Asian farmers present rural development agenda to ASEAN

The Asian Farmers Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA) has reported on its contribution to the ASEAN Special Seniors’ Officers’ Meeting for the 32nd ASEAN Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry (SSOM-AMAF) held at Angkor Era Hotel in Siem Reap, Cambodia on 8-9 August.

The AFA is a regional alliance of 10 farmer federations and organizations in 8 Asian countries, representing around 10 million farmers.

It  advocates for the rights of small-scale  farmers, promotes cooperation and solidarity and supports capacity building. In ASEAN its membership includes Aliansi Petani Indonesia (API), Pambansang Kilusan ng mga Samahang Magsasaka (PAKISAMA) in the Philippines, Farmers and Nature Net (FNN) in Cambodia, Vietnam Farmers’ Union (VNFU) and Farmers’ Federations’ Association for Development in Thailand (SorKoPor).

AsiaDHRRA, an ASEAN accredited NGO and the Rural Development Working Group (RDWG), of which AFA is a member, combined to make a 10-minute presentation to the ASEAN meeting.

AFA, the only RDWG member to attend, has an ASEAN agenda which includes the recognition of an ASEAN Farmers’ Council and the development of regional agriculture policy to benefit small scale farmers.

Its delegation asked for a dialogue with SSSOM-AMAF at their next meeting in October to present the results of its research on private public partnerships and food price volatility. It also asked for a stronger involvement in the planning and organising of the next ASEAN Farmers’ Week whose results can be fed back to the subsequent AMAF meeting.