Features

A WORTHWHILE INTERNSHIP

Since the early 2000s, over 50 interns have been accepted at MI. Read the experience of Mr. Tanadech Sriwanchai, a Khon Kaen University student, who interned at MI from May 17 to July 2, 2021.

Since the early 2000s, over 50 interns have been accepted at MI. Read the experience of Mr. Tanadech Sriwanchai, a Khon Kaen University student, who interned at MI from May 17 to July 2, 2021.

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GENDER EQUALITY IS A SHARED RESPONSIBILITY

Beginning in 2014, MI has been promoting gender equality. It has since expanded its work by leading international exchanges among governments, business groups, the academe, and NGOs to help advance responsive gender mainstreaming for holistic development gains in the GMS and across the world.

Beginning in 2014, MI has been promoting gender equality. It has since expanded its work by leading international exchanges among governments, business groups, the academe, and NGOs to help advance responsive gender mainstreaming for holistic development gains in the GMS and across the world.

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Ways Forward for Resilient Cambodian Food MSMEs

MI highlights recovery strategies from the PROSAFE Forum in Cambodia to help agri-food MSMEs scale up their competitiveness and resiliency against a pandemic climate.

MI highlights recovery strategies from the PROSAFE Forum in Cambodia to help agri-food MSMEs scale up their competitiveness and resiliency against a pandemic climate.

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Building Connections for a Stronger GMS Community

Ms. Phonephilom Douangmalalay was one of 12 GMS nationals who completed MI’s Young Scholars Program. As a hardworking and dedicated political coordinator at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Lao PDR, she has consistently applied MI’s lessons in program management, networking, and advocacy in her line of work.

Ms. Phonephilom Douangmalalay was one of 12 GMS nationals who completed MI’s Young Scholars Program. As a hardworking and dedicated political coordinator at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Lao PDR, she has consistently applied MI’s lessons in program management, networking, and advocacy in her line of work.

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PROSAFE: WORKING TO MAKE FOOD SAFE

For countries in the GMS, agri-food is a driver of food security, poverty alleviation, and regional economic integration. Given the abundant agri-food diversity in the region, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam have tapped these resources to secure holistic socioeconomic development.

For countries in the GMS, agri-food is a driver of food security, poverty alleviation, and regional economic integration. Given the abundant agri-food diversity in the region, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam have tapped these resources to secure holistic socioeconomic development.

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The Value of E-Commerce in the Time of Covid-19

Meet Mr. Vandong Thorn’s, who is keeping his Hanchey Bamboo Resort afloat in the midst of a pandemic with support from MI.

Meet Mr. Vandong Thorn’s, who is keeping his Hanchey Bamboo Resort afloat in the midst of a pandemic with support from MI.

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Effecting Positive Change through Safe Fruits and Vegetables

Learn how the public and private sectors in Cambodia are helping standardize the quality and safety of horticultural products to boost market competitiveness of agri-businesses.

Learn how the public and private sectors in Cambodia are helping standardize the quality and safety of horticultural products to boost market competitiveness of agri-businesses.

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Resiliency in the Time of Covid-19: How a Farmstay Keeps Up

Since the start of the pandemic, Mr. Pongpoonat Rungrueng has been working hard to apply what he has learned from MI to strengthen his farmstay's branding and marketing strategies for the survival of his business.

Since the start of the pandemic, Mr. Pongpoonat Rungrueng has been working hard to apply what he has learned from MI to strengthen his farmstay's branding and marketing strategies for the survival of his business.

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Building Resilience Through Digitalization

Learn how Ms. Moh Moh Myint Khine, Regional Director of NTL Naigai Trans Line Company, Limited, has adapted what she has learned from MI to strengthen her international freight forwarder business in Myanmar. 

Learn how Ms. Moh Moh Myint Khine, Regional Director of NTL Naigai Trans Line Company, Limited, has adapted what she has learned from MI to strengthen her international freight forwarder business in Myanmar. 

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Building Food Safety Champions

Mr. Nguyen Dai Ngoc is a committed food safety champion. As an officer of the Food Safety Management Authority in Ho Chi Minh City, he has effectively led campaigns to help government officials, business owners, street vendors, and even students contribute to protecting Vietnam’s food industry and public health.

Mr. Nguyen Dai Ngoc is a committed food safety champion. As an officer of the Food Safety Management Authority in Ho Chi Minh City, he has effectively led campaigns to help government officials, business owners, street vendors, and even students contribute to protecting Vietnam’s food industry and public health.

