TOA Partners Meeting 2018

15 December 2018, Pan Hug Farm, Lao PDR

TOA partners from Bhutan, Cambodia, Myanmar, Lao PDR, Thailand and Vietnam had shared country update about the backgrond and current issue on farming including partner activities. After that there were 4-thematic working group discussion and feedback for the Further Collaboration on:

  • What the issues
  • What the activities / solutions
  • How to collaborate

Capacity Building and Youth

Facilitated by Khamphoui and Kien, and Presented by Mongkon

We have youth issues working in farming are limited network and skills applicable, low interest, lack of confidence, no consistency, little policy support, lifestyle-modernism-consumerism, and lacking of the success stories. For the solutions, we would like to have capacity building, training on self-awareness and value on organic agriculture, eco-farming and particular topics, and communication on Medias and Networking. Our regional collaboration, the Health and Food Consumption Topic, examination of blood test and public awareness raising, and these connections to seeds, GMOs, and Health issues.

At the regional level, the collaboration on the common theme on current food system and health, this will involve rural and urban, producer and consumer. We can propose this as the regional research where each country can do case study with selected community. This could be linked with advocacy and action research, other possibilities for our collaboration are:

  • Anti GMOs, we can collaborate further campaign and petition for NO GMO.
  • Seeds, on seeds restoration, natural seeds, organic seeds production, and seed laws. This is another thing we can collaborate with each other.
  • The Google MyMaps, collecting data on young farmers’ location and exchange possibility.
  • Farmer day or week, to celebrate and recognize farmers, to dedicated time for farmer. We can propose this to the government. 

Action-research and Advocacy

Facilitated by Supa Yaimuang and Presented by Vitou Sam

We agreed that food system is the key issue, for example:

  • In Myanmar, the fertilizer used and chemical used, farmers got infection from the farming process, and the influence of hybrid seeds.
  • In Laos, there was a problem that Banana Company had dump the pesticide into the river and affected to fish and 10 villages along the river.
  • The regional issue, including Bhutan, is Climate Change, the effect on Food and economics.

The solution, people need to understand from the “Head, Heart and Hands” so that mean people can understand and take action, such as:

  • Organic farming promotion
  • Linking with university, student can volunteer at the organization and work on action research related to community issues.
  • Climate Change on the scheme of crop insurance (Study/Seminar- TOA network)
  • The workshop and sharing on Climate related to agriculture, disaster, technology (AT), and in term of ecological framework.
  • Shifting the notion and giving information about fake organic and real organic.
  • Research on farm resilience, it could be at different level, for example the smallholder in Laos what is needed- knowledge, cropping system, and practice- to be less and less dependable on the external input. This could be at national level and combine at regional level.
  • How to disseminate the result or the finding to the higher/policy level. There is a lot of knowledge on organic farming and those are not implemented. The missing link need to be pin pointed. (Regional action research why organic farming is not adapted wildly)

Technical Support and Exchange

Facilitated and Presented by Sonam Tashi and Dilip Kumar

In Bhutan Dilip started organic seeds, especially the tropical seeds that cannot be produced in ASEAN country such as cabbage, broccoli, and coli flower. There are legal procedures including the certification, we have to work for these process, this is not really fit under the technical support but we have it mentioned under this working group for now. There are some areas that need technical support are:

  • Integrated farm management and livelihood
  • Climate related research on production

For the activities / solution

  • Reviews on CEDAC about import and export (for seeds)
  • Farmer’s field school, to take the technical support to farmers
  • Research activities, participatory research and farmers will be active player
  • Volunteer visit at Phaladay, Tsirang (140 km from Thimphu)

Future collaboration

  • Bhutan (NOP, CNR, and Tsirang Community can take the lead)
  • Tsirang can produce the seeds, therefore TOA partners can be incorporate for this (the seed verity and amount that we might need in the region)
  • The list of seeds (the demand for planning and consumption), what is needed, volume and time.

Consumer Education and Marketing

Facilitated by Chanthalangsy and Presented by Takihiro Chea

The big challenge is consumers do not believe in organic; this is commons in Vietnam and Cambodia. The solutions for this challenge could be building connection and trust between producer and consumer, and branding, so the activities for these are:

  • Farm visit, Promote PGS approach, Learning from Vietnam PGS
  • Mentoring system for branding/packaging

Another challenge is consumers and producers are lack of understanding on organic system (why organic product costs more than conventional product) and marketing. So what we can do are:

  • Increasing mindfulness marketing concept
  • Social media platform to tell the story of organic products

Collaboration:

  • IVY will support on branding
  • Sharing and learning platform with Vietnam success story on PGS
  • Social media
  • Scale out Mindful Markets Concept in other countries

Feedback and Suggestion

Khamphoui: One concern on a bigger fighter or big companies, they came with attractive terminology, biotechnology for example, and sometimes we cannot catch up so we need more resource for this regard. This is one thing we need to be on the same page at the regional / global level.

Bo Bo: We need some support for the short and clear about the terminology (can be translate into different language)

Sonam: TOA doesn’t have Newsletter yet, if we can have the newsletter to circulate within TOA and beyond, others network could know about TOA. It could be e-newsletter or other options for our communication.

Conclusion

Theme / Working Group   Activities
Capacity Building and Youth Mapping (YOF location and exchange)
Farmer Day
Action Research and Advocacy Study / workshop in Crop Insurance
Workshop on Climate Change Related
to Agriculture and Adaptation
Regional Research on Health and
Food System
Farm Management and Farm
Resilience
Why organic farming is not adopted
in the region?
Technical Support and ExchangeSeeds and local seeds restoration
(UPOV 1991)
The demand on organic seed / list of
seeds
Country procedure / law on seeds
Consumer Education / MarketingMentor group for branding
PGS approach
Scaling out Mindful Markets Concepts
Terminology on organic and farming
Newsletter / Information Sharing

TOA Partners and Network in Lao PDR

1. Sonam Tashi CNR, Bhutan
2. Dilip Subba Tsirang Community, Bhutan
3. Tshering Dem YOF, Bhutan
4. Vitou Sam CEDAC, Cambodia
5. Ayumi Matsuura IVY, Cambodia
6. Takihiro Chea YOF, Cambodia
7. Sophea Kuch YOF, Cambodia
8. Shui Meng Sao Ban, Lao, PDR
9. Budsadee Khunnawong Pan Hag Farm
10. Khamphoui Saythalat  PADETC, Lao PDR
11. Chanthalangsy Sisouvanh RDA, Lao PDR
12. Bounmany Keopasert RDA, Lao PDR
13. Somchit Phankham
Panyanivej Organic Farm, Lao PDR
14. Nont Choedamphai Panyanivej Organic Farm, Lao
PDR/Thailand
15. Amphavanh Sisouvanh RDA Center, Lao PDR
16. Bo Bo Lwin KMF, Myanmar
17. Tun Aung YOF, Myanmar
18. Supa Yaimuang AAN, Thailand
19. Narumon Paiboonsittikun TOA, Thailand
20. Mathana Aphaimool Maetha, Community, Thailand
21. Mongkon DuangkhiewAAN, Thailand
22. Dang To Kien CENDI, Vietnam
23. Nguyen Ngoc Hoang Anh YOF, Vietnam

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