Category Archives: Member: KKM

Primacy of strong FO presence in GAFSP project affirmed in KM session

With support from Agricord, through AsiaDHRRA and CSA, AFA hosted a knowledge session focused on drawing out key lessons on farmers’ engagement in  the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP), particularly through the project entitled “Supporting Inclusive Planning of country projects financed by the GAFSP” last November 8-10, 2012 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The learning session was participated by FOs and NGOs from four countries, namely, Mongolia, Nepal, Bangladesh and Cambodia.  It was also an opportunity for South-South learning exchange with the participation of Mamadou Cissokho, a key leader of ROPPA, a strong regional farmer federation from Senegal.

Results of the activity will feed into efforts at strengthening FO involvement in government agri policies and programs as well as in future project proposals that may be developed to support FO involvement in policy making processes for GAFSP.

One of the major lessons learned was the primacy of a strong farmers’ organization with capacity to constructively engage government and other stakeholders as key to the success of any food security program like GAFSP.

Click here to download the workshop results

AFA members in Cambodia and Bangladesh hold consultation dialogues on national GAFSP projects

National Farmers’ Organizations (FOs) Farmer and Nature Net (FNN), AFA member in Cambodia, and Kendrio Krishok Moitree ( KKM), AFA member in Bangladesh, convened consultation workshops cum dialogues with government implementers of national projects financed under the Global Agriculture for Food Security Program or GAFSP.

In Cambodia

The consultation in Cambodia was held last November 8, 2012, with 43 participants (32 male, 11 female) representing farmers from 8 GAFSP project areas, 2 other national FOs (Farmer and Water Net and CFAP), and 3 national NGOs (CEDAC, FLIFLY, Irrigation Service Center). The meeting was observed by representatives from national FOs in Nepal and Mongolia, Mr. Mammadou Cissokho of  ROPPA in Africa, Ms. Marlene Ramirez from AsiaDHRRA and Mr. Marek Poznanski from CSA, both of which are Agricord members. AFA was represented by Mr. Marciano Virola Jr., Ms. Lany Rebagay and Ms. Esther Penunia.

The farmer participants appreciated the presence of HE Vong Sandap, Deputy Secretary General of the Ministry of Economics and Finance, HE Srun Darith, Deputy Secretary General of CARD, and Ms. Nao Ikemoto from ADB, which is the Supervising Entity of the project.

During the dialogue, the farmers were able to get a copy of the 100 communes that will be covered by the Project. The farmers also asked the government officials to adopt processes that will include the voices of the farmer leaders in the covered areas, and build the self-reliance of farmers groups. They also asked for participation of CSOs in the steering committee at the national level.

In Bangladesh

The consultation in Bangladesh was held last December 12, 2012, with 23 participants (18 male, 5 female), including 7 leaders of farmers groups in Kurigram and Patuakhali districts, leaders of 13 civil society organizations, and 1 journalist. Ms. Esther Penunia represented AFA.

Mr. Imanum Nobi Khan from FAO-Bangladesh gave updates on the Technical Assistance Component of the Integrated Agricultural Productivity Project (IAPP), which is funded by the GAFSP. He said that FAO’s mapping study revealed there are around 163,000 farmers groups organized by various government agencies; as well as 82,853 legally registered farmers cooperatives. However, Mr. Alauddin, Secretary General of KKM, said that many farmers were organized into groups for the purpose of project design fulfillment, and many of these groups cease to function when the project ends. He said that it is important for farmers groups to have a long-term vision and an ethical, political and economic orientation from its beginning/formation.

The participants welcomed FAO’s plan in 2013 to conduct, among others, (1) leadership training activities to leaders of farmers groups in the project areas, and (2) exchange visits among farmers inside the country as well as among farmers groups in India and Cambodia.

The participants also called for representation of FOs and CSOs in the project’s national and regional management/steering committee and the use of local experts in the various training and capacity building activities.

The workshop was co-convened by Action Aid, and was supported financially by Agricord through AsiaDHRRA.

Click here for the workshop report

Various activities, important decisions mark AFA’s 5th general assembly

The Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA) held various activities and decided on important matters on its recently concluded 5th general assembly, which was also a celebration of its 10th anniversary.

Vietnam Farmers Union (VNFU) hosted the event in Hanoi, Vietnam last March 9, 2012 back-to-back with regional farmers’ consultations on March 7-8 and a CSO consultation on the 31st FAO APRC that AFA attended on March 10-11.

The series of events officially opened on March 7 with a cultural presentation from a Vietnamese folk group, who also performed traditional songs and dances with participants from different Asian countries, and with welcome speeches from VNFU Vice-Chairperson Dr. Nguyen Duy Luong and incumbent AFA Chairperson Mr. Tsai, Shun-Te.

