Asia Asia A success story " Goat farming holds promise to former teacher" Krishna Thapa https://asia.ifad.org/blogs/-/blogs/a-success-story-goat-farming-holds-promise-to-former-teacher 2018-08-26T15:37:50Z 2018-08-26T15:37:50Z <p> <strong>A success story " Goat farming holds promise to former teacher"</strong></p> <p> Until 3 years ago, Lokendra Bayak, who lives in Turmakhad Rural Municipality of Achham district, Nepal, was known in the village as a teacher. But now he has earned a new moniker as a goat farmer. He no longer teaches at the school.</p> <p> Three years ago, Bayak quit his job as a teacher at Bishwa Secondary School and started to raise goats. As a teacher funded by locals, he drew a monthly salary of Rs. 7000. The 31-year-old now earns three times more from goat farming. He supports education of his three children. He also provides financial assistance to his fellow villagers.</p> <p> When he quit his job to start farming, people remarked that he had gone crazy. But now he’s an inspiration for the entire village. “I now feel attached to farming rather than teaching,” he said.</p> <p> Bayak is a member of Pragatishil Farmer’s Group, which counts 900-1300 goats belonging to 33 farmers. Since May last year, he has sold 20 goats from his farm. High Value Agriculture Project (HVAP) has provided key support in his business. The group has received Rs. 1.34 million from the HVAP for 33 pens for goats. “Earlier, we used to corral the goats to traditional sheds. They were narrow and unhealthy. Now, our goats are not infected with diseases,” he said.</p> <p> Bayak, who is also a junior technical assistant, said many households that raised goats to feast during the Dashain festival had shifted to commercial goat farming. “It has become commercially viable,” he said. The Dashain festival in September-October and Chaite Dashain in April are periods when demand for goats increases. Traders from Surkhet arrive at his farm and buy live goat for Rs. 350 per kilogram. These goats are destined for Kathmandu and Pokhara.</p> <p> He makes between Rs. 2 to 3 lakhs from the sales of his goats every year. He himself takes his herd of 35 goats to the nearby forest for grazing. But the forest is also home to leopard, which occasionally preys on the goats. Over the last 3 months, the farmers of the region lost 15 goats to the wild animals. Two of his goats were among the fatalities.</p> <p> But he and other farmers have insured their goats against the killings from the wild animals. Aside from wildlife attacks, goat farmers have to manage fodder for their stock. “We have to make sure that they are well fed. Otherwise they will become thinner,” Bayak said.</p> <p> The HVAP introduced farmers like Bayak to new tools such as insurance scheme and trained them on pests and commercial goat farming. “There’s risk in this business because goats can succumb to diseases. But this is far better than teaching,” he said. He also grows maize, rice and wheat, crops that sustains his family of five for six months. He has enrolled his eldest son, who is 13, at an English-medium school in Birendranagar, headquarters of Surkhet. &nbsp;“HVAP encouraged me to adopt commercial goat farming. Now on, I will dedicate my life in this business,” he said.</p> Krishna Thapa 2018-08-26T15:37:50Z Goats are good investment: A Nepali farmer’s story Krishna Thapa https://asia.ifad.org/blogs/-/blogs/goats-are-good-investment-a-nepali-farmer’s-story 2018-08-26T15:20:35Z 2018-08-26T15:20:35Z <p> <strong>Goats are good investment: A Nepali farmer’s story</strong></p> <p> <strong>By Deepak Adhikari&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </strong></p> <p> At around noon this past Spring, a herd of about five dozen goats raced down a slope to the courtyard of a small mud and stone house nestled in the forest in Kumikot, some 10 kilometres east of Birendranagar, the headquarters of Surkhet district. They were of all shapes, sizes and colors. Most were large-framed, heavily muscled and with floppy ears.</p> <p> As the goats huddled around a wooden container with a concentrate mixture, Jit Bahadur Shahi, a 40-year-old farmer, tended to his livestock. His herd of 62 goats had arrived after several hours browsing in a nearby forest, where his eldest son had taken them. After the regular feeding routine, Shahi corralled his goatso a pen a few yards from his house.</p> <p> Shahi, who left his native village of Gamaudi in Dailekh district after a landslide damaged his home in 1990, started rearing two goats eight years ago. He bought two she-goats in Kariyapani, a village an hour walk from here, investing 3000 rupees. For two years, he kept himself busy looking after the goats. He prepared food for them, ensured veterinary care and looked forward to the delivery of its babies so that he could increase the stock.</p> <p> By 2011, he already had 16 goats. The next year, he sold the entire hear, and made 62,000 rupees. That meant he had to raise a new breed of goats. He spent 57000 rupees on 18 goats including 11 she-goats, two he-goats and five baby goats. By that time, Shahi, a lean man with crew-cut hair, was confident that goats, which are easy to raise, ensured good returns.</p> <p> But the growth in goats didn’t just occur in a vacuum. In 2009, High Value Agriculture Project helped Shahi and 41 other farmers set up Hariyali Goat Rearing Group. The Group itself was under Kumitkot Livestock Farmer Committee, which included six farmer groups. “We came into contact with High Value Agriculture Project (HVAP), which was looking to support value chain products. Our group was identified as one of the beneficiaries,” he said.</p> <p> The HVAP’s first intervention was on housing for the goats. Shahi and his fellow farmers had been using narrow, low-lying pens with little air circulation. “We didn’t have proper outlet for the release of goats’ manure.&nbsp; We learned (from HVAP experts) that we need to build pens in such as way that there’s at least one metre space between the pen and the ground so that the manure gets released to the floor,” he said.</p> <p> Ideally goat pens should have enough space for goats to nibble away at leaves at fence line feeders.&nbsp; HVAP recommended at least one and half metres of space for a goat. The project also supported 1200 rupees for each goat to build the structure. Besides adequate housing, health of the goats remains key factor for successful goat-rearing. So the HVAP supported Shahi and other goat producers with de-worming. Goats are natural foragers, so they are susceptible to worms.</p> <p> Other support from HVAP included tools such as weighing machine; a castrator and spray tank that helped him improve the output. He also received 150,000 rupees for nursery to grow fodders for goats such as Napier and pipes for irrigation. Training on better goat-farming and exposure visits to other farms also helped him and other beneficiaries. Several years ago, he visited a farm in Tanahu, who had started to grow fodder for livestock in 60 ropanis of land. He made 2 million rupees a year from that.</p> <p> One of the most important steps Shahi took was to insure his goats. He used to routinely suffer from stock losses due to attacks from wild animals such as leopard. One afternoon in August last year, he suffered the biggest loss from the attack. In a single day, when his wife, Laxmi Shahi, was shepherding the herd of goats, a wild animal (Shahi suspected it of being a tiger, but it could be leopard as well) killed eight of his goats. “First, the animal killed two goats. So my wife nudged the rest towards home, but half of them were left behind. Six others were killed later,” he recalled.</p> <p> Shahi was able to claim insurance only for three goats. “Each goat has a tag attached to it, but in some cases, there’s nothing left of the animal,” he said. He also recalled veterinarians who verify claims failed to arrive on time, contributing to the delay in filing the report to Everest Insurance, his insurer based in Birendranagar. The government provides a 75 percent subsidy for insurance. Insurance policy varies from 4000 rupees to 10,000 rupees. With an annual installment of 125 rupees for each goat, he forks out 5000 rupees for insurance alone.</p> <p> &nbsp;But Shahi is undeterred by such losses. He sees it as part of his growing livestock. Goats are natural foragers, requiring huge swathes of pastoral lands for browsing. Unlike cows, they are not grass eater; they prefer to nibble away at nutritious plants and hay. They also have high mortality rate common to animals that gain sexual maturity in a few years and have multiple births.</p> <p> Over the years, Shahi has gained valuable insights into goat farming. The community forest close to his home offers an ideal browsing ground for his goats, but he wants to increase the area for fodder. He has already invested more than 2 million rupees in his goats. He is also planning to start off-season vegetable farming next year.</p> <p> The HVAP’s funding has enabled subsistence farmers like Shahi’s to forge a better livelihood and fulfill aspirations of their children. One of his sons to now studies at an English medium school in Birendranagar, where he has a plot of land worth 600,000 rupees. Every season, goat traders travel to his hillside home and buy up to a dozen sturdy, healthy goats, which in turn are transported to markets in the capital Kathmandu and Pokhara, the second largest city.</p> <p> Shahi, who worked as a migrant worker in India for several years and struggled as a collector of resin at two local factories, is not only proud of his enterprise, he also sees a lot of benefit in it. The hardships he endured as a daily wage labourer in the India cities is a distant memory. “I had no other options to support my family. Now I can spend time with my family,” he said. “It’s better to work at one’s own country than to go abroad. Now, these goats have become like my family.”&nbsp;</p> Krishna Thapa 2018-08-26T15:20:35Z Yogi’s journey from subsistence farmer to one of top traders of Surkhet Krishna Thapa https://asia.ifad.org/blogs/-/blogs/yogi’s-journey-from-subsistence-farmer-to-one-of-top-traders-of-surkhet 2018-08-23T05:56:37Z 2018-08-23T05:56:37Z <p> <strong>Yogi’s journey from subsistence farmer to one of top traders of Surkhet</strong></p> <p> <strong>By Deepak Adhikari</strong></p> <p> Govinda Yogi manned the counter of his vegetable shop along a bustling road in Birendranagar, the headquarters of Surkhet district in mid-western Nepal. Green vegetables-- cabbages, cucumbers--were kept on racks as Yogi’s employees took orders from customers and weighed the vegetables. It was late afternoon, which meant customers were out shopping for vegetables. The shop, among a dozen wholesalers in this town of 50,000 people, remains busy every day in early morning and evening, when small shop owners and customers purchase vegetables.</p> <p> Outside the shop, a pick-up truck and jeep were being loaded with dry vegetables such as onion and potato. Yogi, a 39–year-old man with a lean frame which he draped in layers of white shirt and black waistcoat, was himself travelling in the truck to Kalikot, a district 70 kilometres north in Karnali region, to sell the products.</p> <p> “I am happy with what I have got now. I get to travel to several places in course of my business. I also get to meet farmers and talk about growing vegetables,” he said. “I will also tell famers what to grow in upcoming seasons and promote their products.”