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Thursday, 25 October 2018

ASEAN Exchange Visit on Coconut Emphases the Importance of Cooperatives in Increasing Employment in Rural Areas

Yogyakarta, 24-25 October - The ASEAN Foundation through ASEAN Farmers’ Organisations Support Programme (AFOSP) in coordination with Ministry of Cooperatives and SMEs of the Republic of Indonesia and ASEAN Centre for the Development of Agricultural Cooperative (ACEDAC) organised today the ASEAN Exchange Visit programme under the theme “Strengthening the Role of Agricultural Cooperatives in the Coconut Value Chain Management and Job Creations in Rural Areas.” The programme aims to inspire farmer empowerment in ASEAN by promoting cross-sectoral collaboration among farmers, governments, private entities, financial institutions and academicians/universities.

The 2-day programme serves as an avenue for more than 50 participants consist of government representatives of ASEAN Member State, cooperative leaders, private sector and academia to have brief insights on the challenges and opportunities in coconut value chain, to share best practices on coconut processing & marketing as well as innovative coconut-based product development and to establish stronger network among the participants. Through knowledge-rich panel discussions and site visits that are led by professional/qualified experts and resource persons from government and private sectors; the participants are encouraged to enhance their coconut productions as well as its processing, marketing opportunities and improving women participation along the coconut value chain. The programme also supports the implementation of Strategic Plan of Action for the ASEAN Cooperation in Agricultural Cooperative period 2016 – 2020.

“I learn about the situation on coconut value chain in Indonesia, key factors for success of business operation, how to develop business plan for coconut value chain, how to access finance, how to manage and lead cooperative and understand how government and other stakeholders support farmers in the coconut value chain,” said Nel Sophap, Chairman of Federation of Cambodian Farmer Organisation of Development, on the benefits of participating in the ASEAN Exchange Visit. “At the same time, I also have opportunity to discuss and exchange some aspects of coconut production and value chain in Cambodia as well.”

“One of the key to create ASEAN as a production-based region is through strengthening the role of agricultural cooperatives. In this case, government engage and collaborate with farmers organization or association and private sector to build solid partnership that benefits farmers and cooperatives in ASEAN. Coconut was selected as the main commodity target, as it commonly found in ASEAN and it also has great potential to be processed into high value products, such as virgin coconut oil (VCO) and cocopeat,” said Destry Anna Sari of ACEDAC Board, emphasizing the importance of agricultural cooperatives and the potential of coconut commodity. “We really hope that this programme could narrow the gap between government, farmers organisation, private sector, and especially agricultural cooperatives to seize this opportunity and to increase its participation in the global value chain.”


For media enquiries:

Hana Hetty Manuela, Communication Officer of AFOSP | 0818 717008

Notes to Editor:

About ASEAN Centre for the Development of Agricultural Cooperative (ACEDAC)

ACEDAC, an ASEAN body established to implement programmes focused towards promoting the development of agricultural cooperatives across the region, forms an integral forum for linking representatives of ASEAN member state governments with agricultural cooperative representatives from all ASEAN nations.

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About the ASEAN Foundation

Three decades after ASEAN was established, ASEAN leaders recognised that: there remained inadequate shared prosperity, ASEAN awareness and contact among the people of ASEAN. It was of this concern that ASEAN leaders established ASEAN Foundation in Jakarta, Indonesia, at ASEAN’s 30th Anniversary Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on 15 December 1997. The ASEAN Foundation is an organisation from and for the people of ASEAN. The Foundation exists because of one vision: to build a cohesive and prosperous ASEAN Community. As an ASEAN body, the Foundation is tasked to support ASEAN mainly in promoting awareness, identity, interaction and development of the people of ASEAN.

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ASEAN Farmers’ Organisations Support Programme (AFOSP)

AFOSP is a European Union (EU) and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) grant for a multi-stakeholder project which aims to improve the livelihoods and food security situation of smallholder farmers and rural producers in ASEAN countries. The role of the ASEAN Foundation in AFOSP focuses on promoting policy dialogues and interactions between farmers and rural organisations and ASEAN institutions. Other partners in AFOSP include the Asian Famers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA) and La Via Campesina (LVC).

The overall mandate of ASEAN Foundation is to actualise and energise the ASEAN Blueprint especially the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) blueprint. Specifically, the key role of ASEAN Foundation is to bridge the coordination between the relevant sectoral ASEAN bodies in support of AFOSP, such as those under the ASEAN Ministers Meeting on Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF) and ASEAN Ministers Meeting on Rural Development and Poverty Eradication (AMRDPE); and to facilitate the engagement and participation of the ASEAN farmers in the regional policy-making processes.

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