Category Archives: Member: API

AFA holds learning exchange visit in Cambodia

visit collage 01The Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA), in cooperation with Farmer and Nature Net (FNN), held a member-to-member cooperation and learning exchange visit last March 9-13, 2015 in Cambodia.

The visit was one of the activities under the project entitled “Advocacy for Increased Government Support for Sustainable Agriculture and Farmer-led Enterprises” funded by Agriterra.

Participants included Sidig Pamungkas, Manager of the Organic Rice Enterprise of APOLI (a local member organization of Aliansi Petani Indonesia or API in Central Java); Hasthanari Pamintasih, Finance staff of API and support staff/translator to farmer leaders’ representative; Sushma Neuphane, Youth woman entrepreneur and youth woman leader of National Land Rights Forum (NLRF); Jagat Deuja, Executive Director of Community Self-Reliance Center (CSRC); and, Victoria Serrato, Enterprise development and Marketing Officer of AFA.
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API sets up relief center in Jakarta, seeks support for flood victims

The office of Aliansi Petani Indonesia (API) is in evacuation mode after the heavy flooding caused by unusually strong monsoon rains in Jakarta last week. API’s office is located at the banks of Ciliwung River, one of Jakarta’s thirteen rivers. They have moved their office equipment and documents to the second floor after flood waters rose last January 16. Around 18,000 people have been evacuated and 11 have died due to the floods. In API’s area, there are around 300 households that were affected.

In response to the flooding, API, together with other people’s organizations in Jakarta, has set up a relief center to help the people affected by the floods. API’s staff will be working in these relief centers in the next two weeks. They are accepting donations in cash or kind. Direly needed are basic aid supplies, such as, ready to eat food such as bread and instant noodles, drinking water, rice, milk and diapers for infants, sanitary napkins for women, soaps, blankets, clothes, etc.

The city is flooded every year during the monsoon season. In 2007, it experienced one of the worst flooding in recent years. Experts have since then warned that flooding would be a more frequent occurrence in Jakarta. This year’s flooding is expected to surpass that of 2007, and more rains are expected in the coming days.

Partners who wish to send their support to API and the affected communities in Jakarta may get in touch with Ms. Ika Krishnayanti through e-mail address and mobile numbers 62-08128387971, 62-085888351668

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(With report and photos from Ika Krishnayanti)

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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OXFAM, SEAFISH, AFA co-organize forum on food security and climate change adaptation

Esther Penunia, Secretary General, AFA

A forum-workshop entitled “Food Security and Climate Change Adaptation of Small Scale Farmers and Fishers in Southeast Asia” was held in Quezon City, Philippines, last Nov 24-25. The workshop was co-organized by Oxfam International’s East Asia office, Southeast Asia Fisheries for Justice (SEAFISH), a regional alliance of NGO and fisher groups, and Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA), a regional alliance of national farmers organizations.

AFA participants included Oun Sophal and Meas Somica from Farmer and Nature Net (Cambodia), Lutfiyah Hanim from Aliansi Petani Indonesia, Rene Cerilla from PAKISAMA (Philippines),Vicky Serrato and Esther Penunia from the secretariat.

Small scale farmers and fishers are trying to adapt to climate change as much as they can. In this workshop, participants shared various adaptation strategies. Here are some of what they shared:

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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:

API News: Half Century Denial of Agrarian Law 1960: Half a Century Repression on Farmers

Jakarta: In order to commemorate the National Farmers Day on September 24, 2010, Aliansi Petani Indonesia (API) or Indonesian Peasants’ Alliance in cooperation with Front Perjuangan Pemuda Indonesia (FPPI) or the Front of Indonesian Young Struggle, and Solidaritas Anak Jalanan untuk Demokrasi (SALUD) or Street Children Solidarity for Democracy performed a parade at the famous demonstration circle area of Hotel Indonesia (HI), Jakarta. The sympathetic parade was part of a series of actions commenced on September 22, 2010 at the Tugu Tani with theatrical staged, and ended with a join rally with other national people organizations in front of the State Palace in Jakarta on September 24, 2010 (Link: Media Indonesia/Photos of Peasants Action on

The actions were to demand the government to immediately redistribute 9.6 million hectares of land to peasants, to keep in order and to utilize the land abandoned for the benefit of the peasantry, forming the Adhoc Committee of the Settlement agrarian conflict and to execute the Agrarian Reform, revoked other sectoral Law (e.g. Plantation, Forestry, Water Resources, Food, Mining, Investment, Plant Cultivation System, Plant Variety Protection, and others) for they are in conflict with Pancasila, the Constitution of 1945, and the Agrarian Law 1960, oppose the criminalization of peasants in the agrarian conflict resolution and demanding the government to construct the Farmers Rights Act, raise the price of Government Purchasing Price (HPP) of raw/unhulled grain and rice by 20%, and push Bulog buy the commodity directly to farmers, and the last but not least establish the 24th of September as National Farmers Day.

