Hoa Binh: Many activities have been conducting to improve the capacity of collective groups and cooperatives
15:05 - 13/06/2022
The Forest and Farm Facility program phase II (FFF II) has been implemented by the Hoa Binh provincial Farmers’ Union since 2019. The main objective of the Program is Forest and Farm Producer Organisations (FFPOs) including women, youth and Indigenous Peoples are the primary agents of change for climate resilient landscapes and improved livelihoods.
After a period of implementation, the FFF phase II program has brought initial results, creating momentum for farmer groups to continue promoting production under the forest canopy. Up to now, there are 3 cooperatives established and operating effectively, creating jobs for many local workers, including Hai Dang hi-tech organic agricultural cooperative, An Sinh cooperative (An Binh commune, Lac Thuy district), Tan Dong organic pomelo growing and agricultural services cooperative (Dong Lai commune, Tan Lac district).
 Many products of members of collective groups and cooperatives have been connected to the markets with stable prices. Dozens of local workers have jobs with an average income of 5 million VND/person/month. The products of the cooperatives supported by the FFF Program are now being certified to meet the food safety conditions, PGS organic products, VietGAP, OCOP products, etc.
The FFF Phase II is being implemented with different kinds of activities such as trainings, meetings, workshops, roundtable discussion, exchange visits to successful models, etc.
In An Binh commune, Lac Thuy district, An Sinh cooperative recently held a workshop to discuss a plan how to have sustainable forest and farm production and business. At the workshop, there are 35 participants, including representatives of leaders of the provincial, district and commune Farmers' Union and facilitators; representatives of local authorities and members of An Sinh cooperative. Through the workshop, a plan to develop sustainable forest and farm production and business was discussed and agreed by the participants.
According to the plan, 50 hectares of long timber rotation combined with planting medicinal plants under the forest canopy will be implemented; increase mushroom production to 70 tons/year, of which 30% of mushroom products have VietGap certification; combined with beekeeping for honey, it is expected that the beekeeping will increase to 1,200 bee boxes and the output will increase by 1.5 tons/year.
Hai Dang Hi-tech Organic Agriculture Cooperative in An Binh commune, Lac Thuy district also organized a meeting on "Production and business planning and expanding its members, discussing the coop’s production and business plan, operation and management regulations and assign tasks to groups to achieve its goals”. The meeting had 40 participants, including representatives of leaders of the Farmers' Union and facilitators at all levels; representatives of local authorities and members of Hai Dang cooperative.
The representative of the cooperative presented its production and business plan such as expanding the area for raising chickens under the forest canopy, planting long timber rotation, planting medicinal plants under the forest, short-term crops, etc. The participants also discussed the operation regulations, cooperative management, production and business plans of the cooperative and assigned tasks to groups and members to achieve small grant goals.
In Tan Lac district, Tan Dong organic pomelo growing cooperative in Dong Lai commune and beekeeping and forest and farm collective group in Muong Cu village, Tu Ne commune conducted a workshop on building a green credit fund for forest and farm production in the cooperative and collective group. The participants attended the workshop are provincial FFF II project management unit and Framers’ Union at all levels and members of cooperative and collective group. 
At the Workshop, the participants discussed and agreed to develop the operation regulation of the green credit fund with the aim of supporting and helping members of collective group and cooperative to build and replicate successful forest and farm business models in order to eliminate hunger and reduce poverty, develop sustainable livelihoods and adapt to climate change; improve production and business scale, developing industries; creating jobs, promoting the application of technical advances and new technologies to agro-forestry production; exploiting the potentials and strengths of cooperatives and its member households to create commodity agricultural and forestry products, processing to add value; using resources efficiently for better ecosystem and protecting the environment.
The green credit fund of collective group and cooperative is developed annually from the source set up from the results of production and business activities of collective groups and cooperative; contributions of the members and mobilize from organizations and individuals outside the collective groups and cooperative.
On the same day, the provincial FFF II program management unit transferred the green credit fund from the FFF Program to initially support the Tan Dong Organic Pomelo Cooperative in Dong Lai Commune with 13 million VND and beekeeping and forest and farm collective group in Tu Ne commune 10 million VND. The members of collective group and cooperative committed to be responsible for the operation of the Fund to ensure safety and fund development; open a book to monitor the revenue and expenditure related to the fund according to the current financial regime.
In March 2022, the FFF program management unit of Hoa Binh provincial Farmers' Union organized a training workshop on climate change mitigation and adaptation for 30 delegates from district and city Farmers' Unions, facilitators at all level and members of collective groups and cooperatives in the province. 
Participating in the training workshop, the participants were able to acquire basic knowledge about the impacts of climate change on biodiversity and agro-forestry ecosystems, climate change adaptation in biodiversity conservation; knowledge on conservation agriculture, techniques to maintain and improve land productivity, intensive afforestation, FSC standard afforestation, agroforestry, etc.
The training workshop on climate change mitigation and adaptation is an activity within the framework of the Phase II Forest and Farm Facility Program in Hoa Binh province with the aim of raising awareness among Farmers' Union staff, collective groups, cooperatives, farmer groups on the impact of climate change on agro-forestry ecosystems and biodiversity; solutions to mitigate and adapt to climate change related to forests such as the development of long timber rotation, sustainable forest management and biodiversity conservation of agro-forestry ecosystems. Thereby contributing to ensuring production activities, economic development, sustainable poverty reduction, and disaster risk reduction in the locality.
Minh Tu Translated by Duc Anh
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