AFFM conducts Myanmar Farmers Forum

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(c) Esther Penunia/AFA

July 24, 2016. Yangon Myanmar . The Agriculture and Farmers Federation of Myanmar (AFFM) in partnership with its mother trade union Confederation of Trade Unions Myanmar (CTUM) and its regional farmer organization Asian Farmers Association (AFA), organized a two day national farmers forum last July 23-24, 2016 in Yangon, Myanmar. The forum brought together 150 participants from farmer leaders in all regions and states of Myanmar, partner civil society organization, and several National Parliament members and local government officials.

The forum was the largest gathering of farmers, Parliament members and partner groups since AFFM was established in 2011.

The theme of the Forum was ” From Sustainable Agriculture Development to Sustainable Economic Development”.

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(c) Esther Penunia/AFA

In his opening remarks, AFFM president U Than Swe asked the Myanmar government to recognize farmers as workers and thus support them as well. ” Myanmar is an agricultural country, so agricultural development will mean development of the country as well. According to our laws, our unions are based on family -run farming industry. So we are employers, and workers. Since we can be seen as an employer, a worker or a laborer, the government has responsibility to support us financially and also to promote our rights. However, we have not yet received any concrete support from the government. Today’s farmers should be under the protection of the law. ”

U Than Swe encouraged the four parliament members in the forum to listen and understand the farmers. At the end of the forum , AFFM submitted to the parliament members Farmers’ Statements on (1) Recommendations to the existing land and forestry laws ; (2) agriculture marketing, trading and economics and (3) social security, social protection, occupational safety and health. The statements were based on the inputs of the participants during the Forum.

The national farmers’ forum aimed to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of current laws and policies that affect family farmers, to present the situation and challenges the farmers face across the different regions and states in the country, and to present some alternatives or responses to the challenges at hand. Topics discussed included farm land laws, community forestry and forestry laws, occupational safety and health, social security and social protection for agricultural sector, agricultural economics , marketing and trade, situation of women and youth in the agricultural sector.

AFA Secretary General Esther Penunia made a presentation on “Marketing Imperative of Farmers : Farmers ‘ Multi-purpose Cooperatives as Vehicles for Strengthening Market Engagement. ”

The forum was financially supported by the MTCP2 AFOSP project, with EU, IFAD and SDC as project donor partners.

AFA holds 7th general assembly

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The Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development, a regional alliance of 17 national federations and organizations of small scale women and men farmers and producers from 13 countries in Asia, will hold its 7th general assembly in Hanoi, Vietnam on August 1-7, 2016, to be hosted by the Viet Nam Farmer Union, one of the founding members of the association.

Several events will be held during the week of the general assembly:

  • Knowledge Exchange Forum on FO Engagement in Public Investment Programs (August 1-2), be organized by AFA, VNFU, AsiaDHRRA and CSA
  • 34th AFA Execom Meeting (August 3), be organized by AFA and VNFU
  • Field Visit to Tuyen Quang (August 4), organized by AFA, VNFU, AsiaDHRRA and CSA
  • Regional Consultation on Seeds in South and South East Asia August 6), organized by AFA, VNU and AsiaDHRRA
  • Regional Knowledge Sharing and Learning Session on
    Networking and Coordination among Partners of
    Forest and Farm Producer Organizations (August 7), organized by AFA and VNFU

During the GA proper on August 5, the membership of AFA is expected to craft a new strategic plan for 2016-2030, confirm their membership status and elect a new set of Execom officers.

The GA and the comprising events are supported by AsiaDHRRA, CSA, EU, IFAD, SDC, GAFSP and FFF.

(Follow the events on Facebook and Twitter though the hashtag #7thafaga.)

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.]

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

Empowering small scale women and men farmers in Asia