15-16, in Bangkok, Thailand.

AFA was represented by its Marketing Officer, Vicky Serrato. During the break-out groups, AFA participated in the “policy reforms and private sector investments in food supply chains”.

During this consultation, the progress of the operationalization and implementation of the ASEAN Integrated Food Security (AIFS) Framework, Strategic Plan of Action – Food Security (SPA-FS) and the Convergence Matrix was reviewed.

The consultation took note of the on-going challenges in achieving food security and various food security initiatives developed and implemented at the global level and in the ASEAN region. During this consultation the following were recognized among others:

1) need to look into diversifying staple food sources aside from rice and protein sources, which could be done through linking small farmers to community based production for food safety net programs;

2) need for monitoring action plans for transboundary pest and disease movement, pesticide policy and bio technology and food security policy dialogues;

3) establishing regional regular public-private sector dialogues showcasing farmers’ organization and empowerment;

4) need to establish a regional institutional mechanism with involvement from key stakeholders to coordinate and monitor Strategic Plan of Action on Food Security in the ASEAN region; and,

5) need to strengthen and coordinate the various on-going food security initiatives of key stakeholders, including civil society organizations.

Several issues were raised during the small group workshops and plenary sessions, among them :

1) soaring food prices that contribute to food insecurity;

2) addressing issues related to securing land versus private sector investment that lead to landgrabbing issues which are detrimental to small scale farmers; and,

3) need to balance utilization of land for food production, bio-energy or bio-fuel production and animal feed production.

Click here for the adopted Joint Chairs’ Summary

Click here for status of implementation of AIFS, SPA-FS and Convergence Matrix

AFA participates in the Sixth ASEAN People’s Forum

(Photo courtesy of Corinna Araneta Lopa)

The Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA) participated in the Sixth ASEAN People’s Forum (APF6), held in Hanoi, Vietnam, last September 24-26, 2010.

The APF6 was aimed at helping strengthen solidarity and cooperation among ASEAN people for a people-oriented ASEAN community that will really be for their benefit.

Carrying the theme “Solidarity and Action for a People-Oriented ASEAN”, the forum was attended by around 700 delegates representing people’s organizations of different sectors from ASEAN countries.

AFA and its members, Viet Nam Farmers’ Union (VNFU) and Aliansi Petani Indonesia (API), co-organized the “Forum Workshop on Peasantry Food Sovereignty and Rural Development”.

Amalia Pulungan and Fadil Kaiom of API spoke about land reform in Indonesia and Vu Le y Voan of VNFU spoke about farmers’ access to market, while AFA played its video entitled “Farmers’ Rights, Farmers’ Lives” during the workshop.

AFA also helped in preparing the workshop report together with Action Aid International and VNFU, while Manh Hung of VNFU moderated the session.

AFA and its members also participated in the workshop entitled “ASEAN FTAS: Boon or Bane to Development and Regional Integration? “

AFA Secretary General Esther Penunia presented AFA’s proposals for a regional agriculture trade agenda in ASEAN during the workshop.

AFA and its members also participated in the workshop entitled “Assessing ASEAN Social Protection Responses to Financial Crisis toward Developing Comprehensive and Sustainable Solution.”

(Photo courtesy of Corinna Araneta Lopa)

Manh Hung of VNFU spoke on the problems and recommendations on international development finance , while Esther Penunia of AFA spoke about the impact of the financial crisis on small scale men and women farmers in SEA countries during the workshop.

Click here for the program of the APF6

Click here for the final statement of the APF6

Click here for other documents and press releases

For more news and information about Asian farmers, go to: http://www.asianfarmers.org