The Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development will hold the event “Regional Sharing Workshop Building our Agenda for Farmers in Forested Landscapes” on August 2-3, 2015 in Yangon, Myanmar. The event will be hosted by its member, the Agriculture and Farmer Federation Myanmar (AFFM) with support from the FAO-Forest and Farm Facility (FFF). Continue reading AFA holds regional conference on forest and farms
PAKISAMA president Ireneo Cerilla received a plaque of recognition as one of nine finalists for the First International Land Coalition (ILC) Award during the ILC Global Land Forum and Assembly of Members in Dakar, Senegal last May 12-16. The recognition was given for PAKISAMA’s entry entitled “Twenty years of non-violent protest to benefit from the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program” which falls under ILC’s commitment to “Strong Small-Scale Farming Systems.” Continue reading PAKISAMA receives recognition as finalist for the First ILC Award
The Agricultur Farmers Federation Myanmar (AFFM), an AFA member organization, will bring the voice of small farmers, women and landless workers representatives fighting against land grabbing, land confiscation, forced displacement, lack of rights and poverty to the MILAN EXPO 2015.
AFFM representatives will speak at the CIVIL SOCIETY PAVILLION on May 29, 14:30 PM on the theme “Empowerment of small farmers, landless workers and women for an integrated, sustainable rural development, peace and democracy”.
Continue reading AFFM brings voice of Myanmar farmers to MILAN EXPO 2015
The World Economic Forum (WEF) has released a summary report of the Grow Asia Forum 2015 at the World Economic Forum at East Asia held on 19 April in Jakarta, Indonesia. which the Asian Farmers’ Association (AFA) participated in.
“Over 160 leaders from ASEAN governments, private sector, civil society, international organizations and farmers associations gathered at the Grow Asia Forum to set an agenda for this new regional multistakeholder partnership platform working to advance food security and sustainable, inclusive agricultural growth in ASEAN. Leaders committed to strengthening and scaling ongoing partnerships and launching new country partnerships, exchanged best practices, experiences and lessons from the region to develop innovative solutions, and jointly defined strategic priorities for the Grow Asia platform.”
Continue reading Summary of the Grow Asia Forum 2015 at the World Economic Forum at East Asia
Dakar, Senegal, 14 May 2015 — As focal point for the Land Matrix in Asia, AFA presented data on large scale land acquisitions in the region during the session organized by GIGA and ILC on May 13 at the 2015 Global Land Forum in Dakar, Senegal.
The data showed a high success rate of negotiations in foreign land deals in Asia, but a slower pace of implementation, and smaller area of contracted lands being put under actual production.
The data also showed patterns in former use of land and the intentions of investment on land, where mainly agricultural lands are being acquired for food, non-food commodities, unspecified agriculture produce and biofuels.
Continue reading AFA presents data on large scale land acquisitions in Asia at the 2015 Global Land Forum
(VNFU website) 13th January 2015 in Hanoi, VNFU and Kume Hiryo Company (Japan) has signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in applied research, transfer of science and technology for agriculture, rural development.
Vice Chairman Lai Xuan Mon and Mr. Shimatani Keiji- General Director of Kume Hiryo Company signed a memorandum of understanding.
Attending the signing ceremony, from VNFU side, Chairman Nguyen Quoc Cuong, First Vice Chairman Nguyen Duy Luong, Vice Chairman Lai Xuan Mon, and leaders of departments; from Kume Hiryo side, Mr. Shimatani Keiji- General Director and representatives of the relevant departments.
Through the signing ceremony, VNFU and Kume Hyrio coordinated an activity program based on common interests in the field of agriculture, for the purpose of conducting research, transfer, applications of science and technology for agriculture, rural areas in Vietnam.
The two sides will establish collaborative relationships with related departments and agencies through applied research, short-term and long-term training, proposed research and transfer application of science and technology and agricultural extension services to promote eco-agriculture to increase agricultural production with international quality standards.