“We need to take action and demand the government to immediately redistribute 9.6 million hectares of land to the peasants, to put an order and to utilize the land for the benefit of the peasantry. Since fifty years ago, the Law No. 5 year 1960 on basic rules of agrarian (UUPA) has been as an umbrella of agrarian law passed in Indonesia, but it has never been on the run by the government seriously. The Agrarian Law aims to overhaul the agrarian structure inherited injustice of the colonial era. UUPA 1960 is actually the realization of article 33 of the Constitution 1945, which mandates that natural resources and production associated with the lives of many people are managed for the greatest prosperity of the people,” said Ferry Widodo, the coordinator of Action.
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Asian women leaders raise their voices at the global farmers’ forum

Women leaders from Asia, representing AFA, La Via Campesina and other farmers’ organizations, participated in the Global Farmers’ Forum held in Rome on February 15-16, 2010.

The women leaders included Ms. Kong Sokchhoin (FNN, Cambodia), Ms. Flora Caya (PAKISAMA, Philippines), India Smitha (SEWA, India), Ms. Amalia Pulungan (API, Indonesia), Ms. Esther Penunia (AFA), Ms. Marlene Ramirez (AsiaDHRRA), among others.

Together with other women leaders from all over the world, they raised the issues and concerns of small scale women and men farmers. Ms. Caya also talked about the impact of mining corporations on women farmers.

The third global meeting of the Farmers’ Forum was held in conjunction with the Thirty-third session of IFAD’s Governing Council. The Forum brought together more than 70 farmers’ leaders from around the world, representing millions of smallholders and rural producers from all over the world who interacted with IFAD staff and selected partners. The Forum was opened by the President of IFAD, Kanayo Nwanze. Its closing session, in the afternoon of Tuesday, 16 February, was open to the members of IFAD’s governing bodies (Source: IFAD website).

Following a recommendation of the 2008 Forum meeting, a special effort has been made by participating farmers’ organizations to increase women’s presence and voice in the event. A preparatory meeting was held on 13 February to reflect on how to promote women’s leadership in farmers’ organizations. The commitment to have at least 30 per cent of women farm leaders participating in the Forum has been achieved (Source: IFAD website).

(Photos and information courtesy of Ms. Amalia Pulungan, API, Indonesia.)

Get more updates from the IFAD website and the IFAD social reporting blog

In the News: Indonesians protest government’s first 100 days

AFA member Aliansi Petani Indonesia (API) joined this multi-sectoral protest rally as they continue to oppose free trade agreements and other trade liberalization policies being implemented by the government because of their negative impact on agriculture and the farmers’ livelihoods.

JAKARTA — Thousands of Indonesians took to the streets Thursday to condemn corruption and demand the resignations of key ministers on the 100th day of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s new government.

Demonstrations were held across Jakarta and other cities including Surabaya, Makassar and Ambon, where protesters tried to storm the governor’s office and burned a poster of Yudhoyono.

Scuffles broke out with police in several places including Palu, in Central Sulawesi, and the wealthy Menteng suburb of Jakarta, where opposition party supporters set fire to tyres in the middle of a busy road.

About 10,000 people from a cross-section of civil society, student and labour groups gathered at various locations across Jakarta to shout slogans against graft and perceived mismanagement in Yudhoyono’s second and final term.

Read the full story at

Indonesian farmers to discuss Plant Variety Protection Law

The Plant Variety Protection Law is an important issue that has crucial link to agriculture and food security in Indonesia. For one, it raises the issue of farmers’ rights versus breeders’ rights.

In order for farmers to understand the issue better and to share experiences and views with each other, the Indonesian Peasants Alliance (Aliansi Petani Indonesia or API) will hold the “Farmers’ Dialogue on Plant Variety Protection Regulation and Implications for Food Security” on February 10-11, 2009 in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The dialogue will be co-organized by the Third World Network (TWN) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Participants to the dialogue will include peasants, community organisers and non-governmental organisations.

For more information in Bahasa, click here or go to

Related Article: Case Documentation: Indonesian farmers prosecuted for breeding their own seeds

Issue paper on ASEAN now available in local languages

Farmers in ASEAN member-countries such as Cambodia, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, and Thailand, can now understand more about ASEAN issues related to farmers in the region through an issue paper that has been translated into local languages.

The issue paper entitled “Understanding the ASEAN Charter and the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint”, published by AFA and AsiaDHRRA, is now available in Khmer, Bahasa, Tagalog, Viertnamese, and Thai versions.

AFA members from ASEAN countries (FNN in Cambodia, API in Indonesia, PAKISAMA in the Philippines, VNFU in Vietnam, and SORKORPOR in Thailand) did the translation of the issue paper for distribution to farmers in their respective countries.

