In behalf of the consortium of the Asian Farmers’ Association (AFA) and La Via Campesina (LVC), which has been chosen as Sub-Regional Implementing Agency (SRIA) for the Medium Term Cooperation Program Phase 2 (MTCP2) in Southeast Asia and China, Esther Penunia and Lany Rebagay anchored a three-day start-up mission in Myanmar in order to raise awareness of key stakeholders regarding MTCP2 and firm up the project implementation mechanism in the country.
Highlights of the mission are as follows:
On January 11, 2014, about 100 farmer leaders from three townships in Daik-U, in Bagoo region, Myanmar participated in the village level farmer consultation as part of the start-up activity of MTCP2 in the country.
During the consultation, small-scale women, men and young farmer representatives shared their problems and initiatives.
After the sharing and discussions, Penunia and Rebagay shared MTCP2’s goals and objectives, stressing that the project hopes to support existing initiatives in Myanmar and help build the capacity of farmers organizations in providing services to their members and engaging in policy work and in agricultural development programs at all levels.
On January 12, 2014, a detailed discussion on and signing of the MTCP2 letter of agreement (LOA) was held with key leaders of the Association of Farmers Federation Myanmar (AFFM), which was chosen as the National Implementing Agency (NIA) in the country.
It was followed by a preliminary discussion on the annual workplan and budget, which took off from the village-level consultation.
On January 13, 2014, a brief meeting was held with Bui Thi Lan, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) representative in Myanmar, to explore areas for cooperation between FAO projects and MTCP2.
One possible area for cooperation identified was through FAO’s its Environmentally Sustainable Food Security Programme (ESFSP).
Giuseppe Romalli, Chief Technical Advisor (CTA) for ESFSP, suggested that it will be good for AFFM as the NIA for MTCP2 to coordinate with the Special Working Group on Agriculture and Rural Development (SWGARD), where various stakeholders of agricultural projects are represented.
Complementation between MTCP2 and the upcoming project of AsiaDHRRA (a regional network of NGOs in Asia) in Myanmar was also discussed during meeting with Rev. Kya Moo and Ms. Lucrecia, representatives of the NGO Malaysia Development of Human Resources for Rural Areas (MyanDHRRA).
One specific cooperation identified is the conduct of a national rural congress where AFFM as MTCPS’s NIA can present the farmers’ agenda based on the national farmers’ consultation process supported through the MTCP2.
(Photo Trivia: The MTCP2 tarpaulin banner in the photo has travelled from IFAD headquarters in Rome to Bangkok then to an FO office in Kayan Township, Yangon in Myanmar.)