09:39 - 07/03/2017
On February 23- 24, 2017, Mr. Nguyen Xuan Dinh, Member of Standing Committee, International Cooperation Department Director of Viet Nam Farmers’ Union (VNFU), Director of MTCP 2 NIA Viet Nam attended two start-up workshops of the Commercial Smallholder Support Project (CSSP) in Bac Kan and Cao Bang province under the IFAD country program.

Participants of the workshops are leader representatives of some Central Ministries such as Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, VNFU,…, Mr. Nguyen Thanh Tung, Senior Advisor of International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Country Office in Viet Nam, leaders of provincial, district, commune People’s Assembly, People’s Committee, relevant Departments and Agencies, enterprises, banks, cooperatives, consulting organizations, donors, non-governmental organizations in the two provinces of Bac Kan and Cao Bang, leader representatives of Ben Tre, Bac Kan, Cao Bang provinces, leaders of IFAD project Coordination Board in Ha Giang, Tuyen Quang, Cao Bang, Bac Kan, Quang Binh, Ha Tinh, Ninh Thuan, Tra Vinh, Ben Tre  provinces.
The CSSP is implemented from 2017 to 2020 for the second phase, with the total investment of 73,776 million USD, financed by IFAD and co-financing from the Government of Viet Nam and Project beneficiaries under the Cooperation Agreement between the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam and IFAD signed on January, 16, 2008.  The goal of the project is to contribute to sustainable poverty reduction in Bac Kan and Cao Bang, with the development objective of sustainably improving income and reducing climate vulnerability of poor and near-poor farm households in targeted Project communes. The CSSP focuses on directly support poor and near-poor farm households, Common Interest Group (CIG), enterprise community, enterprise association, cooperatives, household enterprises. The Projects target groups are rural poor, near poor and non-poor households with land and labour; unskilled employed rural people; rural people lacking production land but having business acumen and desire; and, key farmers who have the skills to promote commercial agricultural production. Besides, some other beneficiaries are private enterprises who work in value chains with common interest of developing sustainably suitable services and productions for the poor.
The project will support development in 35 communes in Ba Be, Na Ri, Ngan Son and Pac Nam districts in Bac Kan province and 35 communes in Ha Quang, Nguyen Binh, Thach An and Thong Nong district in Cao Bang province. It includes four components: provincial participatory planning institutionalized; a greener agriculture future; profitable farms linked to finance and markets and project coordination.
Speaking at the workshops, representing leaders from Central Ministries and Agencies, Mr. Nguyen Xuan Dinh congratulated the Provincial People’s Committee, Provincial Coordination Board of IFAD project on bringing a very practical project to farmers after a long time of preparation. He shared experiences in implementing some activities of VNFU such as the development of CIG, value chain, farmer-to-famer training models. At present, VNFU has been focusing on 03 key strategic activities, including protecting farmer’s rights and interests through participating in formulating policies, mechanisms related to agriculture, farmers and rural areas; developing sustainable economic models in value chains adapted to climate change (such as cooperatives, cooperative groups, farms…); providing services for members. On behalf of VNFU leadership, he requested the People’s Committees, provincial IFAD coordination boards to create favourable conditions for Provincial Farmers’ Unions to participate more in implementing the IFAD project activities by allocating relevant components or activities to the Farmers’ Unions, especially in activities related to development of value chains, cooperative groups, cooperatives, farmer-to-farmer training models… He also thanked IFAD country office, People’s Committee at all levels for having enabled the Farmers’ Union to fulfill its function and tasks, contributing to well implementing the cooperation agreement between IFAD and VNFU in implementing IFAD country programmes.

Mr. Nguyen Xuan Dinh, Member of Standing Committee, International Cooperation Department Director of VNFU, Director of MTCP 2 NIA Viet Nam speaking at the workshop
Besides, some ideas of participants during the workshops were raised on capacity building training for leaders and staff from the village, commune, district, especially planning forward market orientation; integrating the Project into the national target program on building new rural areas; developing policies and mechanisms for the local areas; developing practical models meeting the actual needs of farmer households in each region, area,… Mr. Nguyen Thanh Tung, on behalf of IFAD country office in Vietnam highly appreciated the participation  of the Farmers’ Unions in implementing the activities of IFAD projects, particularly the development of value chains, cooperative groups, cooperatives, farmer-to-farmer model.
Presenting at the workshops, Mr. Hoang Duy Chinh, Deputy Secretary of Bac Kan Provincial Party Committee, Mr. Dam Van Eng, Chairman of Cao Bang Provincial People Assembly highly appreciated the support of different Central Ministries and Officials, international organizations, especially IFAD Project in great contributing to socio- economy development of the provinces. They request the CSSP Steering Committee, Coordination Board and relevant partners to focus on training staff, making plan in the first stage of the project, being flexible, creative to adjust activities suitable to every step, integrate different capital sources to achieve the common target, enhancing the cooperation to effectively implement the project in the province area.
VNFU representative’s attendance to the workshops was a great opportunity to learn and share experiences in implementing IFAD country programmes. Thereby, IFAD country office, IFAD provincial Coordination Board, People’s Committees at all levels and relevant partners understand more about the role as well as capacity of Farmer’ Union, enhancing the position of FU in implementing the project activities.

by Hoa Mai
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