</p> <p> A former subsistence farmer, Yogi’s fortunes took a turn for better after he moved from the village of Goganpani in Dailekh district to this burgeoning town nine years ago. Back in the village with about 46 households, his life was full of deprivation.&nbsp; After his 52-year-old father died in 1993, Yogi who was eldest among five brothers, shouldered the responsibility of running the family of nine including two sisters. He passed the grade 10 examination that year and travelled to Birendranagar to pursue higher education.</p> <p> But that was not to be. Before long, he started to support his contractor uncle as an accountant, earning a monthly salary of 12,000 rupees. But he was under pressure to support his large family back in Dailekh. He spent most of time at work, hence missed his classes. As a result, he couldn’t complete his education. In 1999, he married and moved back to Goganpani.</p> <p> Back at his native place, Yogi resumed vegetable farming at his 12 ropanis of farmland. In Kewal Singh Bogati, a local agriculture technician who ran a nonprofit called Forward, he found a mentor. “He encouraged me to grow vegetables,” Yogi recalled. Until then, smallholder farmers like Yogi grew maize, wheat and rice, but they could barely live off the products for six months. With the help of Bogati, he started to explore commercial farming.&nbsp;</p> <p> Fourteen years ago, he and other farmers registered a cooperative and started to grow cauliflower, beans, tomato, potato and cabbage. But they faced stiff competition from businessmen who had better resources such as pick-up trucks to carry vegetables to bigger markets. “For almost a year, we had to battle against big businesses that enjoyed monopoly over vehicles for transportation,” he said.</p> <p> Members of the cooperative decided to have their own vegetable collection centre in Ratanangla, a township of about 40 households. Yogi was tasked with setting it up. With the zeal of a man committed to perform better, Yogi explored new markets in Nepalgunj and elsewhere.</p> <p> Farmers would carry the vegetable in <em>doko</em>, a weaker basket and sell it at his collection centre in Ratanangla. By 2005, his supply grew four times. “I used to send 4-5 trucks to Nepalgunj and Kohalpur in a day,” he recalled.</p> <p> He was buoyed by the success at Ratanangla. So he moved to Birendranagar 10 years ago.&nbsp; Five years after his move, he made yet another stride, thanks in large part to High Value Agriculture Project in Hill and Mountain Areas (HVAP), a $18.9-million project funded by International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) with Ministry of Agriculture Development as an executive agency and SNV Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV) and the Agro Enterprise Center as implementing partners. The seven-year project, launched in early 2011, targeted 13,500 households in seven districts in mid-western Nepal. Its goal: to reduce poverty and raise incomes of smallholder farmers.</p> <p> Yogi benefited from several training programs and exposure visits organized by HVAP. He was part of a trip to nearby markets of Babiyachaur, Salkot and Bidhyapur, where he discussed with farmers about vegetable production. “We spoke about vegetable seeds and the market for the products. The famers also started to receive technical assistance through HVAP,” he said.</p> <p> Traders, farmers, bankers and agriculture experts participated in the meetings called Multi Stakeholder Platform. They were crucial in helping develop links that would form the core of the network for the business. The value chain approach adopted by the project was instrumental in building business linkages in order to assist farmers make the crucial transition from subsistence farming to sustainable commercial farming. The initiative has allowed thousands of farmers to sell their agri-products in fast growing markets in and around the region.</p> <p> Over the years, Yogi participated in training on accountancy, marketing and business management. For him, these sessions proved transformative. He has significantly upgraded his business.</p> <p> But sometimes, effective learning derives from experience rather than lectures in a seminar hall.</p> <p> In November last year, supplies of tomato suddenly increased, prompting him to scramble for market. “We hadn’t expected such huge output. It turned out that the harvest was good,” he recalled.&nbsp; Every day during the autumn season, he collected about 70 quintals of tomatoes from 120 farmers from three villages—Chiurikhet, Jangala and Salkot—of Surkhet district. Overwhelmed with the supply, he sought new markets and ended up sending vegetables to the capital Kathmandu, his first foray outside the region.</p> <p> Still, he struggled to manage the shipment. He had to work overtime and cultivate contacts with traders in the bigger market of Kathmandu. The price of vegetables wildly fluctuated: he suffered loss of one quintal in each shipment. Nevertheless, Yogi learned a few lessons from the transaction. “After the deal, I gained confidence that I could supply to Kathmandu. But for now, I will concentrate on markets here because without cold storage, tomatoes can get damaged quickly. So it’s better not to take big risks,” he said.</p> Krishna Thapa 2018-08-23T05:56:37Z How Goma Chaudhary went from earning 30,000 rupees to 3 lakh rupees in 3 years Krishna Thapa https://asia.ifad.org/blogs/-/blogs/how-goma-chaudhary-went-from-earning-30-000-rupees-to-3-lakh-rupees-in-3-years 2018-08-23T05:53:57Z 2018-08-23T05:53:57Z <p> <strong>How Goma Chaudhary went from earning 30,000 rupees to 3 lakh rupees in 3 years</strong></p> <p> <strong>By Deepak Adhikari</strong></p> <p> After she moved with her school teacher husband to Salli Bazaar, a small town in Salyan district twenty years ago, Goma Chaudhary opened a small convenience store to support the family of six. Her husband, Samuj Lal Chaudhary, taught science and math at a school which took him two hours to reach on foot, earning only 16,000 rupees a month, an amount grossly inadequate to pay for his monthly expenses.</p> <p> The couple had invested 50,000 rupees in the small store selling everything from cigarettes to chocolates. “But a lot of our sales were on credit. We didn’t have money to invest in a bigger grocery store,” Chaudhary recalled. At the time, Salli Bazaar had only about 40 stone and mud houses. Now the bustling highway town boasts over 100 houses most of them concrete buildings. The growth can be partly attributed to the paved road that connects Salyan with Surkhet district. The highway has attracted people from far flung areas. Samuj Lal estimated people from as many as 20 districts have settled down here.&nbsp;</p> <p> Realising that their small business wasn’t helping them earn much, the two invested in goats. They started with two goats and now have 10 of them. Ever the enterprising entrepreneurs, the Chaudharys switched to vegetable farming after it dawned on them that they were spending some 12,000 rupees every year for vegetable alone.</p> <p> Four years ago, Chaudhary sold off her tiny store and started to grow vegetables in a small plot of land in Salli Bazaar.&nbsp; She made 30,000 rupees selling vegetables in the first year. Over the years, her production has grown significantly.</p> <p> In the beginning, she feared that she may not be able to pay the lease of 5,000 rupees for the farmland. She has now leased five ropanis of land on a vast expanse of farmland few yards from the highway. She now earns up to 3 lakh rupees selling tomatoes, beans, cabbage and cauliflower. Recently, the couple added a second storey to their concrete home in the village of Bannarjhula in Saptari district. The Chaudharys also have bought a plot in Salli Bazaar.</p> <p> The 44-year-old is the chair of the 24-member all women Radha Krishna Fresh Vegetable Group. The High Value Agriculture Project group had 14 members when it was formed in 2013. The idea was to empower women so that they could join market based businesses. The HVAP did so by training the farmers on technical and management aspects and linking them to emerging markets along road corridors.</p> <p> The HVAP also helped the group prepare business plan to attract funds. The most impactful initiative from the project was Business Literary Class (BLC), which brings together about 25 semi-literate women (and some men) from marginalized communities and trains them on basics of accounting. Classes include lessons on operating calculator and mobile phones. A woman trainer teaches them how to use calculator for transaction. They also learn about benefit of being part of the value chain and their role in it.</p> <p> For women who missed out on education during their formative years, resulting on lack of knowhow that others take it for granted, the BLC has proved invaluable. It has brought about fundamental changes in their life, which they could have spent within the confines of their homes and farm fields, missing the opportunity that’s all around them.</p> <p> Goma Chaudhary and her fellow trainees have been able to organize themselves, maintain farmers’ diary and conduct their businesses, thanks to BLC. “Earlier, there was real possibility of being cheated by traders because we didn’t know how to add or subtract. Now we know. This has boosted our confidence,” she said.&nbsp;</p> <p> The group has benefited from the project in other ways as well. All the 14 members save 500 rupees (up from 100 rupees) a month in their collective fund, which they use for raising goats or poultry. Chaudhary and others have also taken advantage of the HVAP’s support for upgrading their vegetable farming. The project invests 75 percent for farming infrastructure such as tunnel for tomato or irrigation system. The farmers bear the reaming 25 percent of the investment.</p> <p> Another aspect of HVAP’s support is technical expertise. Chaudhary recalled that until a few years ago, she grew vegetables without proper knowledge. “I used to farm in a haphazard manner. I didn’t know that beans don’t grow in the month of Chait (mid-March to mid-April),” she said. But now she can count on an agriculture expert based in Salli Bazaar. Since February, 2017, Nageshwar Nayak, a horticulturist, has been posted to Salli Bazaar to help farmers tackle diseases and other problems they face.</p> <p> Indeed, farmers like Chaudhary need a lot of help. Farming is not only labor intensive, requiring constant work and vigil; a host of factors such as weather patterns, diseases, irrigation also impact the harvest. Despite the challenges, Chaudhary is already thinking of upgrading her farm. Lack of irrigation in the arid area, which largely depends on monsoon rains, is one of their concerns. But Radha Krishna Fresh Vegetable Group, under Chaudhary’s leadership, is already seeking solution to the lack of irrigation that is preventing them from increasing their yield. Options such as lift irrigation and drip irrigation have been discussed. With support from projects like HVAP, they are willing to contribute some funds to the project.</p> <p> Chaudhary has endured hard times. Twenty years ago, she was a 14-year-old student at Bageshwari Secondary School in Rakam village of Surkhet when her teacher Samuj Lal started to court her after the death of his first wife. His first wife, who died of paralysis, left behind a toddler son. At the tender age, Chaudhary had to raise the two-year-old, who is now a 22-year-old engineering student. She herself gave birth to two girls and a boy. All of them have now grown up.