Giving the speech at the ceremony, Chairman of VNFU Nguyen Quoc Cuong emphasized: ” This is the first Collaborative project between VNFU and Japan. So hopefully the terms of the signed memorandum of understanding will be the basis for specifying the programs and plans for coordination between the two sides, and work together to turn ideas into reality to bring Vietnam agriculture closer to the advanced agriculture in the world.”
By Mai Anh – Translator: Quynh Hoa
SOURCE: VNFU Website
The 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.
Continue reading AFA holds learning exchange visit in Cambodia
The body of farmer-leader Vicente “Ka Vic” Fabe has been brought to Manila to enable friends and colleagues in the farmers and social movement to pay their last respects. On March 6, 6:00 PM, a mass will be held at Santa Maria della Strada Parish Church, Pansol Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City. On March 7, 6:00 PM, another mass will be held followed by a tribute. The body will be brought back his hometown in Quezon province on March 8. The last wake will be on March 9, while the burial is on March 10.
Dear AFA Members and Partners,
It is with deepest sorrow to inform you that Mr. Vicente Fabe, known to many of us as Ka Vic , ex-Chairperson of Pakisama, ex-Treasurer of AFA, died while having his afternoon nap yesterday, March 2, at his home in Sta Elena, Camarines Norte, about 257 kms away from Manila. We deeply mourn this sudden loss, the movement is poorer with his passing.
Many colleagues in the farmers movement in the Philippines have seen him grow as a young shy farmer in the late 1980’s to a highly respected, highly admired, staunch, fearless leader of the farmers’ movement in the Philippines. He has been a great inspiration to many , including us in the AFA secretariat, He thinks sharply, he argues soundly, and he creates poems spontaneously. Despite his various positions in government and CSO coalitions as farmer representative, he has remained simple, humble, unwavering and committed to the cause, always eager to serve and to improve his service for his fellow farmers. As a farmer leader, he has led many of Pakisama’s campaigns on land rights , sustainable agriculture, significant involvement in governance processes on agriculture, gender equality, and the recovery of the coconut levy funds. His last activity at the national level was his participation in the 3rd national coconut farmers conference a week ago, last Feb 25.
As the longest-standing member of the AFA Execom until 2013, his principles and skills in coalition work has helped position AFA in many networking activities as well as helped AFA decide soundly on many of its organizational matters .
For those of you who have FB accounts, you can look at the posts of Jun Virola to remember Ka Vic.
We ask for your prayers . We will appreciate any tribute to Ka Vic, as well as any support you might be willing to give for his bereaved wife and children.
The Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA) and the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) co-organized a workshop on empowering local organizations through foresight last February 2-7 in Quezon City, Philippines.
The workshop was attended by representatives from AFA, its member organizations Aliansi Petani Indonesia(API), Pambansang Kilusan ng Samahang Magsasaka (PAKISAMA) in the Philippines, and the Institute of Himalayan Environmental Research and Education (INHERE) in India.
Facilitating the workshop was Robin Bourgeois, Senior Foresight and Development Policies Expert at the GFAR Secretariat, who is working on strengthening GFAR’s role in foresight and for providing an open and multi-stakeholder space for dialogue and action on the future of agricultural research.
Interview with Ms. Estrella Penunia, International Year of Family Farming Special Ambassador
Ms. Estrella Penunia, or Esther, as she is known to colleagues, is Secretary General of the Asian Farmers’ Association (AFA), a regional alliance of national farmers organizations or FOs in Asia. Established in 2002, AFA is currently composed of fifteen national FOs in twelve countries, representing around 12 million small-scale farmers (both women and men).
As a social development worker, Esther spent more than three decades working in the field of rural development alongside farmers, fishers and indigenous peoples as a community organizer, participatory action researcher, trainer, gender advocate, consultant, campaigns coordinator, NGO executive/manager and networker. Continue reading Family farmers should be at the heart of all agriculture, food security and nutrition agendas
Feb 5, Quezon City, Philippines – In usual ways, the future of agriculture is shaped by the views of the international community, and organisations from advanced/emerging countries, many times with limited involvement of family farmers and their organizations. These futures usually address global issues. The processes of determining the futures, called foresight, oftentimes have limited application to local development.