Through the local versions of the issue paper, it is expected that farmers belonging to AFA member organizations will understand more about ASEAN-related issues affecting them and appreciate the efforts of their national farmers’ organizations on regional advocacy through AFA.

As part of its advocacy effort in the Asian region, AFA conducts dialogues and consultations with ASEAN to understand more the issues concerning farmers and agriculture and put forward the farmers’ analysis and position on these issues, in the hope of affecting the regional inter-government body’s policies and activities.

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Stories in Pictures (Indonesia): Dialogue with Land Affairs body

API conducted a dialogue with the chief of the national land affair body and state justice on February 4, 2008 in Langkat, North Sumatra to address the conflict between Banjaran farmers and the PT Buana estate. The national land affairs body and API decided to make a plan to solve this conflict, a first step of which is to go to the field to conduct an investigation. A temporary result from BPN (national land affair body) was that PT Buana Estate was taken arbitrarily by PT. Buana Estate.

Stories in Pictures (Indonesia): Jambi Farmers’ Discussion

Aliansi Petain Indonesia (API) facilitated the Jambi Farmers Discussion on March 16-17, 2008. It was attended by 17,500 farmers from five districts (Batang Hari, Tebo, Janjung, West Jabung and east “Tanjung jabung ng Jabung Timur). The Governor of Jambi acted “inklaf”” (reverted their rights land). It was authorized by PT Wira Karya Sakti for 82,000 hectares in 5 districts. There was also a gift fund of Rp.1 billion for ten years. The future plan of the farmers is to conduct a dialogue to cooperate with the Agriculture Department to manage their land for food production and social forestry.

Stories in Pictures (Indonesia): Sukabumi Peasant Case Settlement

In the first quarter of this year, the Indonesian Peasant Aliance (API) focused its efforts on the settlement of the Peasant Case in Sukabumi East Java. The land quarrel started in 1996. On January 28, 2008, API supported the effort on settlement with the National Commission of Human Rights through mediation. The mediation was made among the Sukabumi peasant, a regent of Sukabumi, the head of the regency police, and a representative from the enterprise side. The peasant won 700 USD as compensation.

AFA to join global farmers’ forum

Leaders of the Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA) will join around 80 other farmer leaders from around the world for the second global meeting of the Farmers’ Forum that will take place on February 11-12, 2008 in conjunction with the thirty-first session of International Fund for Agricultural Development’s (IFAD) Governing Council.

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AFA co-sponsors APA panel session on “Fair Trade in ASEAN Integration”

AFA co-organized a panel session entitled “Towards Fair Trade in an Integrating ASEAN: Perspectives of Workers, Farmers and Informal Sector” held at the EDSA Shangri-La Hotel, Mandaluyong City, Philippines last October 25, 2007. The pane l session was one of the concurrent panel sessions conducted during the 6th ASEAN Peoples’ Assembly (APA) with the theme “ASEAN at 40: Realizing the Peoples’ Expectations”.
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Indonesian farmers greet Lamy’s visit with protests, API staff arrested

By Ika Krishnayanti, Bina Desa

February 21, 2007

Jakarta, Indonesia — Mass actions delivered by civil societies to protest World Trade Organization (WTO) have been spread out all over the world. The Director General of WTO Pascal Lamy’s visit in Jakarta last February was the most welcome by various protests conducted by several peasant organizations, NGOs, and other civil society groups. Since very early in the morning, several groups of people organizations such as API, Bina Desa, Konphalindo, and other groups has been patiently gathering and waiting for Lamy’s appearance during his staying at Hotel Borobudur. On February 21, they waited for him just several steps from the meeting room where the meeting took place. The meeting itself was participated by Lamy, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Republic of Indonesia (Mr. Hasan Wirayuda) and the Minister of Trade (Ms. Mari E. Pangestu). Meanwhile Federasi Serikat Petani Indonesia (FSPI) also conducted mass action outside the hotel.
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API hosts seminar-workshop on sustainable agriculture event entitled “Seminar-Workshop on Developing AFA’s Advocacy on Sustainable Agriculture” was held in Kusuma Agrowisata Hotel, Batu City, Malang, Indonesia last September 11-17, 2006. The event was hosted by Aliansi Petani Indonesia or API (AFA’s member in Indonesia) and Bina Desa, API’s strategic NGO partner.

The seminar-workshop resulted in a draft outline of AFA’s concept paper on advocating mainstreaming sustainable agriculture in Asia. AFA also identified good SA practices from the experience of its members, strategies for promoting SA with their respective national governments, and roles of AFA members, the AFA regional network, and its partners in promoting SA. Immediate action points at the local, national, and regional levels were also agreed upon.

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