</p> <p> What makes Chaudhary happy these days is not the ripening tomato on her farm, but her daughter’s academic achievement. Her 18-year-old daughter Menuka Chaudhary is studying to become a Junior Technical Assistant, that much sought-after profession among farmers. “My wife is leading the group and she’s doing good. My daughter is studying to become a JTA. We hope to achieve prosperity from vegetable farming,” said her husband Samuj Lal Chaudhary.</p> Krishna Thapa 2018-08-23T05:53:57Z Weaving success of rural women in Sabangan, Mt. Province, Philippines crislyn fianza balangen https://asia.ifad.org/blogs/-/blogs/weaving-success-of-rural-women-in-sabangan-mt-province-philippines 2018-07-20T07:03:15Z 2018-07-20T06:26:27Z <p> <img alt="" src="Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Maecenas feugiat consequat diam. Maecenas metus. Vivamus diam purus, cursus a, commodo non, facilisis vitae, nulla. Aenean dictum lacinia tortor. Nunc iaculis, nibh non iaculis aliquam, orci felis euismod neque, sed ornare massa mauris sed velit. Nulla pretium mi et risus. Fusce mi pede, tempor id, cursus ac, ullamcorper nec, enim. Sed tortor. Curabitur molestie. Duis velit augue, condimentum at, ultrices a, luctus ut, orci. Donec pellentesque egestas eros. Integer cursus, augue in cursus faucibus, eros pede bibendum sem, in tempus tellus justo quis ligula. Etiam eget tortor. Vestibulum rutrum, est ut placerat elementum, lectus nisl aliquam velit, tempor aliquam eros nunc nonummy metus. In eros metus, gravida a, gravida sed, lobortis id, turpis. Ut ultrices, ipsum at venenatis fringilla, sem nulla lacinia tellus, eget aliquet turpis mauris non enim. Nam turpis. Suspendisse lacinia. Curabitur ac tortor ut ipsum egestas elementum. Nunc imperdiet gravida mauris." style="margin: 10px;" />&nbsp;Enriching both the heritage of traditional loom-weaving and the lives of rural women of Sabangan, Mountain Province is the founding aspiration of the Sabangan Weavers Association (SaWA), a livelihood interest group (LIG) supported under the Second Cordillera Highland Agricultural Resource Management (CHARM2) Project since 2015.</p> <p> <strong>GENEROUS START</strong></p> <p> “We actually started when the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) gave us a training on loom weaving in 2015 before CHARMP2 came to organize us,” said Eleanor Panay, treasurer of the group. Later on, we also received another upgrading training from Hyper Company and shortly after, DTI also provided us with four hand-loom machines and 11 sewing machines under their shared service facility program, she added.</p> <p> The members could actually start to do business then but they still lack enough capital to buy threads to weave. “Then CHARM2 Project came to assist us. They organized us also in 2015 as an LIG where we are composed of 15 female members and we became a recipient of the livelihood assistance fund (LAF) loan worth of P90,000,” Eleanor narrates.</p> <p> <strong>FINDING WAYS</strong></p> <p> “When we received our LAF loan, we used it to buy threads and for operational expenses,” said Ranny Dao, the group’s secretary. “We distributed the hand-loom machines to members who are good at weaving. They weave at home since we don’t have space to accommodate all of them,” she said.</p> <p> Elizabeth Bayongasan, a member of the group said that the barangay offered them the Barangay hall for free but only the sewing machines fit in the space, thus, they agreed to do the weaving at home instead and the sewing of weaving products at the barangay hall where the products are also displayed.</p> <p> <strong>COLLABORATIVE WORK</strong></p> <p> “We distribute the work to our members. Some do the weaving, others do the sewing while the rest do the sales and marketing,” said Eleanor. The group have eventually grew in members, they are now 24 women members working to grow the business.</p> <p> Members are paid according to their labor. The group provide the thread for the weaving and weavers are paid through ‘labor per yard’ while the sowers who creatively design and craft the finished weaving products are paid through ‘labor per product’, which depends on the size and intricacy of the product design.</p> <p> Their small earning from their handful work serve as an additional income for their family.</p> <p> With the groups collective labour of love, they were able to create a growing range of weaving products from wallets, bags, hats, traditional garments to modern weave-accented garments depending on the orders of the customers.</p> <p> Members market their products through their connections from Baguio and even in Tabuk, Kalinga. They also market it in their locality since many still order traditional garments from them like their ‘lamma’ or ‘tapis’.</p> <p> The group slowly established their business. In 2016, they were able to pay the LAF loan and thus, it was granted to them in 2017. This year, they just started to officially sell their creative products where they have an initial sale of around P25,000 since January.</p> <p> “We don’t really have problems on marketing, actually we can’t even accommodate all the orders,” said Eleanor. “Our problem actually is the group lack younger members since we are already having difficulties in sowing because of our aging poor eyes and we have to tend to our farms too,” she said.</p> <p>  </p> <p> <strong>GETTING TRAINED AND STARTING ANEW</strong></p> <p> Some members from Barangay Namatek who are now former members of the SaWA group decided to part their ways. They have worked for quite some time with SaWA and after earning enough training and experience, they decided to start their own weaving business.</p> <p> Eleanor said it was okay because at least they trained others who could help them accommodate the growing number of orders in the neighbourhood.</p> <p>  </p> <p> <strong>EMPOWERED RURAL WOMEN</strong></p> <p> Indeed, the group of these rural women proved they can do more than household and farm chores. They can even display their artistic skills through their creative work designs and preserve their rich culture and tradition on loom weaving. Not only that, they are able to hone their business prowess making them models of empowered rural women of today. //<em>CBOrcales</em></p> crislyn fianza balangen 2018-07-20T06:26:27Z How Cross-Sectoral Partnerships Help Smallholders Deliver a More Food Secure Future Visal Kith https://asia.ifad.org/blogs/-/blogs/how-cross-sectoral-partnerships-help-smallholders-deliver-a-more-food-secure-future 2017-10-11T08:34:57Z 2017-10-11T08:34:57Z <p> A multi-stakeholder discussion to determine which partnership models work and where challenges remain.</p> <p> <span style="color:#006400;"><strong>Organizers</strong></span></p> <p> -CBI</p> <p> -IFAD</p> <p> -CropLife International</p> <p> -Ministy of Agriculture and Irrigation, Myanmar</p> <p> <span style="color:#006400;"><strong>Abstract</strong></span></p> <p> The world’s 500 million smallholder farmers will play a major part in delivering a more food secure future. However they face a variety of existential challenges – natural, financial, and legislative – which no single organization covers comprehensively. Making smallholder farmers more resilient and productive will therefore require active collaboration across a variety of sectors, in the spirit of the CFS and SDG17 (Partnerships for the Goals).</p> <p> This side event, hosted by CABI and with the participation of IFAD, CropLife International and the Myanmar Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, will draw together a selection of food security, agricultural and plant health stakeholders to share their experiences of how cross-sectoral partnerships have enabled smallholders to become more productive and resilient.</p> <p>  </p> <p> Although food security is our common goal, our experiences engaging in partnerships are different. By bringing together the perspectives of donors, the public sector, the private sector and the NGO/CSO sector, we hope to offer valuable insights into which partnership models work and where challenges remain. Only together can we help smallholders end hunger, combat climate change and ensure sustainable production patterns by 2030.</p> Visal Kith 2017-10-11T08:34:57Z Agribusiness Cluster Work Visal Kith https://asia.ifad.org/blogs/-/blogs/agribusiness-cluster-work 2017-09-07T07:16:43Z 2017-09-07T07:11:01Z <p> <img src="file:///C:\Users\DELL\AppData\Local\Temp\msohtmlclip1\01\clip_image001.jpg" /><img src="file:///C:\Users\DELL\AppData\Local\Temp\msohtmlclip1\01\clip_image002.jpg" /><img src="file:///C:\Users\DELL\AppData\Local\Temp\msohtmlclip1\01\clip_image003.jpg" />In order to buy and promote safe vegetable production for its customers, Fresh Green Garden is required to promote production under UV greenhouses. Likewise, Khmer Modern Farming Company was also invited to examine these issues with other early-adopters who are willing to invest in such technology in the last Vegetable Agribusiness Cluster business dialogue in Kampot, and it was arranged by PADEE co-investment fund representatives from GDA and PDAFF. Firstly, farmers will invest 30% of the total investment. For example, two farmers wish to invest in a 300m<sup>2</sup> UV greenhouse (USD 1,550) contributing for USD 465, or four farmers wish to invest in a 200m<sup>2</sup> UV greenhouse (USD 1,040) contributing for USD 312. Secondly, PADEE will invest 70% of the total investment for a total USD 7,260. However, because 30% is very important for most farmers to invest, so Fresh Green Garden allowed famers by offering 15% progression toward them by getting back value from the supplied safe vegetable from them. Finally, it demonstrates that agribusiness cluster dialogue is able to concrete and effective solution for everyone’s advantages. Plus, it can be considered that smallholder farmers as Business Associate by other companies. Also, it is clearly demonstrate how smallholder farmers can pull out their poverty and turn into a fair and sustainable manner.<img alt="" src="https://asia.ifad.org/image/image_gallery?uuid=408d8cf5-136f-42f5-b142-e25f0d5ad159&amp;groupId=1005308&amp;t=1504768385055&amp;custom1=true" style="width: 600px; height: 450px; margin: 10px;" /><img alt="" src="https://asia.ifad.org/image/image_gallery?uuid=4ccee8db-0732-476a-9aa1-9f95a845dc71&amp;groupId=1005308&amp;t=1504768393716&amp;custom1=true" style="width: 600px; height: 450px; margin: 10px;" /><img alt="" src="https://asia.ifad.org/image/image_gallery?uuid=896fc892-2fe5-4ac0-974d-83161edff262&amp;groupId=1005308&amp;t=1504768373047&amp;custom1=true" style="width: 600px; height: 450px; margin: 10px;" /></p> Visal Kith 2017-09-07T07:11:01Z Apples Farming Empoweres Women in Jumla, Nepal Bhakta Bahadur Karki https://asia.ifad.org/blogs/-/blogs/apples-farming-empoweres-women-in-jumla-nepal 2016-09-06T06:15:28Z 2016-09-06T06:15:27Z <p> JUMLA, Aug 31, 2016:&nbsp;Last year, Rama Bhandari, a local of Patmara VDC in Jumla district, produced 900 kg of apples and earned Rs 450,000. That money enabled her to pay for her children's education and purchase kitchen necessities like salt and oil throughout the year.<img alt="" src="https://asia.ifad.org/image/image_gallery?uuid=5ce6b9ef-995c-4e42-a045-9b82932ab920&amp;groupId=10751&amp;t=1473142350483&amp;custom1=true" style="width: 400px; height: 265px; margin: 10px;" /></p> <p> Her production is even greater this year. “Not just the production, prices of apples has also improved. I'm confident that my earning this year will be at least Rs 500,000,” she said. At present, apples fetch Rs 60 per kg when sold right in the farm.