ALiSEA National General Assembly in Lao PDR, 29 November 2022

ALiSEA National General Assembly in Lao PDR, 29 November 2022

Vientiane, 29th November 2022, National General Assembly Workshop for ALiSEA Laos took place at the LaoTel Hotel.

The National General Assembly aims to present the key achievements of the network in 2022, to consult members on internal structuration and to set up the main action plan of the network in 2023. The event brought together 39 participants of the ALiSEA network, working in the field of agroecology across the country, such as local and international nongovernmental organizations, farmers organizations, networks, academic and government institutions.

The workshop was co-organized by GRET, CLICK, MHP, NUoL-FAG and RDA, as part of the ASSET project funded by the French Agency for Development (AFD), the European Union (EU), and the French Facility for Global Environment (FFEM).

The General Assembly is ALiSEA’s annual event through which it’s members can review the progress of the network and provide their feedback to ensure that the network is working in the right direction that would benefit each member. “I am very proud and glad to be a representative of the ALiSEA Network that was established in 2015. Since that time, our members have become more diverse, with various stakeholders from the private sector and farmers’ groups. We have been unable to meet in person for such a long time, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and had to meet online instead. However, today is a wonderful opportunity to meet in person, to review the achievements of the past years, and to consult and discuss our short and long-term strategies and action plans for the upcoming year. Without further ado, I would like to formally warmly welcome all participants, along with my best wishes for a fruitful and successful workshop. The national General Assembly is officially open”, said Phoutthasinh Phimmachanh from Lao Farmers Network.

I/ Introduction Session

The network warmly welcomed the new National Secretariat, Ms Chintanaphone Keovichith from CLICK, and the five new organizations that joined the network in 2022:

2 Local NGOs

1 International NGO

1 Farmers Organization

1 Private Sector

Presentation of the ALiSEA main achievements in 2022 and progress activities, Ms Chintanaphone Keovichith (CLICK)

II/ Small Grant Call 2022 Results and Next call

The regional and national results and lessons learned from the Small Grant call for proposal 2022 were presented by Ms Manivanh Aliyavong (GRET).

For this call, we received 22 proposals in total allocated as follows: 9 proposals from Laos, 7 from Vietnam and 6 from Cambodia.

The ALiSEA network was pleased to announce the two members awarded in Lao PDR for the 2022 call:

  1. CDEA & Thong Mang Organic Agricultural Cooperative: Promotion of renewable energy into agriculture post harvesting for smallholders.
  2. CLICK & Department of Extension and Cooperative (DAEC) of MAF: Link and learn Agroecology from the field.

III/ ALiSEA Internal Structure and Organization

Presentation and brainstorming on internal structure and potential scenarios, Ms Marie Cristine Lebret (GRET) & Ms Chintanaphone Keovichith (CLICK)

The majority of participants voted in favor of the following points:

  • Welcome individual people based on specific criteria and set up specific role;
  • Welcome specialized journalists/media organization as member;
  • Set up 2 status/roles for members;
  • Renew membership every 5 years.

IV/ ALiSEA Communication Strategy

Presentation of the main outlines of internal and external communication strategy, Ms Xaysomphone Phaypadith (RDA)

V/ National Foresight and Theory of Change

Presentation of the results of the national foresight and theory of change workshop which was held in October 2022, Mr. Sayvisene Boulom (NUoL)

The majority of participants voted for the top three priority pathways:

  1. Increasing Knowledge from national and international exchanges. Youth moving back to Laos to start Agroecology farm business.
  2. Strengthen knowledge sharing, capacity building, demonstration and document the experience of farmers and other stakeholders on Agroecology and Food Systems.
  3. Improve understanding on chemical use by exchanging knowledge and discussing chemical management use in Laos and having a campaign by engaging with relevant stakeholders.

For 2023, members highlighted the following main activities:

  • Increasing knowledge from national and international exchanges. Youth moving back to Laos to start Agroecological farm business:
    • Establish Agroecology learning center and curriculum
    • Support young farmers
    • EstablishAgroecology revolving fund
    • Organize workshop between farmers to farmers
    • Raise awareness among youth and young families interested in agriculture
    • Promote market access for AE products
    • Produce stories from the field (Video, Photo, online media).
    • Create social media and promote Agroecology
  • Limited technical capacity of smallholders, farmer organizations, technicians for AE, SF and marketing/ Increasing trend of AE/SF products due to increased middle class, food safety knowledge, and health problems:
    • Organize training session for farmers on Agriculture technical knowledge, nutrition , safe food production and, marketing
    • Establish family model in community
    • Organize Study tour about family model
  • Poor management of agricultural chemical use.
    • Organize a discussion workshop between government agencies, farmers, CSOs on pesticide use and limiting the import of chemical inputs.
    • Organize training session on the harmful effects of chemicals inputs use targeting producer groups and consumers.
    • Establish the Agroecology demonstration center by selecting existing farmer’s model.
    • Organize Study tour at the Agroecology demonstration center (to exchange between the chemical user and non-users).

Comment: To consolidate the results of promoting Agroecology in Laos to 2040, this could be a policy brief of about 3 pages and share it with the government, donors, stakeholders in order to widely disseminate it.

Conclusion

The national General Assembly has been rich and fruitful paving the way for the internal structuring and governance of the network, taking decisions on the priority issues to be addressed by the network and main activities to be implemented in 2023.

As a way forward (i) at national level, the ALiSEA Board Members will develop a detailed action plan for the network building upon the discussions and outcomes of the General Assembly and (ii) at regional level, the first Regional General Assembly workshop will be organized in 2023 to take decision on the structuration and organization.

You can access the full report of the workshop by clicking here. (Is coming soon)

Please find below articles made by journalists on the General Assembly in Lao PDR:

More photos in the workshop