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In Sharing, We Learn

Meet Dr. Thazin Han, a hardworking and dedicated scientist under the Department of Research and Innovation from Myanmar’s Ministry of Education, who has completed several MI trainings and even facilitated one to promote Science, Technology, and Innovation in the GMS.

Meet Dr. Thazin Han, a hardworking and dedicated scientist under the Department of Research and Innovation from Myanmar’s Ministry of Education, who has completed several MI trainings and even facilitated one to promote Science, Technology, and Innovation in the GMS.

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Making markets work for safe farmers

A farmer's group in Myanmar is making available natural and certified safe fruits and vegetables with support from PROSAFE.  

A farmer's group in Myanmar is making available natural and certified safe fruits and vegetables with support from PROSAFE.  

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Adding Value to Local Foods

An MI alumni is helping communities in Cambodia transform their organic fruits and vegetables into popular dried or fermented products and beverages for increased revenue.

 

An MI alumni is helping communities in Cambodia transform their organic fruits and vegetables into popular dried or fermented products and beverages for increased revenue.

 

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Improving Postharvest Practices to Reduce Food Loss

Ms. Phang Chantha, a proud MI alumna, is sharing proper packaging and storing techniques of fruits and vegetables to reduce food safety risks in provinces of Cambodia.

Ms. Phang Chantha, a proud MI alumna, is sharing proper packaging and storing techniques of fruits and vegetables to reduce food safety risks in provinces of Cambodia.

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PLACING STREET FOOD IN SAFE HANDS

In Ho Chi Minh City, an MI alumni is leading information campaigns, to help street food vendors better understand and apply food safety practices.

In Ho Chi Minh City, an MI alumni is leading information campaigns, to help street food vendors better understand and apply food safety practices.

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An Appetite for E-Commerce

See how the popular Healthy and Happy Organic Farm (H2O) Company has increased its clientele through digital platforms after completing an MI training course.

See how the popular Healthy and Happy Organic Farm (H2O) Company has increased its clientele through digital platforms after completing an MI training course.

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Empowering Women, Enriching Lives

Myawaddy Township spans more than 1,210 square miles which cover 50 villages within 15 village tracts. Characterized by its fertile topography, the township stands as the main producing area of maize in Kayin State accounting for around 65 percent of the total sown area in the country. In one of the villages of Ingyin Myaing in Palugyi village...

Myawaddy Township spans more than 1,210 square miles which cover 50 villages within 15 village tracts. Characterized by its fertile topography, the township stands as the main producing area of maize in Kayin State accounting for around 65 percent of the total sown area in the country. In one of the villages of Ingyin Myaing in Palugyi village tract, a 47-year-old woman wears a hat of different kinds. Meet Daw Yee Win, a smallholder maize farmer, agro-input dealer, lifelong learner, and mother of three.

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Grains and Gender: How Female Farmers are Sowing Seeds of Change

Contract farming is a viable and popular strategy to help smallholder farmers gain better access to inputs and markets. Stories of farmers who have prospered under such an agreement are laudable but perhaps even more so that of women-farmers. A group often overshadowed in the traditionally male-oriented sector that is farming, women-farmers are...

Contract farming is a viable and popular strategy to help smallholder farmers gain better access to inputs and markets. Stories of farmers who have prospered under such an agreement are laudable but perhaps even more so that of women-farmers. A group often overshadowed in the traditionally male-oriented sector that is farming, women-farmers are increasingly being recognized for their participation in farming activities – contract farming being one of them.

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THE MARK OF SAFE FOOD

Globalization has sparked an increase in consumer demand for a wider variety of foods, resulting in a longer, if not more complex, global food chain as well as the industrialization of agricultural systems in order to meet this rising demand. This also means that more actors and players are concerned in the big task of ensuring that food remains...

Globalization has sparked an increase in consumer demand for a wider variety of foods, resulting in a longer, if not more complex, global food chain as well as the industrialization of agricultural systems in order to meet this rising demand. This also means that more actors and players are concerned in the big task of ensuring that food remains healthy and safe -- from point of production all the way to consumption.

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Grains of Wisdom -- A young rice miller’s story on entrepreneurship and learning the tools of his trade

There’s a bright future for the youth in agriculture. This perhaps best captures how Mr. Bounyoung Thavisouk, the 31-year old director of Saybua Rice Mill in Khammouane, Lao PDR, feels about the younger generation’s place in agriculture.

There’s a bright future for the youth in agriculture. This perhaps best captures how Mr. Bounyoung Thavisouk, the 31-year old director of Saybua Rice Mill in Khammouane, Lao PDR, feels about the younger generation’s place in agriculture.

