Written: Ly Quoc Dang, Arun Shining, Le Thi Thu Thuy, Piyush Agrawal
Teaching Farm and Youth Engagement project is an initiative for highlighting issues
related to youth and farming activities in the region. The team works together in order to
develop an eco-system for engaging youth (young volunteers) in farming sector and
related activities. The Teaching farm, School farm/garden, Organic farming, Youth
farmers and community farm are the ke activities for engaging the youth.
Y-Farm is an initiative for a building a Resilient Mekong Community which focuses on
youth empowerment through organic farm development as well as learning the life-long
skills in sustainable agriculture..
Till date, Y- Farm has collaborated with 7 (seven) farms in five countries, a few focus on
both organic farming education/teaching farms while 6 work towards organic farming
products and 4 of them focus on teaching farm only. But, the teaching farms plan to set
up organic product value chain late in practice. In total, 7 farms consisting of 70,110
square meters (over 7 hectares) will be contributing for this nobel cause!
There are many kinds of crops, plants, fruits, trees, vegetable, herbs and varieties of flora
in these 7 farms/ gardens. According to the application forms from these farms, there are
more than 70 different species of fauna and 12 species of flora. All of them contribute to
big markets in organic food domain, apart from local consumption with-in the family,
community, covering various aspects of personal health, sustainable agriculture and
farming system. In addition to this, there are 50 people to work on 7 farm, 36 of them are
women and 30 of them are indigenous and ethnic farmers. Women farm owners are 3
while indigenous/ethnic owners are 4.
For the training courses on educational/teaching farm and organic farming products, 5
groups as partners in five countries did five training programs for different groups,
ethnicity and gender in multiple communities across the countries in Mekong Region.
There are 46 children (from local school in the community and town) and 40 youth (from
local community and universities) to participate in the training, serving the main
objective of: “Kids and youth learn organic farming system and practice to be farmers”.
Garden is considered to be their classroom and they even spend a night in the farm as
well. Moreover, apart from the trainings, there are 29 youth including the younger
generation of those local communities working as volunteer, who learn from the
organisers, local people, local farmers, participants and even from the peers during the
training. They commit to be part of Y-Farm and they would like to extend this type of
training format to other groups (children and youth) in their working areas and
communities while encouraging others to set up organic and teaching farms.
It can be seen that 7 (seven) farms contribute to Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) under the purview of Food security, poverty
reduction, environment protection, human capacity, gender and women development,
ethnicity and indigenous development and climate change mitigation & adaptation
strategies. I suppose that Y-Farm connects people to solve our social and environment
problems, while extending contribution to sustainable agriculture as organic farming
product, teaching and educating about farming and human development, especially for
youth across Lower Mekong Region countries.
Y-Farm hopes that second phase of Y-Farm will succeed to implement Y-Farm Summer
Scholarship for 10 dedicated youth to visit others farms in the region, give other children
and youth a chance to learn about organic farming and support other farms in their
contribution towards environmental protection, food safety & security and youth
development within our Mekong Region and ASEAN Community.
1. Lao PDR: Practice Forest Product in Louangphrabang by Green Laos Community Volunteer, photo by: Dorn.
2. Lao PDR: Making Natural Product at Thaa Fun Farm, Vientiane City, photo by Jack.
3. Thailand: New Trees for Mekong Nomad Farm. Photo by Netting
4. Thailand: Local students learning from Japanese Volunteer, Mekong Nomad Farm. Photo by: Netting
5. Cambodia: Learning each others during training, Kratie Province. Photo by Leakhena
6. Cambodia: Training Participants at organic farm. Photo by Leakhena
7. Vietnam: Student’s painting during training at Delta Garden Photo by Thuy
8. Vietnam: Student’s painting during training at Delta Garden Photo by Thuy
9. Vietnam: Student’s participant for “We practice being farmers training” at Delta Garden. Photo by Tung
10. Vietnam: Students practice to plant vegetable. Photo by Thuy
11. Vietnam: Students practice to grow vegetable at Delta Garden. Photo by Thuy
12. Vietnam: Students do harvest vegetable at Delta Garden, Photo by Thuy
13. Burma: Youth visit the organic farm in Ngan Township, Shan State. Photo by Shining.
14. Burma: Youth learn how to take water from stream to pump to the farm. Photo by Aung.