However, there is a desire and a need for farmers and their organizations to also shape the future they want. How can foresight processes be more farmer-led, farmer-managed, and be more applicable to local developmental processes; and in so doing help empower farmers determine their future?
It is this question and need that prompted the Asian Farmers Association (AFA), with the support of the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR), to embark on a project that will implement local grassroots initiatives, to be piloted in three local areas, in three countries.
AFA, with the support of GFAR, is currently conducting a “regional training workshop to implement grassroots foresight initiative”. The workshop is being held in Manila since Feb 2, and will run till Feb 6. Participants are 8 local trainers from India, Indonesia and the Philippines. Running on its fourth day today, the participants were able to already identify forces that can directly influence change as well as the resulting drivers of change through a simulation exercise.
The pilot areas for the grassroots foresight work and implementing partner organizations include: Central Himalayan region of India by INHERE (Institute of Himalayan Environmental Resources and Education), southern Palawan in Philippines by PAKISAMA, and in East Nusa Tenggara in Indonesia by API (Aliansi Petani Indonesia).
He posted a photo of a “kulisap” (pest) called brontispa on his Facebook wall, with the following caption (translated from Filipino):
“This is the pest brontispa, which eats the coconut shoots while they are still white. Once the leaves fully develop, they are already brown and have no capacity for photosynthesis. The leaves then appear like mere sticks, and the coconut, known as the ‘tree of life,’ slowly dies.”
By sharing the photo and the information about the pest, he hopes other farmers will become more aware and take proactive measures to counter the pest.
Cerilla is also the president of PAKISAMA, a national federation of farmers in the Philippines, which is a member of AFA.
PAKISAMA trains its members on various sustainable agroecological pratices.
Bogor, Jakarta – The Indonesian Organic Alliance or Aliansi Organis Indonesia (AOI), together with the Indonesian Peasant Alliance or Alliansi Petani Indonesia (API), in cooperation with the city government of Bogor, launched the 4th Bogor Organic Fair (BOF) and IYFF celebration last November 14.
The organic fair is a yearly event started in 2011, which aims at generating public awareness on the benefit of organic products. For 2014, the International Year of Family Farming (IYFF), API took the opportunity to integrate the celebration of IYFF with the annual Bogor Organic Fair.
Various organic farmer producers including the members of AOI, API and its partner Bina Desa, as well as other CSOs, showcased their organic products in Sempur, a public park in the center of Bogor City. The opening ceremony was graced by IFOAM president Mr. Andrew Leu. API Secretary General Mr. Nuruddin, AOI president Mr. Wahyudi and Bogor Vice City Mayor Engr. Usmar Hariman.
Mr. Nuruddin highlighted the situation of family farming in Indonesia and encouraged the government to support small-scale farmers to enhance their production of local and organic products. Mr. Leu pointed out that with the big population in Indonesia, there is a huge potential demand for organic products, which serves as a good opportunity for farmers to shift to organic farming.
At the end of the first day of the fair, the women farmers of API were happy because they were able to sell their products and meet new contacts who are interested to buy their products.
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.
“The challenge to the international community and to decision makers at all levels of society is to work with family farmers, through their farmers organizations… Communication for Development is key to enable social inclusion and put forward our own development agenda.”
This was the message delivered by AFA Secretary General and FAO Special Ambassador for the IYFF in Asia Pacific Esther Penunia in a keynote address at the XIII United Nations Inter-Agency Round Table on Communication for Development with the theme “Enabling social inclusion to support food and nutrition security, resilient rural livelihoods and family farming” last September 16 at the FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy. Continue reading AFA calls for communication with, by and for family farmers at the XIII UN roundtable on ComDev