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Training workshop on planning and implementing contract farming operations

Contract farming (CF) is being increasingly adopted globally as a mechanism to link farmers to buyers. Through contracts, farmers can secure stable markets for their products and buyers can reduce the uncertainties that are often present in agrifood product procurement transactions. These, and other mutual benefits for farmers and buyers, can be promoted through CF schemes that are well designed and supported by conducive regulatory frameworks. As part of the ongoing activities of the Rural Infrastructure and Agro-Industries Division (AGS) towards the promotion of responsible CF operations, a Training workshop on planning and implementing contract farming operations was held in Rayong, Thailand, from 8 to11 July 2013. This was the second of a series of CF training events organized in Asia by AGS, in collaboration with the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (RAP) and the Agricultural and Food Marketing Association for Asia and the Pacific (AFMA). Details on the training program are available at http://www.afmaasia.org/cfo2013/index.htmlThe goal of the Workshop was to build the capacity of government officials, development practitioners, professionals from NGOs, private sector actors and others with roles in facilitating the initiation of contract farming operations. The event was attended by 19 professionals representing six Asian countries: Thailand, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Malaysia and the Philippines The training consisted of a combination of presentations and case study discussions covering CF basic concepts and  guidance on planning CF operations, implementation and legal issues, financial aspects and contractual design, among others. Field visits to agro-industrial firms and farmers to discuss their procurement and marketing systems complemented the training program.Highly positive feedback was received from the participants of the event, as illustrated by some complimentary messages they shared with the organizers:

“This training has provided much useful knowledge for me”, said Ms. Viet Anh Bui, a participant from Viet Nam.  “The knowledge … from this workshop will for sure be put into practice in the near future and pass on to other related entities through our NawaChiOne Knowledge Center as well”, stated Ms Tatsanee Setboobsargn, from Thailand.“It was a very useful workshop for me, which will support the CF work in Cambodia and in particular the IFAD-Supported Project I am involved in,  remarked Ms. Mao Narith, from Cambodia.“A special thanks to AFMA and FAO for very successfully organizing this workshop. Thank you for sharing the knowledge. I have learned a lot”. Mr. Paisal Amri, from Malaysia.“I would like to say graceful thanks for this most appreciated training workshop. Much experience and knowledge was received by all and we will apply it while implementing our future projects”. Ms Kanraya Tusanasarit, Thailand.

The feedback from participants and their suggestions to further improve the program contents will be now guiding the preparation for the next training event. To remain informed about CF training opportunities in Asia and elsewhere, visit FAO’s Contract Farming Resource Center.