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SEZs: GATEWAYS TO GLOBAL COMMERCE

Economic cooperation is central to the development of nations but perhaps more so for the countries in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS). In the GMS, such cooperation has specially been given focus in the development of the economic corridors, designed to improve mobility and connectivity and more importantly, liven up economic activity.

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Economic cooperation is central to the development of nations but perhaps more so for the countries in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS). In the GMS, such cooperation has specially been given focus in the development of the economic corridors, designed to improve mobility and connectivity and more importantly, liven up economic activity.

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A PARTNERSHIP THAT PAYS

In the rice farming industry, they play a significant role in integrating production improvements and market opportunities for farmers. In countries like Lao PDR where farming is confined largely among smallholder farmers and farmer groups, rice millers are central figures in the pre- and post-production activities of rice farmers.

...

In the rice farming industry, they play a significant role in integrating production improvements and market opportunities for farmers. In countries like Lao PDR where farming is confined largely among smallholder farmers and farmer groups, rice millers are central figures in the pre- and post-production activities of rice farmers.

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Cracking Coconuts, Opening Opportunities

What started as a modest 3-hectare farm has come a long way to positioning itself as a multi-awarded and certified coconut exporting business. Located in Bang Phae District, Group of Export Organic Fruit Product was established in 1993 by Prayoon Visuttipaisan, an agronomist with over 25 years of farming experience. Weathering the business...

What started as a modest 3-hectare farm has come a long way to positioning itself as a multi-awarded and certified coconut exporting business. Located in Bang Phae District, Group of Export Organic Fruit Product was established in 1993 by Prayoon Visuttipaisan, an agronomist with over 25 years of farming experience. Weathering the business finally paid off in 2011 when the Group received the highest national award for farming from the Thai government, consequently jumpstarting its success.

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Food Safety Management System: Cambodian SMEs’ Competitive Advantage

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are said to be the new drivers of economic growth, and this could not be any truer in Cambodia with its more than 530,000 SMEs according to a 2011 report. Of this number, a staggering 82 percent are accounted for by SMEs in the food and beverage sector. Serving both domestic and international markets, these...

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are said to be the new drivers of economic growth, and this could not be any truer in Cambodia with its more than 530,000 SMEs according to a 2011 report. Of this number, a staggering 82 percent are accounted for by SMEs in the food and beverage sector. Serving both domestic and international markets, these SMEs acknowledge that food safety control systems are a must, and not simply an option. The close association between food safety regulations and control and the overall competitiveness of their products is not lost on them.

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MAINSTREAMING FOOD SAFETY IN MYANMAR UNIVERSITIES’ CURRICULA

With increased integration into the global food value chain, supply and demand are transcending borders, thereby, creating opportunities for emerging economies. New opportunities ranging from wider market access to favorable pricing strategies are inevitably challenged by the lack of knowledge and weak compliance to food safety standards and...

With increased integration into the global food value chain, supply and demand are transcending borders, thereby, creating opportunities for emerging economies. New opportunities ranging from wider market access to favorable pricing strategies are inevitably challenged by the lack of knowledge and weak compliance to food safety standards and regulations. As such, education on international food quality and safety standards has become a key thrust area for developing countries to ensure market access and trade competitiveness.

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BUILDING NETWORKS OF FOOD SAFETY CHAMPIONS

When it comes to food, nothing is more enjoyable than a delicious, good meal, but nothing is more important than safe food. Behind every bite and morsel is a complicated network of actors that have worked to make sure that what we are eating is good AND safe food. The inability to properly address food safety risks also means quality failures,...

When it comes to food, nothing is more enjoyable than a delicious, good meal, but nothing is more important than safe food. Behind every bite and morsel is a complicated network of actors that have worked to make sure that what we are eating is good AND safe food. The inability to properly address food safety risks also means quality failures, which can, in turn, negatively impact public health, trade in food, and consumer confidence.

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Brewing a thriving coffee sector in Quang Tri province, Vietnam

While nearly 95 percent of coffee produced in Vietnam is Robusta, Quang Tri Province—with over 5,000 hectares of coffee—cradles one-seventh of the country’s Arabica production. Evidently, almost 8,000 households in the province rely on Arabica as their main source of income.

While nearly 95 percent of coffee produced in Vietnam is Robusta, Quang Tri Province—with over 5,000 hectares of coffee—cradles one-seventh of the country’s Arabica production. Evidently, almost 8,000 households in the province rely on Arabica as their main source of income.

