TOA Executive Committee Meeting 2017

30 March 2017, Chiang Mai, Thailand

The meeting began with an introduction of the EC representatives; in EC meeting, together there were 18 members, 6 countries and 13 partner organizations, and reviewing EC meeting Report in Vietnam hosted by SPERI, 12 May 2016

The EC representative- term and condition:

Country Representative (2016 – 2017) Representative (2018)
Bhutan Mr. Sonam Tashi CNR Ms Kesang Tshomo NOP
Myanmar Mr. Gum Sha Aung Metta Development Foundation Mr. Bo Bo Lwin KMF
Laos Mr. Khamphoui Saythalat PADETC Chanthalangsy Sisouvanh Rural Developmet Agency (PADETC Partner)
Cambodia Mr. Sam Vitou CEDAC Ms Ayumi Matsuura IVY
Thailand Mr. Nakorn Limpacuptathavon City Farm Keadtisak Yangyuen Alternative Agriculture Network  
Vietnam Mr. Duong Quang Chau SPERI Dang To Kien Community Entrepreneur Development Institute

Regarding this issue that the Vietnam representative has resigned from SPERI and there is a gap of communication, Madam Lahn (SPERI) recommended and preferred to use the organisation email as the window instead of personal email.

Planning for further steps

Consumer Education and Mindful Market

Wallpa presented the key activities of this working group 

  • Third Mindful Market Asia forum in Srinakharinwirot University on the theme “Organics For System Change.”30 Aug – 1 Sep 2016.  Wallapa mentioned that the event is the window to reach wider Asian organisation. This year the international organisations represented in the forum include the Keystone Foundation (India), MOA (Japan),Grain (Indonesia), Xaobaan Products (Laos), Natural Agriculture Products(Cambodia), Happy Green Cooperative (Bhutan).
  • Mindful Market Social Enterprise Course “Towards Sustainable Food System” September 9-23 2016.The programme welcomed 30 participants. Ten are from Rural Reconstruction; The Chinese organisation that work to support young people to go back to their home area for agriculture.

The Technical Support

Dr. Sonam Tashi(CNR) presented the updated working group (Focus on Seeds and Quality Management). For seed, the working group has a follow-up meeting in Bhutan (18-19 April 2016) after the first round meeting at Khaokwan Foundation, Thailand. The partners include College of National Resources (CNR), National Organic Programme (NOP), Bhutan Alpine Seeds and Centre for Bhutan Studies (CBS) from Bhutan, Khao Kwan Foundation and SFW from Thailand, CEDAC from Cambodia. Hans emphasised that the entrepreneur like Bhutan Alpine Seed needs a long-term support. Dr. Sonam also mentioned about the Summer school in Bhutan (23 July – 8 August 2016), which is a successful programe. The participants are happy with the result of the programme. He also joined for a talk in the programme. 

Action Research

Gum Sha Aung presented the Action Research working group (focusing on the country assessment). He informed briefly about the country assessment in Myanmar (in still in the writing process) which will be elaborated more tomorrow in the partners meeting.

Capacity Building and Youth

Sam Vitou reported about The Mekong YOFs 2017 workshop “Living and Climate Change Adaptation for Agriculture”during 2 -10 October 2016, CEDAC, Cambodia. The activity is aco-organisation between TOA and  CEDAC with the participants around 13 people from 6 countries. The programme was designed for a hands-on experience, so most of the activities are on the field in Takeo province.

Kittikhun (TOA) elaborated that this activity will profit the network in long-term perspective as the young farmers will take a leading role in the future. So their relationship from this programme will make a coordination easier. Kittikhun also recommended that each country should send at least two farmers to join the programme to increase the effectiveness of project-based learning and group learning.

Kamphoui (PADECT) added his observation that young people who join CURLS, MMSEC, and YOF come back to the organisation with inspiration that gradually fade away with their routine job.So, the members may need to consider “how” the youth apply the knowledge as well.  

TOA Funding sources

Madam Lahn informed the panel that Vietnamese government had just allowed the Monsanto GMO corn in 61 provinces which cover the agricultural area of 100,000 hectares.  Currently, a big portion has been introduced into Laos already.  Regarding this issue, SPERI together with another four organisations in Vietnam will organise the anti-GMO conference in HEPA in the mid of August. Mr.Witoon from BIO-THAI was invited to join the panel. For funding, Misereor from Germany is a prominent source.  

Gum Sha Aung support the idea of approaching Misereor for funding as it shares some values with TOA. He also proposed that GM corn could be another interesting topic for study under Action Research Working Group.

Hans informed the panel about the IFOAM conference in India. The partners may apply directly with CCFD for funding support. Currently,the organisation members of Myanmar Vietnam Laos and Thailand are the partners of CCFD. But Cambodia needs to find the right angle to approach as IVY and CEDAC are not the partners. 

Madam Lahn proposed that TOA should approach CCFD as a network, not separate countries to strengthen the voice of the network. Regarding this proposal, the panel agreed to have an initial contact with CCFD as a network to introduce the strategy. Then, each country may apply for funding support directly with CCFD.

Hans informed the panel that he submitted the paper to IFOAM for presentation on the main track.  The secretariat will also bring some brochures and information about the network to the conference.

Re-visiting the agenda and planning for TOA Partners Meeting, and Other Agenda

EC members read through the draft agenda and plan for TOA Partners Meeting on 31 March 2017, and agreed to continue and share the task as the initial agenda and plan.

Dr. Sonam Tashi proposed that“GM-Corn” or the GMOs situation could be considered as a topic for discussion, TOA members could share and discuss it under the theme of Technical Support and Exchange, which will be lead by Dr. Sonam Tashi and Dilip Kumar.

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