A knowledge-based farming system and enhanced capacity of small-scale producers to penetrate into regional and global value chains are needed to meet the needs of rural communities in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). The economic development dynamic in this subregion has shifted from independent smallholder families producing rice and other agri-food products to meet household food security needs, with small surpluses being marketed locally; to production by farmer organizations often engaged in contract farming with local small- and medium-scale (SME) agro-enterprises linked to domestic and regional markets and global value chains. A new set of socioeconomic and agro-ecological factors has emerged that requires innovative solutions; solutions different from those used in the past. MI Rural Development and Sustainable Livelihood Department (RD) aims to provide development practitioners, government officials, leaders of farmer cooperatives, production clusters, and local SMEs with the knowledge and skills to implement approaches to rural development that are required by the emerging challenges of the 21st Century.
The ultimate goal of RD department is to improve agriculture productivity by (i) moving farmers from subsistence to commercial farming (e.g., introducing Good Agricultural Practices and diversification to raise incomes and reduce risks); (ii) promoting rural non-farm employment (e.g., by promoting value-adding agriculture processing activities and the development of SMEs in rural areas); (iii) integrating small-scale producers and agriculture based SMEs to regional and global value chains through the development of SME clusters and export consortia.
RD Core Products and Services
1. A series of improved agriculture productivity training program, including
- Promoting Good Agriculture Practices
- Public Private and Community Partnership in agriculture sector (PPCP)
- Promoting cross-border and regional agriculture value chains
- Standardization and harmonization of agriculture curricula in the GMS
- Agriculture policy restructuring and reform
2. Subregional researches and field studies
- Cross-border contract farming
- How can smallholder farmers benefit from cross-border contract farming and regional value chain integration
- Agriculture value chains on the GMS Economic Corridors
- Action research on GAP implementation in CLMV
3. Sub-regional development projects
RD executes the following development projects funded by New Zealand Aid Programme.
- Youth Camp for young GMS farmers. Every year, 40 60 senior students of MI partner universities in the GMS countries will participate in a four-week youth camp co-organized by MI and five Thai agriculture-based companies. They will be exposed to modern farming system and the whole value chains of agriculture commodities.
- Promoting Good Agriculture and Postharvest Practices in the GMS. Every year, about 30 participants from state agencies and development organizations will under go a 8-month modular training program. This program include a residential training course, a six-month action plan implementation / transferring phase and a synthesis and evaluation workshop to share lessons
- Promoting cross-border contract farming and regional value chains. Every year, MI will organize structured learning visit for participants from state agencies, provincial and border authorities, leader of farmer associations and private enterprises involved in cross-border contract farming in the GMS. They will be exposed to first hand information and best practices on different contract farming and value chain integration models in other advanced ASEAN countries.
4. Consultant services.
The RD department provides technical assistance and consultancy services to development projects being implemented by MI and its partners in the GMS countries. These projects are a) the Capacity Building for a More Inclusive and Equitable Growth, GMS funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, b) Promoting Cross-border Value Chains on Southern Economic Corridors funded by ROK ASEAN Cooperation Fund, c) Junior Riparian Professional Program of Mekong River Commission and d) Local and Regional Economic Development in Cambodia and Lao PDR funded by GIZ.
For further information please contact:
Rural Development for Sustainable Livelihoods Dept.
Tel: + 66 (0) 4320 2411-2
Fax: + 66 (0) 4334 3131