Asian farmers’ organisations share climate change response experience

Thursday, 2019-03-21 14:29:37
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The 19th annual meeting of the Asian Farmers’ Group for Cooperation takes place in Da Nang city on March 20-21. (Photo: VNA)
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NDO/VNA – Members of the Asian Farmers’ Group for Cooperation (AFGC) gathered at their 19th annual meeting in Da Nang city on March 20 to share experience in dealing with challenges from climate change facing farmers across Asia.

Data of the Vietnam Cooperative Alliance (VCA) show that there are currently about 13,710 agricultural cooperatives and 68,000 cooperative groups with 7 million members in the country.

Pham Thi Hong Yen, head of the VCA’s International Cooperation Department, said that in 2018, Vietnam’s agro-forestry-fisheries sector posted a growth rate of 7.08% – the fastest pace since 2012. Exports of agro-forestry-aquatic products set a record of some US$40.5 billion, helping the country affirm itself as a major agricultural exporter.

However, Vietnam’s cooperatives are facing numerous difficulties in responding to climate change, Yen said, pointing to problems in state agencies’ management activities, cooperatives’ access to climate change information, application of technological advances, and financial and human resources capacity.

Supporting cooperatives in the face of climate change, in 2018, the VCA carried out 77 models in which cooperatives associated their production with value chains. It helped them apply technologies to production activities and ensure the sale of their agricultural products. Each model was also assisted with US$1,000.

Yen added the VCA plans to implement another 77 models nationwide this year, offering each of them US$2,000 in financial support.

The AFGC, initiated by Japan’s Central Union of Agricultural Cooperatives, was set up in Tokyo in 1999 with a view to sharing information about and experience in developing agriculture and agricultural cooperatives, helping to improve farmers’ incomes and living standards, coping with climate change and food security problems, and promoting cooperation among members. The VCA became a member of the AFGC in 2011.

The 19th AFGC annual meeting is scheduled to last through until March 21.