26 October 2015, Phnom Penh — Farmer organizations in Asia Pacific need to strenghten their capacities to be the best channel of services for their member small scale farmers as well as credible voices in advocating for pro-poor policies and programs.
Towards this objective, the “Sub-Regional Steering Committee -Southeast Asia (SRSC-SEA) Meeting, Learning Session and Re-tooling on MTCP2/AFOSP Monitoring & Evaluation, Knowledge Management and Financial Management” is being held on October 26-30, 2015 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
The meeting is hosted by Cambodian Farmer Association Federation of Agricultural Producers (CFAP Cambodia) and Farmer and Nature Net (FNN), two national FOs in Cambodia who are implementing MTCP2.
It is being held in the context of the ASEAN Farmers’ Organization Support Program (AFOSP),improving organizational management capacity through a follow-up/re-tooling workshop on financial management, monitoring and evaluation as one important activity to enhance the capacities of implementing agencies.
In addition, the workshop will also include input, sharing, discussions and exercises geared towards clearer understanding and appreciation of tools that will aid effective tracking of project resources and delivery of project outputs.
Learning sessions on common key issues shall be done particularly on:
– Effective engagement in farmer-led, inclusive and sustainable value-chain
– Seeds initiatives and policy actions
– Legal framework on agricultural cooperative or registration of farmers’ organizations
The meeting hopes to generate:
– Deeper appreciation and clearer understanding of the new/revised tools related to MTCP2/AFOSP monitoring and evaluation, knowledge management and financial management
– Improve skill in actual use of MTCP2/AFOSP tools for narrative and financial reporting at all levels — national, sub-regional and regional
– Enhance coordination among implementing agencies and partners based on clearer understanding of roles and functions, use of harmonized project tools and system and most importantly on agreed strategies and approaches towards achieving over-all program goals and objectives
In his opening speech, CFAP Director Sok Sotha emphasized the importance of MTCP2 for farmers’ knowledge to improve their agricultural activities, while CFAP Chairperson Chhuon Sarin reported on MTCP2 achievements in Cambodia, e.g. farmers and sustainable farming practices.
On the other hand, FNN Director Pan Sopheap shared how MTCP2 helps farmers get government support through policies for water management, marketing, among others.
IFAD’s Simon Bichet announced that fresh EU funds are coming through the AFOSP for MTCP2 Southeast Asia. He emphasized that “FOs are the champions of small farmers in the fight against poverty eradication.”
Zainal Fuat of La Via Campesina, for his part, spoke about peasants’ struggles in Asia for farmer rights, seeds, and other issues through meetings and mass actions.
Speaking in behalf of AFA, Lany Rebagay emphasized in her remarks that FOs need to retool, to sharpen the saw, so they can do their work more effectively for farmers in Asia.
MTCP2 is being implemented in ASEAN with funding support from the International International Fund for Agricultural Development(IFAD), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), and the European Union (EU).