National Workshops Announcement “Mapping and Assessing University-based Farmer Extension Services in ASEAN through an Agro-ecological/Organic Lens”, Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar

National Workshops Announcement “Mapping and Assessing University-based Farmer Extension Services in ASEAN through an Agro-ecological/Organic Lens”, Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar

Co-Organizers:

  • Chulalongkorn University, School of Agricultural Resources (CUSAR), Thailand
  • Agroecology Learning alliance in South East Asia (ALiSEA), Regional office, Vientiane, Lao PDR
  • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Bangkok and Hanoi, Offices
  • Can Tho University, Can Tho City (Southern Viet Nam)
  • Royal University of Agriculture, Phnom Penh (Cambodia)
  • Yezin Agriculture University, Nay Pyi Taw (Myanmar)

Overview of the study

Post-secondary institutions are significant knowledge producers, sometimes with research farms, adult training and extension programs. Agriculture represents a significant part of the national economy and a major source of employment for millions of mostly rural people in Southeast Asia. Some 6500 higher education institutions exist in the region. Yet their capacity to serve farmers, rural communities and sustainable agriculture is not clear. Little research has examined what they do, the models of agriculture development they promote, research results they transfer, the scope and types of farmer-academic partnerships that exist, what may be considered best practices, or their long-term impacts on poverty reduction, environments or food security. Governments, agriculture research centers and universities do not yet collect any uniform extension data that can be shared or analyzed. Moreover, postsecondary institution roles in contributing specifically to agro-ecological or organic agriculture teaching, research and service are poorly studied. There are significant knowledge gaps and research needs.

Chulalongkorn University School of Agricultural Resources (CUSAR) in Bangkok is leading a small one year study (June 2016-May 2017) to begin better documenting and understanding the role of post-secondary and research institutions in farmer extension services and their contribution to ecologically sustainable agriculture and rural development in up to eight ASEAN countries with strong agriculture economies (Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam). Core research support is provided by the “ASEAN Cluster Fund,” Chula UNISEARCH office. ALiSEA has also provided additional funding with UNESCO collaboration. This research which aims to understand the role of universities-based farmer extension services in inhibiting or enabling agro-ecological transitions in Southeast Asia is also being conducted under the mandate of UNESCO Bangkok’s Regional Unit for Social and Human Sciences in Asia and the Pacific (RUSHAP) and UNESCO’s Management of Social Transformations (MOST) Programme which aims build better bridges between research, policy and practice while promoting a culture of evidence based policymaking that supports positive social and environmental change.

Selected national partner focal points will help conduct a survey, then present findings at a regional workshop 23 Feb 2016 in Bangkok. Modest funding will be provided to focal points for travel and research expenses. Results are intended to help ASEAN governments, universities, agriculture research organizations and others to think critically and plan more strategically to improve agriculture education and research while strengthening farmer extension services and their contribution to the UN global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 2015-2030 for Southeast Asia.

Workshop in Vietnam:

Venue: Mekong Delta Development Research Institute, Can Tho University (MDI-CTU), Meeting Room 2, MDI-CTU; Date: Tuesday 13 December 2016 Time: 13:30 to 17:00 PM

Tentative program available here

Workshop in Cambodia:

Venue: Royal University of Agriculture (RUA); Room One, RUA campus, Chamkar Daung, Dankor District, Phnom Penh Date: Wednesday 21 December 2016 Time: 8:30 am to 3:30 PM

Workshop in Myanmar:

Venue: Yezin Agriculture University; (meeting room to be confirmed). Date: Wednesday 25 January 2017 Time: 9:00 am to 4:00 PM

For more information on the research project or workshop please contact:

Dr. Wayne Nelles, Visiting Scholar, University School of Agricultural Resources (CUSAR), Bangkok, THAILAND Consultant, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Bangkok and Hanoi, Offices Email: waynenelles@gmail.com

Dr. Nguyen Thanh Binh, Mekong Delta Development Research Institute, Can Tho University (MDI-CTU), Can Tho, Viet Nam Email: ntbinh02@ctu.edu.vn Phone: +84-710-3872 041

Dr. Borarin Buntong, Vice Dean, Faculty of Agro-Industry, Royal University of Agriculture (RUA) Phnom Penh; Cambodia; Email: borarin@yahoo.com or bborarin@rua.edu.kh Phone (855) 12 822 910 or (855) 97 8999922

Dr Htet Kyu, National coordinator ALiSEA for Myanmar, GRET, Yangon, Myanmar; email:htetkyu@gret.org

Pierre Ferrand, Regional coordinator Agroecology Learning Alliance in South East Asia (ALiSEA), GRET, Vientiane, Lao PDR; email: ferrand@gret.org