&nbsp;</p> <p> Likewise, Rupkali Bista of the same village has already earned Rs 200,000 this year alone. “If our apple farms give better yield, than there is no need to rely on our husband for household expenses. A strong will and hard work is all that's needed for apple farming,” said Rupkali.</p> <p> Rama and Rupkali are only representative cases. There are many women like them in the district that have managed to attain self-dependency through apple farming. &nbsp;Every household in the village has apple orchards. Women are mostly responsibility for managing and tending these orchards.&nbsp;</p> <p> “Involvement of women in income-generation activities has brought positive changes. Not only has it helped in supporting the family better, it has also decreased male domination in the decision making process,” said Rama. “Overall, apple farming has changed the lives of women here.”</p> <p> Women in the villages are no longer repressed due to their ability to make significant contributing to the family's income. Those who used to be afraid to speak with tourists can now freely explain them about the importance of apple farming. According to locals, women in their community have also been making plans to improve commercialization of apples.</p> <p> Women have established various agriculture cooperatives in villages. Chukyi Mahatara, chief of Laxmi Community Saving and Credit Corporative Limited, said locals have started to get involved in buying and selling of apples through cooperative organizations.&nbsp;<br /> According to her, cooperatives have helped apple farmers to market their produce at better rates and in assisting them to save a portion of the earnings for their future.</p> <p> (Note: This news was published on My Republica National Daily News Paper of Nepal on 31 August, 2016: For Details Please visit the Link- http://www.myrepublica.com/news/4849 )</p> Bhakta Bahadur Karki 2016-09-06T06:15:27Z A few degrees make a big difference for Apple Producers in Jumla, Nepal- A Case Study of Zero Energy Cellar Store Promoted by HVAP Bhakta Bahadur Karki https://asia.ifad.org/blogs/-/blogs/a-few-degrees-make-a-big-difference-for-apple-producers-in-jumla-nepal-a-case-study-of-zero-energy-cellar-store-promoted-by-hvap 2016-06-13T10:35:56Z 2016-06-13T10:35:55Z <p> While analysing the district wise context in Nepal, Jumla is one of the remote mountainous district facing massive post-harvest losses especially on Apple. For the livelihood subsistence, apple is the most important crop in terms of area, production and household economy in Jumla. But most production units are small and often located in isolated and inaccessible areas where infrastructure such as roads, irrigation and storage facilities are inadequate or completely lacking. With the present increasing trend in the connectivity (road network) in remote high mountains and inaccessible districts such as Mustang, Jumla and Kalikot, there is a great potential for increasing area and productivity of these fruit crops.</p> <p> <a href="https://asia.ifad.org/image/image_gallery?uuid=264294b2-cf28-4646-87c6-493e6fe8cc94&amp;groupId=10751&amp;t=1465813980527&amp;custom1=true" target="_blank"><img alt="" src="https://asia.ifad.org/image/image_gallery?uuid=264294b2-cf28-4646-87c6-493e6fe8cc94&amp;groupId=10751&amp;t=1465813980527&amp;custom1=true" style="width: 337px; height: 260px; margin: 10px;" /></a></p> <p> Among them, on farm storage of fruits and vegetables (mainly apple) was a major concern in Jumla from value addition prospect. Maintenance of temperature and humidity is a great problem in a mountainous region. In fact, Nepal has been struggling to make radical progress in the field of food preservation (building of cellar store, cold storage, modern collection center,etc;) where R&amp;D in this field has been less. Refrigeration is energy intensive, expensive, not so easy to install and run in remote areas and not always environment friendly. Due to lack of cellar store, substantial amount of apple used to decay after production in Jumla. Market price was not so encouraging.</p> <p>  </p> <p> Hence realizing the critical aspect of apple production, High Value Agriculture Project (HVAP) planned to established apple cellar store at Jumla district. Considering acute energy crisis, the project design and build an economical, eco-friendly, effective and efficient zero energy cellar (a structure which is designed to keep mainly apple then vegetables and some fruits at a stable, temperature and humidity which will prevent them from rotting) by using renewable source of energy (earth) for the community for preserving their farm products for their future use. Hence, the project established zero energy cellar stores at 3 different groups/cooperates i.e. at Mahila Falful Tarkari Krisak Samuha at Taliom, Omgad, Danfe Kalika Krishi Bahuudesiya Sahakarki at Karthik Swami, and Mahila Krishi Bahuudesiya Sahakari Orthu Patmara in Jumla. These constructed units on these area consist interior wall is actually a double wall. Between the two walls there is a layer of gravel and sand. The perimeter of the roof is lined with water pipes. When the water is turned on, it drips down into the sand, which retains the moisture and brings the temperature inside the building down by just a few degrees.</p> <p> It’s this small temperature and humidity change that makes a big difference. Amazingly, fruit especially apple stored in Zero-Energy units stays fresh for additional five to six months, allowing farmers to sell it well after the harvest period, garnering more profit.</p> <p> Zero Energy cold storage units are one major part of an overall apple value chain intervention of the project that has directly benefitted 100 households from 3 particular groups and cooperative in Jumla. Ms. Ramila Bhandari (Picture above), is one of the beneficiary who is a pioneer apple producer and active group member of Kalika Krisi Bahuudesiya Sahakari at Kartik Swami, Jumla. According to her, it was very difficult for them to sell apple in local market in the past. They had a practice of feeding unsold apple to their livestock, offering to neighbour and forceful consumption as a main food item. “We had to wait a whole day to sell one doko (30-40 kg) apple and even if, we find someone to buy though the price used to me very nominal (Rs. 10-15 per kg)” she responded. “Now, the project constructed apple cellar store in our group where majority of us (24 households) store apple. I have stored 1.8 tons apple for 4 months and now I have sold NRs. 120 per kg is which is significantly higher than the seasonal price (normal seasonal price-Nrs. 20-25). It is hard to believe”, as she mentioned.</p> <p> “This is particular change that we found at the individual household level through establishment of cellar store. In addition to this, we have found remarkable changes on apple orchard management, process of consultation with district and project based technician for technical support and increasing apple farm production,” says Mr. Gopal Prasad Shrestha, HVAP, Agriculture Technician. “In an average, each household has been earning Nrs. 20,000 to Nrs. 25,000 from the apple stored in cellar store”, he further adds.</p> <p> So while the farmer/producer they can’t go back and reclaim their loss of the past. What we can assure that they can recover their loss in the present with increasing volume of production and with effective use of cellar store which increase their net income in general and build better futures particular.</p> Bhakta Bahadur Karki 2016-06-13T10:35:55Z Italian Chef Carlo Cracco Draws Attention to Climate Change Threats for Small Scale Farmers in Cambodia Benoit Thierry https://asia.ifad.org/blogs/-/blogs/italian-chef-carlo-cracco-draws-attention-to-climate-change-threats-for-small-scale-farmers-in-cambodia 2016-04-27T07:00:49Z 2016-04-27T07:00:07Z <p> <strong style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: bold; line-height: 15.68px; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-style: normal; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-size: 11.2px; font-variant: normal; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: left; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 1; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">Source Newsroom:</strong><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Helvetica, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 11.2px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: bold; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 15.68px; orphans: auto; text-align: left; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 1; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; display: inline !important; float: none; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></span><span id="articlesource" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-size: 11.2px; font-variant: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 15.68px; orphans: auto; text-align: left; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 1; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><a href="http://newswise.com/institutions/newsroom/16179/" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(13, 95, 159); text-decoration: none; line-height: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border-width: 0px 0px 1px; border-bottom-style: dotted; border-bottom-color: rgb(118, 185, 238); outline: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; word-wrap: break-word; background: transparent;">International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)</a> </span></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px 1em 1em 0px; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-weight: normal; font-size: 0.8em; line-height: 1.5; text-rendering: optimizeLegibility; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-style: normal; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); letter-spacing: 0.02em; font-variant: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: left; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 1; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px;"> <b style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: bold; line-height: inherit;">Rome, 19 April 2016</b><span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span>- Italian celebrity chef Carlo Cracco is working with the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development’s (IFAD) Recipes for Change campaign to highlight the threats small scale farmers in developing countries are facing as a result of climate change.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px 1em 1em 0px; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-weight: normal; font-size: 0.8em; line-height: 1.5; text-rendering: optimizeLegibility; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-style: normal; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); letter-spacing: 0.02em; font-variant: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: left; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 1; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px;"> <img alt="" src="http://newswise.com/legacy/image.php?image=/images/uploads/2016/04/20/cracco_cambodia.jpg&amp;width=320&amp;height=240" style="width: 320px; height: 239px; margin: 10px;" /></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px 1em 1em 0px; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-weight: normal; font-size: 0.8em; line-height: 1.5; text-rendering: optimizeLegibility; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-style: normal; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); letter-spacing: 0.02em; font-variant: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: left; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 1; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px;"> The Masterchef Italy judge visited an IFAD-supported project in Kandal province in southern Cambodia last week, where soaring temperatures and unpredictable rains are putting rice production at risk.