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Sell to excel, excel to sell: The case of Karen Coffee

It all made sense for Khin Ohmmar Moe, Managing Director of Yangon-based Sabanan Company, Ltd., to connect the dots backwards. What was originally intended as a local trading and women’s garment business would be transformed into a coffee-producing social enterprise. To do well and to do good, Moe established Karen Coffee in early 2017. She was...

It all made sense for Khin Ohmmar Moe, Managing Director of Yangon-based Sabanan Company, Ltd., to connect the dots backwards. What was originally intended as a local trading and women’s garment business would be transformed into a coffee-producing social enterprise. To do well and to do good, Moe established Karen Coffee in early 2017. She was driven by the aspiration of succeeding at one’s business paralleled with the goal of empowering women and ethnic groups in Karen State and eventually, contribute to her country’s socio-economic development.

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Khmer Artisanry : Playing Global with a Heart for the Local

Khmer Artisanry may be a small dot in the growing SME industry of Cambodia but for founder Seila Polham, the positive inroads they have made as an enterprise are more than encouraging -- achievements that would not have been possible without the hard work of her weavers, her staff and the assistance of partners like Mekong Institute (MI) and the...

Khmer Artisanry may be a small dot in the growing SME industry of Cambodia but for founder Seila Polham, the positive inroads they have made as an enterprise are more than encouraging -- achievements that would not have been possible without the hard work of her weavers, her staff and the assistance of partners like Mekong Institute (MI) and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

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The Ripple Effect of Strengthening Local Food Safety Expertise

Small and medium-sized food enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of Cambodian economy. However, the country’s food manufacturing sector continues to face numerous challenges in ensuring that the food processed and distributed, especially by local agro-processors, are safe.

Small and medium-sized food enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of Cambodian economy. However, the country’s food manufacturing sector continues to face numerous challenges in ensuring that the food processed and distributed, especially by local agro-processors, are safe.

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LAUNCHING A SMALL RICE EMPIRE in KHAMMOUANE

Mr. Chanthavy Thongmanichanh was all smiles when he greeted us at the entrance of their rice mill. He was wearing a gray pullover and a white hard hat when he ushered us into their small business empire. “I just finished work, sorry,” he said shyly as he brushed some dirt off his shirt.

 

Mr. Chanthavy Thongmanichanh was all smiles when he greeted us at the entrance of their rice mill. He was wearing a gray pullover and a white hard hat when he ushered us into their small business empire. “I just finished work, sorry,” he said shyly as he brushed some dirt off his shirt.

 

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STORY OF THE ORGANIC RICE CLUSTER

Branding can make or break a product’s performance in the market, and in the face of competition, the right branding can make a product stand out in a sea of similar competing products. With Thailand aiming to join China and India as the world’s top producers of organic rice, it is only expected for rice producers in the country to want to set...

Branding can make or break a product’s performance in the market, and in the face of competition, the right branding can make a product stand out in a sea of similar competing products. With Thailand aiming to join China and India as the world’s top producers of organic rice, it is only expected for rice producers in the country to want to set themselves apart from the still few but remarkably significant competition.

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STORY OF THE MACKEREL CLUSTER

Fishery is an integral part of Myanmar’s economy. According to a 2016 report from the Food and Agriculture Organization, fishing is the main livelihood of over one million fishers in the country. Likewise, not only is fish a staple in Burmese meals, but it is also a prime export product.

Fishery is an integral part of Myanmar’s economy. According to a 2016 report from the Food and Agriculture Organization, fishing is the main livelihood of over one million fishers in the country. Likewise, not only is fish a staple in Burmese meals, but it is also a prime export product.

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STORY OF THE PANGASIUS CLUSTER, CAN THO, VIETNAM

Pangasius, or more popularly known by its local name tra, is one of Vietnam’s major export products. Top import markets are the US and EU, and in the last couple of years, China. In 2015, the tra fish started making its way to South Korean and Russian markets, all thanks to a free trade agreement inked between Vietnam and these countries.

...

Pangasius, or more popularly known by its local name tra, is one of Vietnam’s major export products. Top import markets are the US and EU, and in the last couple of years, China. In 2015, the tra fish started making its way to South Korean and Russian markets, all thanks to a free trade agreement inked between Vietnam and these countries.

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STORY OF THE KOH KONG SEA WATER FISH SAUCE CLUSTER

Koh Kong Province in Cambodia may not be the first place to come to mind when the word fish sauce is mentioned, but members of the sea water fish sauce cluster in the province are determined to change this.

Koh Kong Province in Cambodia may not be the first place to come to mind when the word fish sauce is mentioned, but members of the sea water fish sauce cluster in the province are determined to change this.

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