MELA is an alliance formed to provide a forum for exchanges of agriculture extension and other important information on rural development in the Mekong region. The mission of MELA is to be a network for all stakeholders in agriculture and rural development in the Mekong Region to continuously learn and share knowledge and best practices with each other and from outside sources in advisory services for sustainable agriculture, marketing and rural development.
MELA was initiated by representatives of the Mekong countries at the Workshop on ‘Reaching the Millions’, funded by SDC and organized by Helvetas in cooperation with GFRAS, which was taken place in Hanoi in March 2015. These participants acknowledged the value of regional networking and agreed to meet again to share experience and explore opportunities for further cooperation. In this regard, MELA was inaugurated in Lao PDR during first meeting held in August 2015. The second MELA meeting was organized in June 2016 in Yangon, Myanmar, while the third MELA meeting was organized in Siem Reap, Cambodia, in 2017.The Fourth MELA meeting has been held from 20-24 August 2018 in Nonthaburi, Thailand
Objectives of the Meeting:
- Updating and redefining common interests of members;
- Revising a draft charter for the network; and
- Preparing an agreed work plan for the next 12 months.
In addition to these objectives, the meeting will involve two thematic activities:
- Knowledge and experience sharing through presentations and panel discussions which the focus is on “Young Farmer and Green Agriculture” for agricultural services in the Mekong Region; and
- Field visits to young smart farmer outlets and social enterprises.
- A list of confirmed MELA member organizations from the Mekong region.
- A revised MELA charter and a fund-raising format for supporting MELA in the future.
- An action plan of MELA for the next 12 months.
- Participants learnt from various topics and come up with concrete action for further learning and application into their work place.
- Meeting report including the proposed theme to share with other networks on the current situation/cases of MELA.
Participants from the five countries of the Lower Mekong including Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand were invited to join this meeting. Those participants represent government, donor agencies, private sector and NGOs involved in agricultural extension and rural advisory services. The country coordinator of each country was responsible for identifying suitable participants to attend the meeting. In addition, Farmers organizations/cooperative, young smart farmers, enterprise, buyers, telecom companies and some participants from china were also invited to participate.
All the presentations of this forum are accessible here