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px 1em 1em 0px; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-weight: normal; font-size: 0.8em; line-height: 1.5; text-rendering: optimizeLegibility; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-style: normal; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); letter-spacing: 0.02em; font-variant: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: left; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 1; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px;"> Rice, which accounts for almost 80 per cent of farmland in the province and is a staple food in most of Asia, is being affected by frequent droughts and damaging floods. While touring the area, local farmers told Cracco that they used to harvest rice twice a year but now it is only once.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px 1em 1em 0px; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-weight: normal; font-size: 0.8em; line-height: 1.5; text-rendering: optimizeLegibility; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-style: normal; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); letter-spacing: 0.02em; font-variant: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: left; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 1; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px;"> “The situation has gotten much worse and if it carries on like this it will just get even harder for farmers here in Cambodia,” said Cracco. “If they can no longer produce rice, which is for them a staple, it threatens their life, their culture, their tradition.”</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px 1em 1em 0px; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-weight: normal; font-size: 0.8em; line-height: 1.5; text-rendering: optimizeLegibility; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-style: normal; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); letter-spacing: 0.02em; font-variant: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: left; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 1; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px;"> By introducing low-cost technology and more efficient farming practices, IFAD is helping more than 90,000 farmers in Cambodia build their resilience to climate change. For example, simple tools like mechanical seeders and drip-irrigation pipes help make the most out of available seeds, ensuring that they don't go wasted, that they are planted at the right distance, and that they receive the correct amount of water. Local farmers are also being encouraged to use manure from their pigs and cows to feed a biogas digester, which produces methane to replace firewood as well as fertilizer for their crop, while being trained on how to diversify their produce so that if one crop fails they do not go hungry.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px 1em 1em 0px; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-weight: normal; font-size: 0.8em; line-height: 1.5; text-rendering: optimizeLegibility; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-style: normal; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); letter-spacing: 0.02em; font-variant: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: left; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 1; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px;"> “These practices are also improving incomes,” said IFAD’s Country Programme Officer, Meng Sakphouseth. “They have more assets, they earn more money, produce more crops and have a more diversified farming system, which helps them cope better with climate change such as droughts or floods.”</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px 1em 1em 0px; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-weight: normal; font-size: 0.8em; line-height: 1.5; text-rendering: optimizeLegibility; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-style: normal; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); letter-spacing: 0.02em; font-variant: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: left; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 1; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px;"> Cracco pointed out how important it is for local farmers to adapt to changing climate conditions and preserve resources. “What you have, you must cultivate, maintain and preserve over time, not let it go lost,” he said. “You don’t often value what you have. Only when it is lost do you say, gosh, it was better before. But by then it is too late.”</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px 1em 1em 0px; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-weight: normal; font-size: 0.8em; line-height: 1.5; text-rendering: optimizeLegibility; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-style: normal; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); letter-spacing: 0.02em; font-variant: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: left; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 1; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px;"> Cracco is one of the three judges of<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span><i style="box-sizing: border-box; font-style: italic; line-height: inherit;">Masterchef</i><span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span>Italy, presenter of<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span><i style="box-sizing: border-box; font-style: italic; line-height: inherit;">Hells Kitchen</i><span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span>and chef and owner of<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span><i style="box-sizing: border-box; font-style: italic; line-height: inherit;">Cracco</i>restaurant, which has earned two Michelin stars and is listed as one of the fifty best restaurants in the world.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px 1em 1em 0px; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-weight: normal; font-size: 0.8em; line-height: 1.5; text-rendering: optimizeLegibility; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-style: normal; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); letter-spacing: 0.02em; font-variant: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: left; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 1; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px;"> Cracco was in Cambodia to take part in filming a series called<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span><a href="https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLHLkfcOqwa-ys5ms4DgoKdj9TcqHnGSPM" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(13, 95, 159); text-decoration: none; line-height: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border-width: 0px 0px 1px; border-bottom-style: dotted; border-bottom-color: rgb(118, 185, 238); outline: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; word-wrap: break-word; background: transparent;" target="_blank">Recipes for Change</a>, where top chefs travel to developing countries, prepare and cook foods that are being threatened by climate change, and show how IFAD is working with farmers to adapt to the very real impacts of climate change in their communities.<br style="box-sizing: border-box;" /> <br style="box-sizing: border-box;" /> <i style="box-sizing: border-box; font-style: italic; line-height: inherit;">Press release No.:</i><span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span><b style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: bold; line-height: inherit;"><i style="box-sizing: border-box; font-style: italic; line-height: inherit;">IFAD/22/2016</i></b><br style="box-sizing: border-box;" />  </p> Benoit Thierry 2016-04-27T07:00:07Z Going Organic in the Cook Islands Barbara Bellogini https://asia.ifad.org/blogs/-/blogs/going-organic-in-the-cook-islands-1 2016-02-29T14:53:03Z 2016-02-29T14:37:03Z <p> <img alt="" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-h53XpIQhYTw/VtAKnVewdGI/AAAAAAAAA-M/KI_1BYGLQus/s1600/blog3.png" style="width: 581px; height: 384px; margin: 10px;" /></p> <p> On a visit to the Cook Islands in October 2015, while in Rarotonga, I had the opportunity to join our colleague Stephen Hazelman, Organic Systems Extension Officer, from The Pacific Organic and Ethical Trade Community (POETCom), and Teava Iro, founder of the Tikitaveka Growers Association, a local NGO implementing the three-year IFAD project, <em><a href="http://www.ifad.org/operations/projects/regions/pi/factsheets/pacific_investing.pdf">Capacity-Building for Resilient Agriculture in the Pacific</a>. </em>The project focuses on building the capacity of organic associations to support farmers and on developing agricultural resilience. It is helping to address the growing social and economic concerns of rural households who have low incomes and are unable to produce enough food, meaning that they have to rely on cash remittances from family members who have migrated.</p> <p> As well as the Cook Islands, two other countries in the Pacific will be benefiting from the <em>Capacity-Building for Resilient Agriculture in the Pacific </em>project – Niue and the Marshall Islands. The project will concentrate on these islands’ young people, who would otherwise migrate to New Zealand or Australia in search of work.</p> <p> During the week before my arrival, a three-day workshop, where the IFAD-<img alt="" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-n2oi2Ln2pA4/VtAKnWdtHcI/AAAAAAAAA-I/HumG3sCrQpM/s1600/blog1.png" style="width: 273px; height: 413px; margin: 10px; float: right;" />funded project was presented, was held at the Papaaroa Community Hall and was attended by 21 farmers. The outcome of the three days was that a participatory guarantee system was developed and a set of rules was established for growing organic crops.&nbsp; Peer reviews will be carried out to ensure that participants comply with the rules that were agreed by all parties.</p> <p> Teariki "Nat"&nbsp;Unuka, is one of the 21 local farmers in Rarotonga who attended the three-day workshop. He is one of the biggest users of pesticides on the island. During the workshop, he had a chance to talk to other farmers and showed his interest in taking part in the IFAD-funded project. The day we met with Nat, Stephen carried out an interview to find out if the plot of land where he will be growing his organic produce met the specific requirements that allow him to take part in the project. In the past, Nat had grown papaya here. Currently the land is not being used and the only plants growing, wild, are some decorative palms. His plan for the future is to use the land to grow organic papaya and if he is happy with the results, he will move to organic growing on all of the land he owns. In order to proceed, Stephen interviewed Nat to gather information about the plot; when was the last time he had grown crops on it, what had he grown in the past, do his neighbours use pesticides, etc. The outcome of the interview was positive and Nat will be one of ten farmers who will be taking part in the project.