TOA Partners Meeting 2017

31 March 2017, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Overview of TOA achievements in 2016

  • An Overview of TOA achievements in 2016 includes Summer School, Mindful Market Social Enterprise Course and Forum in Thailand, YOF in Cambodia, Country assessment in Myanmar, Multi-stake holder meeting in Vietnam, Seed Project in Bhutan. 
  • Mindful Markets Asia Forum 2017 will take place at Chulalongkorn University. The forum will be a gateway of TOA to reach out to wider Asian countries. For now, the forum has already connected TOA with Japan, Korea, Indonesia,  Sri Lanka, and China.
  • CCFD will organize an international conference on alternative indicators and tools for transition. The conference will take place in Grenoble, France in 2018.  
  • The governing body of TOA will evolve into collective governance.

Sharing about 4 thematic working groups: plans for 2017 and long-term perspective

Capacity Building and Youth

Participatory Guarantee System (PGS)

  • Thet Nai (GSMI)organised a one and half day PGS workshop in Bago and now implemented some PGS in their products and communication channels
  • In May 2016 SPERI organised one day PGS workshop in Vietnam. Hans and Wallapa had been invited to present Thailand and regional perspective of PGS. The PGS movement in Vietnam is new while Thailand has almost five years’ experience. This workshop will help link up the movement between two countries

Chula Right Livelihood Summer School (CURLS)

  • For summer school, the thematic of this year will be People-Planet Partnership organised during 18th July – 2 August in Thailand
  • There is a proposal to organize the event in Vietnam. LISO alliance can provide informants like local authority, elders, and technicians. The programme is interesting as an action research is new to Vietnamese

Young Organic Farmers (YOF)

  • In term of technical exchange each country use quite similar farming techniques. However, it is good to share and learn why each country has different practices
  • The aspect of youth’s role in regional and world agenda like climate change or food security is also empowering. So the activity should not only focus on the technical exchange but also on a common concern and how we can work together
  • For youth empowerment, training alone is not enough, so each organisation should consider the follow-up activity to help the participants utilize their knowledge

Action Research

  • Pavinee shared about her seed research that began three months ago
    • Almost 300 organic seeds variety collected and sold in the market
    • “Seed Bank Thailand” is collaboration among 14 organizations in Thailand
    • The network tries to upscale into a social enterprise
    • The ultimate aim is to use seed as the entry point towards organic society.
  • Hans share his experience on Monsanto Tribunal
    • Very interesting to see Monsanto, a private company put on trial for crimes against humanity, and for ecocide
    • If an International Criminal Law recognizes a crime of ecocide, Monsanto could be put into an international court
  • Keadtisak (AAN) presented his action research on conventional farming vs. organic farming from the perspective of wellbeing. The finding has been presented to the village, multi-stake holders forum and policy maker in Yasothorn Province
  • Gum Aha Aung (Metta)
    • Metta conducted a national assessment to study a strategy to promote agroecology as well as to influence a policy advocacy in Myanmar. Initial finding is that chemical-free farming is a common practice in Myanmar. The Challenges for the farmers in the organic market are from both production aspects; difficulty to maintain stable supply, and marketing aspects; limit domestic market, low product price,fake labelling, and lack of marketing skills. The link between producer and consumer is still weak. However, food safety could be a good entry point to link up with the consumers. Next step will be a finalizing of the finding and assessment to establish an action-oriented strategy
    • Working with GSMI for consumer education and PGS and collaborating with KMF for young organic farmers support

Technical Support and Exchange

Dr. Sonam Tashi (CNR)

  • Bhutan has two seeds companies, but none produce organic seed
  • Reliable organic seed production is a key for a 100% organic country. Currently, Dilip is working on organic seed production. The technical aspect is not the problem in Bhutan

Dr. Sonam Tashi proposed to the panel to plan an urgent measure that TOA take for GMOs. The response includes:

  • Literate review of GMOs and information dissemination through websites, mass media, seminar, exhibition,workshop, and international conference
  • Working with the university for regional level policy advocacy
  • Establish a regional seed bank to protect local variety
  • Support young farmers for social enterprise on organic farming

