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Vietnam Farmers’ Union – AsiaDHRRA: Strengthening cooperation relations to benefit members and farmers
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That was one of the comments affirmed by Dr. Cao Xuan Thu Van, Vice Chairwoman of the Vietnam Farmers’ Union (VNFU) at the meeting between the VNFU and the Asian Partnership for the Development of Human Resources in Rural Areas (AsiaDHRRA), which took place this morning (August 31st) in Hanoi. The consecutive activity was the kick-off workshop of the project "Strengthening the engagement of agricultural cooperatives in the value chain" .

The overview scenery of the meeting

Dr. Cao Xuan Thu Van, VNFU Vice Chairwoman attended and chaired the meeting with the participation of representative leaders from relevant VNFU Departments. From AsiaDHRRA,  Ms. Marlene Destreza Ramirez, AsiaDHRRA Secretary General as Head of the delegation and the delegates who are leadership members of AsiaDHRRA.


Speaking at the meeting, VNFU Vice Chairwoman Cao Xuan Thu Van highly appreciated the close and reliable cooperation relationship between the VNFU and AsiaDHRRA, which has been for more than 20 years. On behalf of the leadership of VNFU at the Central level, Ms. Cao Xuan Thu Van expressed the respect and appreciation for the enthusiastic and practical affection and support from AsiaDHRRA and Ms.  Marlene towards the development of agriculture, farmers, and rural in Vietnam as well as the Vietnam Farmers' Union during the past years.


In her introduction to the AsiaDHRRA delegation, Vice Chairwoman Cao Xuan Thu Van also briefly discussed with the delegates about the current issues of agriculture, farmers and rural areas in Vietnam; and about the organization system, functions, tasks and outstanding activities of the VNFU. Accordingly, the VNFU currently has more than 10 million members and farmers participating in different activities. The organization system of the VNFU is completed at all 4 levels, from the central level to the commune level.


The VNFU has three main functions and six important tasks. In particular, some of the  main tasks are being focused on by the VNFU at all levels, one of which is taking care of the material and spiritual life of members and farmers. The VNFU directly implements and coordinates the implementation of programs and projects on rural economic, cultural, and social development; guides the development of collective economic forms in agriculture and rural areas; and organizes activities of service, consulting, supporting, vocational training, and transferring science and technology in order to help farmers develop production, improve their lives, and protect the environment. The VNFU expands foreign affairs and international integration, strengthens the cooperation, exploits resources, chances of learning and exchanging experiences of the advanced science and technology, and promotes Vietnamese agricultural products and culture to international partners and friends.


"The VNFU is very pleased that our contributions to the development of agriculture, farmers, and rural areas in recent years have been recognized by the Party and State, which always give effective directions and orientations for the VNFU’s activities. With more than 20 years of being each other's reliable partners, we believe that you also understand very well the VNFU," said Vice Chairwoman, Ms. Cao Xuan Thu Van.


According to Ms. Marlene Destreza Ramirez, Secretary General of AsiaDHRRA, the Asian Partnership for the Development of Human Resources in Rural Areas (AsiaDHRRA) is a member of many international networks and organizations with the goals of developing rural human resources in Asia; supporting farmers to develop their organizations, strengthening human resource mobilization from the Government and international organizations in order to raise the status of farmers; supporting farmers to develop production, business and market access, and to increase income.


According to the VNFU, the two sides have built and maintained a reliable friendship and cooperation relationship for more than 20 years. It can be said that AsiaDHRRA is the bridge between the VNFU and many other international partners and donors. Currently, AsiaDHRRA is very interested in sponsoring the VNFU to implement projects such as ""Strengthening the engagement of agricultural cooperatives in the value chain" " and "Maximizing the benefits from palm sugar production and marketing to strengthen 10 palm sugar cooperation groups to enhance collective marketing of palm sugar products for Khmer people in An Giang province”.


In the opening speech at the kick-off workshop of the project "Strengthening the engagement of agricultural cooperatives in the value chain", Dr. Mai Bac My, VNFU Director of External Affairs and International Cooperation Department, emphasized: “As a socio-political organization of the peasantry class, the VNFU has an important role, which is the center and core for the farmers’ movements, builds the new rural areas, and is responsible for disseminating as well as mobilizing members and farmers to participate in collective economic development”.


The External Affairs and International Cooperation Department of VNFU has coordinated with the AsiaDHRRA to implement the project "Strengthening the engagement of agricultural cooperatives in the value chain". The project aims to contribute to the effective and sustainable collective economic development linked with agricultural production and the value chain.


Particularly, the project will be implemented for 2 years (from 2022 to 2024) with the aim of improving the capacity of cooperatives of honey bee producers based on value chain development to increase incomes and improve the quality of  life and bussiness of the members, ensuring food safety, hence contributing to socio-economic development and poverty reduction in rural areas.


The cooperation between the two sides during the project aims to achieve important goals. Firstly, there will be 3,500 households (35% women and 25% young people) that will be benefited from the selling price of honey. Secondly, at least 10 small honey cooperatives or cooperative groups will be built as a network to develop scale in order to access the export markets and domestic supermarket chains. Thirdly, the influence of farmers' organizations will be increased during the development of policy advocacy and in the business, as well as developing sustainable and inclusive economic solutions, and farmer-led enterprises (attending seminars, policy dialogues, roundtables, etc.). Fourthly, improving access to the additional financial sources so that the farmers’ organizations can borrow capital for production and bussiness from different sources.


At the workshop, the delegates gave their opinions, developed strategies, and discussed solutions for the implementation of the project to have the best results. According to the majority of the delegates' opinions, they highly appreciated and expressed their belief that the project will be successfully implemented and that it will improve the capacity of honey bee cooperatives to develop the value chain.


On this occasion, Dr. Mai Bac My, VNFU Director of the External Affairs and International Cooperation Department and Ms. Marlene Destreza Ramirez, AsiaDHRRA Secretary General, on behalf of the two sides, signed a partnership agreement. Both parties expressed their strong determination and belief that the project will be implemented effectively and achieve the goals committed to the sponsor.

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