On Jan 9-11th 2020, in Bac Kan province, VNFU-FFF PMU organized workshop on experience sharing, build networks among forest and farm producer organizations (FFPOs); gender equality aspect in the program activities.
Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) phase II: Sharing experiences, improving the value of forest and farm products
11:11 - 30/05/2020
 
The participants in the workshop

Capacity enhancement for forest and farm growers
 Based on the results of the FFF Program Phase I, FAO continues to sponsor the FFF Program Phase II (2019-2022) in Vietnam with the goal of building capacity of forest and farmer producer organizations (FFPOs) in Vietnam, including households, women, youth and ethnic minorities to develop sustainable forest and farm, reduce poverty and adapt to climate change.

At the same time, strengthen the capacity of  FFPOs to operate effectively, provide better services, advice, support to members and participate in the process of developing, implementing, monitoring and reviewing policies at the local, national as well as international level. The Central Vietnam Farmers' Union continues to be selected as the main partner to implement the Program. The total number of provinces implementing FFF is 5 provinces (2020): Yen Bai, Bac Kan, Son La, Hoa Binh and Thai Nguyen.

Giving speech at the Workshop, Ms. Nguyen Thi Viet Ha, Deputy Director of International Cooperation Department, Deputy Director of the FFF Program emphasized the goals of the Workshop including: Sharing experiences and information (such as: Market, policy, techniques, technologies, etc.) and advocacy; linking, processing and consumption of timber and non-timber forest and farmproducts; livelihoods development for FFPOs, including women, youth and ethnic minorities, adapting to climate change and promoting social services and traditional cultural values, etc.

FFF as "a big family"
That is the feeling and commitment of the FFF participants. They began to warm up together, to overcome the initial difficulties and obstacles. The FFPOs do well to share experiences with the  difficult FFPOs, intimate and sincere like in a family. At the workshop, FFF Yen Bai representatives shared experiences in building value chains, advocating local authority to take advantage of the support for Collective Groups (THT) and Cooperatives (HTX).
 
Forest and farm products of FFPOs in HoaBinh province
 

The representatives of FFF Bac Kan said that  we regularly organize meetings and discussions among THT members to find how to produce clean agricultural and market products. However, management skills of FFPOs, roads to production areas are still difficult; access to organic production methods remains weak; Most of FFPOs still lack facilities/tools for production and processing.
 
After being trained by FFF, FFPOs members have learned how to manage and produce forest and farm, access market and introduce their products at shops, supermarkets and fairs. Some FFPOshave supported production machinery from governments, departments, businesses partners to improve product quality.
 
The experience of FFFBac Kan is selecting the FFPO’s members must be enthusiastic and responsible, thereby, the quality of collective group and cooperatives will be effective operation.

The representative of FFF Hoa Binh shared that after implementing the Program, FFF Hoa Binh organized 3 roundtable discussions in the communes, including the participation of related departments and agencies, through those meetings difficulties and challenges would be found and solved. In addition, the FFPO’smembers were organized to visit successful forest and farm, organic farming and climate change models to study. 
 
The secret of Hoa Binh is to proactively take advantage of resources from local and external agencies, departments and organizations; integrate FFF training sessions with other programs; Continue to maintain communication activities on the provincial FU website and Newspaper; focus on building and restoring local products.
 
FFF Son La representative, Mr. Luong Tien Quynh, Chairman of Moc Chau FU district, Son La saidFFF has focused on branding for agricultural and forestry products and tourism in the locality. Moc Chau FU ragularly conduct s a Core Group Building meetings; Communal roundtable discussion, identifying core products, steps taken from agricultural production to consumption; capacity for FFPOs and link with each other; facilitate members and FFPOs to access capital for their production, etc.
 
Through each FFF, the capacity of the VNFU's staff has been significantly improved, exploiting the cultural, social and economic potentials, raising the value chain for products and increasing the income for FFF participants.
 
 
 
FFF participants at the workshop
 
Explaining the criteria for producing organic products, Mr. Nguyen Tri Thuan, members of organic Cinnamon Cooperative in Dao Thinh commune, Tran Yen district, Yen Bai province shared 17 criteria of organic products; if we want to export  ourproducts to foreign countries we must ensure organic technical criteria, FFF should support FFPOs to research and produce according to international criteria to ensure quality, for example, Dao Thinh organic cinnamon Cooperative has only 55ha/1000haof cinnamon is recognized according to European organic standards in the first year.
 
Mr. Tran Van Nguyen, Vice Chairman of Thai Nguyen Farmers’ Union (FU) said that the members of FFF are very enthusiastic. Thai Nguyen has had successful chicken cooperatives thanks to help of related departments and agencies in legal status and product consumption; some FFF members (FFPO representatives) are also trainers of other farmer training courses.
 
Representative of the Central Vietnam Women's Union, Ms. Ho Thi Quy shared the value of agricultural products, the role of female workers and the relationship between the Program and the role of women in forest and farm development. The Women's Union will help FFPos with female members to build agricultural product brands.
  
Representative of Son La province, Mr. Luong Tien Quynh, Chairman of Moc Chau Fudistrict, Son La added in the coming time, the Farmers' Support Fund will support the FFPOs to participate in FFF 300 million to develop forest and farm production. He also asked the VNFU-FFF to give more support to the locality to build the successful models.
 
“Mature from FFF”
 That was confided by Mr. Nguyen Van Tuyen, Deputy Director of Dong Thinh Chicken Cooperative, Tan Khanh commune, Phu Binh district, Thai Nguyen province at the Conference. At the beginning of joining FFF, he was very confused and surprised, but after being trained on facilitation skills, branding, market access, I was "Growing up and mature from FFF" - Very open at the workshop, Mr. Tuyen added, cooperatives are still difficult to connect the market, lack of information about the needs of consumers. Therefore, FFPOs need to find the appropriate direction, should closely link with departments and agencies and FFF Program for effectively operation, production and business.
FFF Sơn La product
 

Ms. Hoang Thi Mai, Tay ethnic people in Bac Kan province shared that she was appointed by the Commune People's Committee to join the FFF. Until now, after 3 years from a shy member of FFPOs at the beginning, Ms. Mai has been the leader of collective group (THT), invested capital and called for other members invest to set up a workshop to process timber (flywood), harvest forest products, protect forests, create jobs for 16 members in her THT. Bolder, THT has invested capital to make roads into production areas, without the need of local authority support. Members' income has increased higher than before.
 
Mr. Tran Hong Nang, Head of organic pomelo Cooperatives of Tan Lac District, Hoa Binh shared, since its establishment in July 2019, the FFF has facilitated training for farmers on organic production knowledge, visiting and studying the successful models. Organic agricultural products are very strict. He asked the VNFU-FFF to support cooperatives to be granted organic certificates according to Vietnamese standards so that the product will have a foothold in the market.
My Ha translated by Pham Tai Thang
Nguồn: VNFU Portal
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