</p> <p> <em>For more information on the work carried out in the Pacific region on organic certification watch:</em></p> <p> <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VpAH6hpygw">Fiji: Under the Sleeping Giant</a></p> <p> <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AemHni-KKT8">Fiji: The Organic Island</a></p> Barbara Bellogini 2016-02-29T14:37:03Z Weaving out of poverty and into prosperity MISFA Afghanistan https://asia.ifad.org/blogs/-/blogs/weaving-out-of-poverty-and-into-prosperity 2016-01-04T08:43:06Z 2016-01-04T08:43:05Z <p> <img alt="" src="https://asia.ifad.org/image/image_gallery?uuid=0c787343-51fb-4876-a9bc-584c2fcb60f4&amp;groupId=10751&amp;t=1451895963506&amp;custom1=true" style="width: 600px; height: 562px; margin: 10px;" /></p> <p> <span style="font-size:20px;"><strong>Story of Jahangir</strong></span></p> <p> Carpet weaving is a traditional vocation in Afghanistan, but for Jahangir, it means much more than that. It presented him a unique opportunity to ride on the skills he inherited from his ancestors and take his family on a flight out of poverty. Moreover, he managed to incorporate his own artistry into the family vocation, turning it into a profitable business and a sustainable source of income for multiple households.</p> <p> &nbsp;“Weaving a silk carpet is very laborious and time consuming,” said Jahangir. “But when I see my work at the end of the process, it puts a smile on my face.”<br /> Jahangir has received two Murabaha loans each worth AFN 50,000 from Mutahid DFI to expand his business. “Before being introduced to Mutahid, we had only one carpet weaving set,” he recalled. “But now, we have four.”<br /> Jahangir, himself uses one set to weave his silk carpets and leases the remaining sets to three different people. He also provides them the required raw material and map as model to help them replicate Jahangir’s distinct pattern. The lessees are paid per meter square (m<sup>2</sup>) of the carpet they weave.<br /> Microfinance has helped Jahangir multiply his income by leasing equipment and outsourcing the carpet weaving. One piece of carpet, two square meters in size ,could be weaved between one to two months, and could have a return of AFN 40,000 (about USD 600). Jahangir typically produces four pieces within a couple of months.<br /> Besides meeting the household expenses, Jahangir is able to invest on his education and also that of his siblings. Jahangir is now pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Economics in a private university and also pays for the education expenses of his five siblings (two brothers and three sisters).<br /> “My siblings are fortunate; they can study without any financial concerns,” said Jahangir. “My brothers and sisters don’t have to bear the hardships I went through.”<br /> He is grateful to Mutahid for loaning him the capital and trusting his business sense. Jahangir is now dreaming of becoming a prominent businessman by combining his education, skills and experience. “ Mutahid helped me expand my business and continue my education,” said Jahangir “I am confident that I would further scale up my business and become popular all around.”</p> <p>  </p> MISFA Afghanistan 2016-01-04T08:43:05Z The student who left Army School of Afghanistan because of financial problems MISFA Afghanistan https://asia.ifad.org/blogs/-/blogs/the-student-who-left-army-school-of-afghanistan-because-of-financial-problems 2016-01-04T07:54:28Z 2016-01-04T07:52:39Z <p> <img alt="" src="https://asia.ifad.org/image/image_gallery?uuid=ed738c90-de50-44aa-b5d6-a6bbb0f104da&amp;groupId=10751&amp;t=1451893716860&amp;custom1=true" style="width: 600px; height: 400px; margin: 10px;" /></p> <p> <strong>&nbsp;Story of Abdul Motableb</strong></p> <p> Abdul Motaleb, 26, had to give up his studies in the Afghan Army School to take over the role of breadwinner from his aging father.</p> <p> When the health of his father—now 80 plus years old—began deteriorating,Abdul Motaleb knew he had to leave school and abandon his dream of completing his education.</p> <p> “Nowadays in Afghanistan, it is really hard to continue your study if your family has very low income,” said Abdul Motaleb. “The state universities and the army school are providing young people from poor families like me an opportunity to earn a degree for free, but this is only possible if there is at least one person, other than yourself, earning a living for the family.”</p> <p> This was not the case for Abdul Moteleb. Both his aging parents, his one sister and four young brothers in their village in Argoh Torouq, Badakhshan, were relying on him to bring the income to meet household needs, including the education of his school-aged sister, which was important to the family.</p> <p> Thanks to FMFB, Abdul Motaleb was able to transition from being a student to becoming the income earner through a microcredit. Once he decided to pursue livestock rearing, Abdul Motaleb applied to FMFB for his first loan of AFN 120,000.</p> <p> Since that first loan, he has never looked back. When his household income started stabilizing and he was able to fully repay the first loan, Abdul Motaleb applied for a second loan of AFN 160,000 to expand his business.</p> <p> Today, he earns around AFN 8,000 per month where before he use to earn 2 to 3 thousand AFN and he is able to put away some savings for the family on top of that. His sister is able to continue going to school, and someday soon, Abdul Motaleb, who recently got engaged, will marry and has no fears of not having enough money to support his extended family.</p> MISFA Afghanistan 2016-01-04T07:52:39Z Transforming Knowledge among IFAD Project in Asia Pacific Bhakta Bahadur Karki https://asia.ifad.org/blogs/-/blogs/transforming-knowledge-among-ifad-project-in-asia-pacific 2015-11-25T06:14:52Z 2015-11-25T06:11:33Z <p> <a href="https://asia.ifad.org/image/image_gallery?uuid=69db7677-b4ea-41f2-a5d1-c36c36c89d84&amp;groupId=10751&amp;t=1448429048946&amp;custom1=true" target="_blank"><img alt="" src="https://asia.ifad.org/image/image_gallery?uuid=69db7677-b4ea-41f2-a5d1-c36c36c89d84&amp;groupId=10751&amp;t=1448429048946&amp;custom1=true" style="width: 500px; margin: 10px; height: 370px;" /></a></p> <p> Project for Agriculture Development and Economic Empowerment (PADEE) Project, Cambodia 14 member team representing Ministry of Agriculture, Forest and Fisheries (MAFF), Ministry of Women and Economic Empowerment and SNV Cambodia visited High Value Agriculture Project (HVAP), an project executed by MoAD in partnership with AEC and SNV Nepal from 15-22 November 2015. The purpose of the visit was to</p> <p> ·&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; To better understand real practice of the cluster approach and particular methods for achieving VCD around vegetables and small livestock</p> <p> ·&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; To discuss and learn from the challenges encountered in HVAP</p> <p> ·&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; To see best practices market-demand led training materials and services</p> <p> ·&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; To attend a Multi-Stakeholder Platform and learn facilitation techniques</p> <p> During the visit, the team visited various group /cooperatives and Agribusiness along the Project three road corridors of Surkhet districts working on vegetables, Ginger and Timur Value chain as follows:</p> <p> ·&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Organic Mountain Flavour, Chhinchu, Kalidamar, a JV company involving Local, National and International Company for organic Ginger Export</p> <p> ·&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Jagriti Multipurpose Cooperative owned Organic Ginger Production area at Lekhphrasa,</p> <p> ·&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Timur Satellite Nursery managed Bhairam Community Forest User Group under public&nbsp; Private Partnership approach,</p> <p> ·&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Hariyo Hira Agri and NTFPS Cooperative at Uttarganga for Collection centre, Service Provision to members and Business Literacy Class</p> <p> ·&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Milijuli Vegetable Producers Group, Pokharaikanda Surkhet Collection centre, and e-Agriculture services</p> <p> ·&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Bulbule Regional Agrculture Market Centre, Surkhet</p> <p> ·&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Interaction with Project Stakeholders /Partners :District Chambers of Commerce &amp; Industry (DCCI), Regional Agriculture Directorate(RAD) on their Role in Strengthening Value chain services</p> <p> . The team observed the activities conducted by the group/cooperatives &amp; Agribusiness /company and had interaction for in-depth understanding and learnings. Besides above the team were shared on HVAP approaches and tools in facilitating value chain development activities; project clustering and targeting approach and more importantly challenges and lesson learned during the course of project implementation following Value Chain Development and Inclusive Business (VCD-IB) approach.</p> <p> Most importantly, the team had an opportunity to participate in Multistakeholders Platform on Vegetable Value chain, During the MSP, the team had experience Story telling from Farmers for knowledge dissemination, and learn and observe Business to Business Linkages and Business to Services linkages besides vertical brokering mechanisms among the actors. On the MSP, they not only interacted with various stakeholders (producers, traders and service providers) but also shared their learning and experiences to HVAP project beneficiaries.</p> <p> While asking to the PADEE Project Leader Mr. Khem Ponna about their team observations and lesson learned from the HVAP project, “best efforts and achievements made by HVAP particularly on business to business and business to service development between farmer producers and traders, collective marketing, inclusiveness and empowerment of women, dalit and indigenous group throughout the chain and private sector development in agribusiness were their major learning” as he says.</p> <p> Prior to reach Surkhet, the PADEE team visited Honourable Secretary Mr. Uttam Kumar Bhattarai, Ministry of Agricultural Development (MoAD) along with other high level representatives from the ministry. On that meeting, the visit team were updated by the ministry on the context and current issues on agriculture development, policies and priorities and future strategies for overall growth and prosperity in agriculture sector in Nepal. Moreover, PADEE team also visited representatives from Agro Enterprise Center (AEC) of FNCCI at Kathmandu.</p> <p> The PADEE team spent 4 days (17-20 Nov.2015) &nbsp;at HVAP project areas in Surkhet where HVAP Project Manager Mr. Rajendra Prasad Bhari and the team did welcome and farewell. The both projects, PADEE and HVAP is being supported from “International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) .