Mekong Institute, through the EWEC project, has made significant progress in carrying out its mission to contribute to the acceleration of sustainable economic and social development and poverty alleviation in the Greater Mekong Sub-region and promote regional cooperation and integration. Since the launch of the project in March 2013, notable progress has been made in increasing the capacity of farmers; SME development; enhancing the enabling environment and organizational development.
24 farmers groups were formed among which eight are operating well and provide various services to their members. 768 farmer households increased a total additional income of USD123,679. A series of capacity development activities were conducted at farmer’s level. As a result, 1,422 farmers increased their cultivation technique and knowledge, and improved their market access. 653 farmers have better access to improved agriculture inputs.
29 private enterprises were involved in the project, which offered farmers 18 improved value chain services and inputs. With the support of the project, the private enterprises in the rice, maize and coffee sector saw their total trade volume increase by 10,304 tons while their profits rose by USD337,513.
About 300 government officials from more than 20 different departments of the project sites participated in various activities aimed at improving the enabling environment. The participants improved their professional skills and increased their knowledge relating to the production of rice, maize and coffee, farmer groups strengthening and management, market development and cross-border trade procedures, policies and regulations. With enhanced capability, they have provided 26 improved and better services to private enterprises and farmer. In Vietnam, for example, the formation and operation of the Khe Sanh Coffee Association, was promoted. In Lao PDR, the Khammouane Agricultural Development Cooperative (KDC) was formed and will be registered soon. These are two Local Economic Development (LED) initiatives promoted and supported by the provincial governments.
MI has 20 competent and skilled staff who can serve as resource persons in training programs, accounting for 30% of all staff. The new Strategic Plan 2016-2020 was developed. Based on that, the organizational structure, position descriptions, operation manual were revised and adopted. An organizational wide Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) system was built and is being implemented. The financial system was improved. Those achievements resulted in more effective administrative and financial management in the organization.