Consumer Education and Marketing

  • Consumer education should incorporate GMOs campaign into the action plan
  • Seikatsu is a good example for consumer campaign to raise the consumer awareness on GMOs
  • TOA will organize the 4th Mindful Market Asia Forum at Chulalongkorn University. 9-10 September 2017
    • The keynote speaker is Prof. Lian from Rural Reconstruction Movement in China. This movement inspires many young people in China to go back home and pursue a farming career
    • The forum is a window for TOA to reach wider Asian countries. Currently, the network extended to Japan, Korea, China, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Malaysia.These countries will be an outer circle of TOA
  • Mindful Market Social Enterprise Course (MMSE Course) 9-20 September 2017
    • Four modules project based learning journey
    • Include project presentation and feedback from professional social entrepreneurs
    • Target young people who want to start social enterprise on organic agriculture

World Café – Reflections and Planning for the TOA future

Capacity Building and Youth

Summer School

  • The activity will be organised during July 17th –August 2nd in Thailand, there are four seats for TOA members


  • The date has not yet formulated, but the location may be Bhutan
  • The activity opens for YOF Mekong to join and learn from each other
  • For the issue to study, it is proposed that the issue needs to be a cross-cutting issue like land grabbing, climate change,etc. One activity that can be incorporated into the programme is a media making to share the inspiring story

Action Research

There are action points for the working group as follow:

  • Create the linkage between CSOs and academia especially agricultural university under the platform of wisdom dialogue and joint action research
  • Conduct action research on Seed; GMOs, Seed law, seed improvement and local seed. We may train a young researcher on this particular topic
  • Build a long term consortium between CSOs academia and government
  • Create a documentation of good practice,i.e. The case of Metha seed production
  • Donor for action research related activities include: ALiSEA / JPF /Misereor

Consumer movement and Education

  • Forum and course as mentioned above and Consumer Campaign on GMOs include:
    • Produce ‘NOGMOs’ stickers to be displayed in the market.
    • GMOs literacy campaign through food routeing i.e. the story of meatball
    • Display the linkage between seed and consumer
  • KMF worked with the University on consumer campaign. The story of deep ecology can attract the consumers’attention. Over 20 campuses join the programme
  • A fair contract farming where the producers can negotiate the price is an alternative to GMOs
  • CSOs scheme is not limit to agricultural products. CSOs can be implemented for sustainable fishery also
  • Smart consumer campaign with short, sharp, and touched content to get a message across to new generation and consumer platform

Technical support and exchange

Plan for future Implementation / Finance Long-Term Plan
Expand seed saving network Each country & TOA nominate / finance by company CSR? Small community enterprise
GMOs evidence gathering
– Awareness campaign
– Monitor GMOs activities
-Monsanto Verdict dissemination -Research project / academia / CSO -Maejo University to coordinate academic linkage with partners countries – GMO literacy to make informed decision
– GMOs- free countries
Policy against land grabbing Research projects / international support JICA – Land reform: community land deed title
– Earth Trusteeship and Earth Rights
Native seed varieties identification TOA organizes exchange workshop Local seed preserved Asia TOA Seed Bank Village seed model
One stop community centre TOA members/partners All technical knowledge / skill available in one place
– The curriculum-vocational / technical system
– Pilot village
– Training workshop etc.
Comparative study CA vs OA TOA member countries Good empirical data
Exchange of young students in TOA countries TOA submit proposal to Japan Foundation Knowledge will feed into community knowledge hub
Translation of technical finding into local language TOA (Myanmar) Farmer are empowered / technical know-how available

Inputs from the panel:

  • One activity for YOF in Bhutan is to bring them to see seed production centre
  • LISO is planning to organize GMOs workshop in August 2017. For further update, partners in Vietnam will announce to the network
  • The network should prioritize which kind of seed should be urgently preserved
  • In Bhutan, to save imported seed, there need to ask for the government permission. But such regulation is not applied on local seed

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