</p> Bhakta Bahadur Karki 2015-11-25T06:11:33Z From Hopeless to Hopeful MISFA Afghanistan https://asia.ifad.org/blogs/-/blogs/from-hopeless-to-hopeful 2015-11-02T08:45:50Z 2015-11-02T08:01:14Z <p> The Story of Hamar Gul</p> <p> <img alt="" src="https://asia.ifad.org/image/image_gallery?uuid=0b3b871a-b4c3-463f-b444-a4adef51c0b3&amp;groupId=10751&amp;t=1446453830024&amp;custom1=true" style="width: 600px; height: 286px; margin: 10px;" /></p> <p> Hamar Gul, her husband Mohammed Esa, and their five young children were poor but were content and coping with the income of Mohammed, who was a stone miner in Badakhshan. One fateful day three years ago, Mohammed said goodbye to his wife and kids with a smile before heading off to his day job. An expert at stone extraction, Mohammed was hammering out a stone when a large piece fell and hit him on the head. After villagers managed to pull him out of the mine, he was immediately brought to the main hospital in the provincial capital, Faizabad. For one month, Mohammed was bedridden, fighting for his life, but he sustained severe injuries that he couldn’t recover from. He passed away at a young age of 33. Hamar Gul, only 23 years old then, faced the frightening future of being a widow and breadwinner for her five children.</p> <p> “We were destitute,” recalled Hamar Gul. “Whatever little savings we had were went to pay my husband’s medical bills; we were penniless and there was not a single source of income.”</p> <p> Life turned harsh immediately as Hamar Gul knocked on every door in her village to find a job, but was turned down each time. The widow, who barely had a moment to grieve the loss of her husband, was overcome by anguish and desperation.</p> <p> “The cold breeze of winter was punishment – no food to feed my children, no fuel to keep my children warm,” narrated Hamar Gul. “We had to spend long winter nights without food, my kids used to sleep on an empty stomach.”&nbsp;</p> <p> One day she went to the adjacent village and there she found a home to work in. She cleaned the animal shelter, washed large carpets and cooked meals. Still, her income was not sufficient to meet her family’s daily needs that her youngest daughter, only one year old at that time, suffered from malnutrition. This forced Hamar Gul to send her nine-year old son to the village to look for work.</p> <p> “I had a dream, like many parents, to have healthy children and to be able to send them to school to study so that they will not be illiterate and will have a better future than myself,” said Hamar Gul. “Instead, I had to send my son to work; it was such a difficult thing to do but my options were very limited.”</p> <p> A window of hope opened to Hamar Gul’s life when she learnt that she had been selected as one of the beneficiaries of a project called Targeting The Ultra-Poor “TUP” after a couple of visits the village representative and the project staff paid to her dilapidated house assessing her living conditions.</p> <p> TUP not only provided her the livestock of her choice and monthly stipend but taught Hamar Gul very important issues which changed her attitude and practices towards health, livelihood and social issues. “I knew nothing. My only concern was to earn a piece of bread for my children” she said. “Thanks to the project staff. Now, I am well aware of hygiene, savings and livestock raring and I observe them in my life”.</p> <p> Now, Hamar Gul holds a bank account where she saves her money earned from selling dairy products in the village. More importantly, her little daughter suffering from malnutrition was linked to a hospital, which helped her overcome malnutrition and her son is now going to school, instead of working for food in the village.</p> <p> Nowadays too, the smile on her face narrates that Hamar Gul has put her hopeless days behind her. She is filled with happiness and hope, and gratitude to MISFA, CoAR, and MAIL.</p> MISFA Afghanistan 2015-11-02T08:01:14Z Overcoming tragedy upon tragedy: A widow finds the means to care for her orphaned grandchildren MISFA Afghanistan https://asia.ifad.org/blogs/-/blogs/overcoming-tragedy-upon-tragedy-a-widow-finds-the-means-to-care-for-her-orphaned-grandchildren 2015-09-30T09:27:06Z 2015-09-30T09:24:30Z <p> <img alt="" src="https://asia.ifad.org/image/image_gallery?uuid=82bead68-07e8-4ce5-85db-a2b5f73c0a60&amp;groupId=10751&amp;t=1443604963147&amp;custom1=true" style="width: 600px; height: 328px; margin: 10px;" /><strong>THE STORY OF HAFIZA</strong></p> <p style="margin-left: -4.3pt; text-align: justify;"> &nbsp;First, Hafiza lost her husband to a fatal illness. Not long after the tragedy of his passing, her widow daughter died leaving Hafiza the responsibility of earning a living to bring up her own grandchildren. Her situation was dire, but thanks to TUP, she now has a regular source of income.</p> <p style="margin-left: -4.3pt; text-align: justify;"> After her husband Amruddin was diagnosed with a fatal disease, Hafiza had to work doing daily labour in their village in the outskirts of Faizabad in the northeastern province of Badakhshan. She earned a measly income that was not sufficient to cover her household’s daily needs and her husband’s medicine.</p> <p style="margin-left: -4.3pt; text-align: justify;"> “We had a deprived living situation,” said Hafiza, whose extended family, including her widowed daughter with three children, lived in a cramped mud house. “We spent every penny we had on food and my husband’s treatment, but in the end, he didn’t survive.” And this was the beginning of great hardship for Hafiza.</p> <p style="margin-left: -4.3pt; text-align: justify;"> To earn money, she would take whatever daily work she could find in the fields or in the villagers’ shops and houses. Sometimes, neighbors help out, giving Hafiza used clothing for hergrandchildren. But there were many more nights when they all slept on an empty stomach.</p> <p style="margin-left: -4.3pt; text-align: justify;"> She was still mourning the death of her husband when her widowed daughter suddenly passed away. This was a time of severe grief and sorrow for Hafiza: “I was losing my mind due to stress and sadness. I had no friends and family who could lend a helping hand. I resolved to work even harder and make a life worth living for my orphaned grandchildren.”</p> <p style="margin-left: -4.3pt; text-align: justify;"> Hafiza’s case is an example of extreme poverty, which qualified her to participate in the Targeting the Ultra-Poor Programme. She is one out of 800 beneficiaries in Badakhshan that the TUP lifted out of extreme poverty.</p> <p style="margin-left: -4.3pt; text-align: justify;"> As a TUP beneficiary, she received a monthly stipend for basic household needs, including food and free medical treatment. Hafiza now owns a livestock and has received training on livestock raring, social health and other important subjects.</p> <p style="margin-left: -4.3pt; text-align: justify;"> “The TUP programme has changed my life,” said Hafiza. At present, she owns a cow, which produces milk that her grand children drink. She also makes yogurt and sells it in the nearby market to earn Afs 2,000 on average on a monthly basis. She had started saving at FMFB with an amount of Afs 2,500 and already she was able to purchase some new utensils for her home.</p> <p style="margin-left: -4.3pt; text-align: justify;"> With Funding from IFAD and in coordination with MAIL, TUP was first piloted in Bamyan and then replicated in Badakhshan, targeting a total of 1,760 female-headed households suffering from abject poverty. The successful implementation of the TUP project has encouraged donors to support the program scale-up as a viable path to poverty reduction and national economic recovery in Afghanistan.</p> MISFA Afghanistan 2015-09-30T09:24:30Z Philippines New CPM on projects’ visibility and documentation Leny Amparo https://asia.ifad.org/blogs/-/blogs/philippines-new-cpm-on-projects’-visibility-and-documentation 2015-01-23T02:19:27Z 2015-01-23T02:19:26Z <p> “Where do we find the legacy of our projects?”</p> <p> It is one of the questions asked when Mr. Benoit Thierry, the new IFAD Philippines Country Programme Manager, opened the second day of the IFAD-PH Annual Country Programme Review. With the projects as part of Country Strategic Opportunities Programme (COSOP), it needs to be visible and be bridged to each other. And even when a project ends, its ‘legacy’ should not be a lost cause.</p> <p> He further elaborated, with the help of a three-level pyramid concept diagram, that the communication and documentation of the projects should be visible. The lowest level of the pyramid would be on regard to the fiduciary manual, the second level on the project planning documentation which includes implementation and monitoring and evaluation manuals, annual reports, as such. Lastly, at the top-most level is on the knowledge management.</p> <p> &nbsp;“In this knowledge management level, we bring the techniques of the village,” Mr. Thierry added.” &nbsp;He encourages the project members to also focus on this level. The projects can also be able to share its legacy through this kind of documentation such as capturing the experiences, lessons learned, and good practices. of a pyramid-like concept diagram with three levelsmm</p> <p> In relation to the public documents’ visibility, IFAD maintains its website wherein it serves as an e-library of information, especially on the updates of each projects. Likewise, the goal should include a government counterpart visibility of these documentations.&nbsp; The new CPM encourages having these public documents available on the project’s respective website. With this age of wide internet usage, online presence can reach a wider audience.</p> <p> Mr. Thierry likewise applauds the PH projects for its good documentation but still encourages for further enhancement.</p> Leny Amparo 2015-01-23T02:19:26Z IFAD Philippines convenes 7th ACPoR Michelle Cayacay Mendoza https://asia.ifad.org/blogs/-/blogs/ifad-philippines-convenes-7th-acpor 2015-01-21T23:04:26Z 2015-01-21T23:04:26Z <p style="margin-bottom: 0px; color: rgb(20, 24, 35); font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 20px;"> The International Fund for Agricultural Development-Philippines (IFAD-PH) is currently conducting its 7th Annual Country Programme Review (ACPoR) hosted by the Integrated Natural Resources and Environmental Management Project (INREMP) at Bohol Plaza Resort, Tagbilaran City, Bohol, Philippines. The activity involves six (6) grant, three (3) loan and two (2) upcoming Projects/Programmes (Converge and Fishcoral) in the Philippines. The session will last from 20 to 23 January 2015 with the theme “Leveraging and Scaling Up for Strategic Rural Transformation.”</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0px; color: rgb(20, 24, 35); font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 20px;">  </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0px; color: rgb(20, 24, 35); font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 20px;"> The activity aims to report on the achievement of the Philippines Country Programme in 2014 and the result of the 2014 Philippines-Country Strategic Operations Programme (PH-COSOP) review, and the performance of both loan and grant projects in the country; assess how the Country Programme grant and loan Projects have contributed to the achievement of the strategic objectives of the PH-COSOP and to the sectoral outcomes of the Philippines Development Plan (PDP); identify the distinct/comparative advantage of the IFAD Country Programme and Project for leveraging and for scaling up; identify the challenges, gaps and practical solutions in implementing the Country programme activities and projects of both ongoing and upcoming projects; and, prepare an action plan both for country programme and projects for implementation in 2015.