Around 45 representatives from 12 farmer organizations and partner NGOs from 10 Asian countries, such as API (Aliansi Petani Indonesia), FNN (Farmer and Nature Net) in Cambodia, VNFU (Vietnam Farmers Union), SorKorPor (Farmer’s Federations Association for Development Thailand), PAKISAMA (Pambansang Kilusan ng mga Samahang Magsasaka) in the Philippines, AINOUKAI in Japan, KAFF (Korea Advanced Farmers’ Federation) and WAFF (Women Advanced Farmers’ Federation) in South Korea, TWADA (Taiwan Wax Apple Development Association), TDFA (Taiwan Dairy Farmers Association), KKM (Kendrio Krishok Moitre) and Action Aid in Bangladesh, NLRF (National Land Rights Forum) and CSRC (Community Self-Relience Centre) in Nepal attended the event, and ADRA (Adventist Development and Relief Agency) in Mongolia.

Representatives from partner agencies, such as Nellie van der Pasch of Agriterra, Ignace Coussement of Agricord, Thomas Price of GFAR (Global Forum on Agricultural Research), Marlene Ramirez of AsiaDHRRA, Jose Osaba of WRF (World Rural Forum), Michael Commons of Green Net, and Dinah Fuentisima of WSPA (World Society for the Protection of Animals) also graced the occasion.

Review of accomplishments and decisions

Opening with a video showing photos of the past four general assemblies of AFA, the 5th general assembly reviewed AFA’s accomplishments in the last two years (2010-2011) vis-a-vis the strategic plans it set for 2011-2015, while member FOs gave updates on their respective organizational activities.

The assembly also heard, discussed and adopted the Chairperson’s report regarding the administration and activities of AFA and confirmed decisions made by the Executive Committee in between general assemblies.

Exhibit, field visit, and courtesy call

As part of AFA’s knowledge sharing activities, each AFA member organization also put up an exhibit of its country’s agricultural products and traditional processed foods just outside the meeting room, where participants exchanged information on the items on display.

On March 8, participants also went on a field visit to an organic farming project, which is run mainly by women farmers.

It was followed by a short meeting with the VNFU chairperson and other leaders at the VNFU headquarters in a new building in Hanoi, where the two sides shared their aspirations and activities for farmers.

Two-year thrusts, new members, and new officers

The 5th General Assembly set the thrusts of AFA for the next two years, focusing mainly on governance and organizational development, capacity building, knowledge management, and policy advocacy.

The assembly welcomed AFA’s first two member FOs from South Asia — KKM (Kendrio Krishok Moitre) in Bangladesh and NLRF (National Land Rights Forum) in Nepal — whose applications for regular membership were previously approved by the AFA Execom.

It also determined the new set of Executive Committee members for 2012-2014, which in turn elected the new set of officers.

Through a collegial process that follows the tradition of leadership rotation, the Execom elected FNN President Uon Sophal as the new AFA Chairperson, the representative from Ainoukai as Vice-Chaiperson and the representative from API as Treasurer, while re-appointing Esther Penunia as Secretary General.

10th year anniversary, international women’s day, and tribute to farmer leaders

The general assembly was also an occasion for celebration and commemoration.

AFA celebrated its 10th year of existence through an exhibit of agricultural products, solidarity night, ritual of mixing and distributing traditional rice varieties from each Asian country, reading of solidarity statements from partners, awarding of plaques of appreciation, launching of a draft anniversary video and banners containing 10 themes, and the announcement of a plan to come out with a coffee table book highlighting AFA’s important achievements and future plans.

AFA also celebrated International Women’s Day during the field visit, courtesy call to VNFU headquarters, and solidarity night on March 8.

The Women Advanced Farmers’ Federation (WAFF), AFA’s first and so far only FO member composed solely of women, gave away gifts to women farmers during the field visit to the organic farming project.

VNFU’s Chairperson and other leaders also presented gifts to all AFA women during the courtesy call at the VNFU headquarters.

AFA’s women were again honored during the solidarity night, where they were given roses and asked to share their sentiments about the occasion.

Finally, the general assembly also set aside a special time to commemorate the heroism and martyrdom of farmer leaders in AFA who have died in the struggle for farmers’ rights.

The life and death of farmer leaders Lee Kyung Hae of South Korea; Vicente Paglinawan, Renato Penas, and Florita Caya of the Philippines; and women farmers Lamlaya Chamchamagar and Janak Kumari Chaudhary who died during the land rights campaign in Nepal were presented at the opening of the general assembly, followed by a moment of silence and a dedication of the event to their memory.

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