Coffee farmers from various organisations in Southeast Asia will gather in Yogyakarta, Indonesia on 19-21 July 2017 to showcase their produce, share their experiences in farming, and to exchange knowledge to improve the marketing of their products for the ASEAN Learning Series and Policy Engagement on Agricultural Cooperative (ALSPEAC).
The coffee farmers include those coming from farmer organizations in the ASEAN Farmer Organization Support Program (AFOSP) and Medium Term Cooperation Program Phase Two (MTCP2).
ALSPEAC is a learning exchange platform for multi-stakeholders to achieve common vision and to deliver collective marketing for ASEAN agricultural cooperatives based products. The two-day learning series will feature talks and discussions on the current state of coffee production in Southeast Asia as well as prospects for the industry.
Coffee is one the top traded commodities in the world and Asia produces almost a third of global coffee supplies. Among the largest coffee-producing countries in Southeast Asia are Vietnam and Indonesia. Coffee is also grown in the Philippines, Malaysia, and Laos.
“ASEAN countries produce exactly the same products. Instead of competing with each other, we should cooperate. Cooperatives in Indonesia can sell coffee from Thailand, and Thailand can sell coffee from Indonesia. Cooperatives can become better and make a better product. So think about how ASEAN can benefit your own business rather than be scared about the competition it brings,” says Pacita Juan, Chairperson of Asean Women Entrepreneurs Network.
The ASEAN Learning Series facilitates peer-to-peer learning for the empowerment of farmers to enhance their participation in the global value chain. It also enables farmers and their organisations to make independent decisions concerning services to members for production, creating market opportunities as well as increasing youth and women’s participation along the value chain. By presenting cases from ASEAN member countries, and through the exchanges of best practices on innovative agricultural techniques, the learning series intends to equip the farmers’ organisations with knowledge and capacity to identify and design strategies and programs in the agricultural chain that will benefit their families and communities. The forum also aids the increased collaboration among cooperatives in Southeast Asia to provide financial and investment services for small scale farmers and agriculture cooperatives.
The ASEAN Learning Series aims to strengthen the role of Agricultural Cooperatives in addressing the challenges as well as opportunities of the ASEAN Economic Community and ASEAN 2025 for participation in global value chain, to enhance participation of small scale farmers and other players in ASEAN Value Chain, through knowledge exchange, to learn how to improve the current situation and provide recommendation to policy makers through meaningful dialogue and learning exchanges, and in the long run to improve livelihoods and to ensure food security.
The learning series is organized by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, ASEAN Farmers’ Organization Support Program (AFOSP), and Asian Farmers’ Association (AFA), and is supported by the European Union (EU), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SCD, La Via Campesina (LVC), and the ASEAN Foundation.