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0px; color: rgb(20, 24, 35); font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 20px;">  </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0px; color: rgb(20, 24, 35); font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 20px;"> In his remarks, Mr. Benoit Thierry, the new Country Programme Manager of the Philippines, congratulated teams for their dynamism and challenged the various programmes and projects to go beyond their borders in contributing to IFAD’s mandate of supporting government policies for poverty alleviation, and revive the active yet decreasing Philippines portfolio. Impact on poverty which remain an issue in rural areas of the country and focus on smallholders will remain the key drivers of IFAD country program.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0px; color: rgb(20, 24, 35); font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 20px;">  </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0px; color: rgb(20, 24, 35); font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 20px;"> The first day highlighted the comparative advantages of IFAD which the projects and programmes appreciated. Among which were IFAD’s flexibility in terms of programing, co-financing with other financing institution, strong knowledge management and knowledge sharing, indulgence in providing capacity building and technical backstopping, and its multi-dimensional partnerships.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0px; color: rgb(20, 24, 35); font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 20px;">  </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0px; color: rgb(20, 24, 35); font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 20px;"> Likewise, Mr. Thierry further emphasized the need for clear achievable objectives for 2015 and stressed that IFAD is very interested on how the projects made an impact to the rural families and contribute to the PH-COSOP. On top of the two (2) new projects, already designed and to be negotiated before end march for IFAD approval, a new project and a new cosop will be conceptualised and designed end 2015. +++++++++</p> Michelle Cayacay Mendoza 2015-01-21T23:04:26Z Rural transformation needs holistic approaches? Anura Herath https://asia.ifad.org/blogs/-/blogs/rural-transformation-needs-holistic-approaches 2014-12-12T09:12:11Z 2014-12-12T09:12:11Z <div> <strong>By&nbsp;Anura Herath</strong></div> <div> <br /> I have had the “golden opportunity” to listen to a great keynote speech delivered by Professor M S Swaminathan, one of the world authorities in rice breeding research. He spoke at the Regional Workshop organised by IFAD’s Asia and the Pacific Division in Siem Reap, Cambodia on 2 - 4 December 2014. The theme of the workshop was “Transforming Rural Areas: Strategic Visions for Asia and the Pacific”. The workshop was opened by His Excellency the Prime Minister HE Hun Sen of the Royal Government of Cambodia.</div> <div>  </div> <div> Professor Swaminathan shared the wealth of his experiences that span over a period of six decades. Many elements resonated with me as potential solutions to key challenges of transforming rural areas. Hun Sen touched on all of the key challenges . <table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-2GEAgBgUh2o/VIi0vQcMxKI/AAAAAAAAARk/miA2EEhRhow/s1600/DSC_0121.jpg" style="clear:left;"><img border="0" height="266" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-2GEAgBgUh2o/VIi0vQcMxKI/AAAAAAAAARk/miA2EEhRhow/s1600/DSC_0121.jpg" width="400" /></a><br /> <br />  </td> </tr> <tr> <td> Professor Swaminathan delivering key note address at the Asia and Pacific Regional Workshop in Siem Reap, Cambodia. &nbsp;©IFAD/Kimlong Meng</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <br /> The greatest challenge as both orators eloquently presented to us is that the world will need 50% more grains by 2030. This grain will need to be produced with almost 30% less arable land. Asia and the Pacific region will take on at least 2/3 of this burden. It will effect the food security of rural poor people unless the challenge is systematically addressed and solutions are found. Food production will become more difficult with degraded soil, depleted natural resources, and demographic changes that are taking place through rural - urban migration.</div> <div>  </div> <div> I take Professor Swaminathan’s words as a set of guiding principles to facilitate rural transformation. There was one underlining theme that ran throughout his speech - a series of holistic approaches are necessary to drive rural transformation. Approaches such as an evergreen revolution - including organic, green and climate smart agriculture and opportunities for market driven non-farm employment both entail multipronged strategies. On the agricultural front, it is the norm rather than exceptions.</div> <div>  </div> <div> Managing five key areas - &nbsp;namely soil, water, technology, credit with insurance, and remunerative markets to increase farm production, as Swaminathan reiterated, would be fundamental in agrarian transformation. A prototype of such integration is the bio-village model of sustainable food and livelihood security. This model addresses both on-farm and off-farm development while keeping the focus on natural resource conservation and enhancement. These are imbedded in the holistic approach to rural development.</div> <div>  </div> <div> Many of the IFAD projects that I know of, especially the ones that have been designed during the last 10 years have the potential to take this holistic approach on board. Examples can be found in Sri Lanka, Philippines, India, and Bangladesh. The Dry Zone Livelihood Development Project in Sri Lanka and Northern Mindanao Community Initiatives and Resource Management Project in the Philippines for instance have had activities to cover all five key areas listed above.</div> <div>  </div> <div> One can find many of such projects if one looks at the records. Of course these projects had an element of complexity in the design which in some cases brought about implementation difficulties while others did well. Lately, the IFAD project designs have taken a different approach. Simplicity in design has been emphasised and as a result at least the designs that I have had a chance to look at have lost the spirit of the holistic approach. Particularly the designs with a value chain focus have dominating features of the commodity approach. A debate that I would like to initiate here, before losing the echo of Professor Swaminathan’s words, is the importance of bringing the holistic approach, at least to some extent, into the IFAD project designs.</div> <div>  </div> <div> We can look for a fine balance between simplicity – which means having two, or maximum three components in a design - and the essential interventions in a particular target area that are needed to attain the transformation. &nbsp;Encouraging partnerships, which was one of the main discussion points of the workshop, provides an opportunity to integrate&nbsp; the holistic approach.</div> <div>  </div> <div> Issues regarding responsibility and accountability of implementing partnership arrangements and activities therein are a concern, particularly when such activities are critical to achieving total progress. It is therefore essential, in my view, that serious discussions be held and important commitments from other parties be included in agreements, perhaps including the project loan agreement, if IFAD depends on partnership arrangements. This applies to those that are offered by the respective government institutions.</div> <div>  </div> <div> Another option would be to identify critical activities of an ongoing result chain that provide an opportunity for IFAD to intervene effectively. The process requires research beyond the Country Strategies and Opportunities Programme (COSOP), area targeting and scoping which is more than alignment and harmonization with government policies, and critical path analyses with holistic approach in mind in project designing. We need to discuss whether we respect such approaches seriously in the designing process of projects. There may be other options and approaches. The purpose of this blog is to open up the discussion and to take maximum advantage of deliberations that we had in Siem Reap, Cambodia.</div> <div>  </div> <p> <br /> Anura Herath, IFAD Country Programme Officer, Sri Lanka</p> Anura Herath 2014-12-12T09:12:11Z Families face high food prices up to eight months after climate shocks in Bangladesh shameem ara sheuli https://asia.ifad.org/blogs/-/blogs/families-face-high-food-prices-up-to-eight-months-after-climate-shocks-in-bangladesh 2014-12-06T15:00:34Z 2014-12-06T14:59:25Z <p>  </p> <p> People affected by flood, drought and cyclones in Bangladesh struggle with price peaks on food for up to eight months after the shocks, a new study has found recently. Data also demonstrates higher levels of acute undernutritionemerging in the wake of suchclimate-related events.</p> <p> The research,which sheds light on the impact of climate-related shocks and stresses on food security and nutrition in rural Bangladesh, was presented on 30th November, 2014 in Dhaka by the World Food Programme (WFP), Helen Keller International, the Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies and the Institute of Development Studies, Sussex/UK. The study was conducted with funding from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).</p> <p> There is strong statistical evidence that the price ofstaple foods in communities affected by climate-related shocksis higher than in non-affected communities; this lastsfor up to eight months after a flood or a drought and up to six months in the case of a cyclone.</p> <p> This gives a new lens to view the conventional disaster response and rehabilitation approach and offers the government as well as development agencies a new window for addressing the prolonged effects on affected communities.</p> <p> When cyclones sweep through a region or whenfloods inundate lands and villages, levels ofacute undernutrition among children (also called wasting) rise significantly.After a drought, the proportion of chronically undernourished children (children who are “stunted” or short for their age) climbs. The study also indicates that mothers make the biggest sacrifices in relation to meals in order to provide the best food to their children.</p> <p> The study also highlights the critical role of fish as an essential source of protein and micronutrients, which becomes even more pronounced for food security and nutrition following a crisis. After floods and river erosions, fish tend to surface and are easily caught; they become crucial for the affected families’ diet.</p> <p> One of the recommendations arising from the study suggests enhancing the protection of sources of fish. The study concludes that better integration of food security and nutrition into climate change focused programmes is essential, while programmes focusing on behaviour change could help defeat the social norm of women giving up meals to help their children, but at the expense of their own health.</p> shameem ara sheuli 2014-12-06T14:59:25Z