YOUNG GENERATION: NEW FACES ON SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE IN ASEAN COMMUNITY

Farming Education to Children in Ubon of Thailand, Mekong Nomad Group. Photo by Netting

Written by: Ly Quoc Dang and Alex Braun

Y-Farm coordinates with partners in ASEAN Communities, critical to the Lower Mekong Region Countries including Burma/Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam in order to build capacity for youth in the Mekong Region. We have finally chosen nine youth to do intern in some farms and work with some youth groups in the region. The purpose of these activities are experienced in the local communities, learning from the local people about farming by exchanging their knowledge and skills with other youth. This builds a strong farming network for future sustainable agriculture and development in ASEAN Community. Nine of them will come to Thailand (2-8 of July 2017), Lao PDR (7-11 of July 2017) and Vietnam (17-25 of July 2017).

Mr. Sompong Woragool is a young farmer and an organic seed keeper. He got a bachelor degree in Biology. He works on a 15 rai farmland in Nakhon Ratchasima (Korat) where he practises permaculture farming method. In the future, he plans to involve more children and youth from his local community and do a co-project with Yfarm network. He would like to visit the farm in Myanmar.

Ms. Karatchanok Hutapaed is a young urban farmer and urban farming workshop trainer. She is now working at the Eco-house Eco-community project of MCDF to raise awareness of urban people to produce organic food in the city and promote self-sufficiency on basic needs. For example, vegetable gardening workshop and solar energy workshop. Moreover, they are campaigning for the mobile exhibition of all public area. Her learning centre is called “Grandpa Urban Farm and Eco Home” in a suburb of Bangkok. She got a master degree in MSc. Urban Environment Management from the Netherlands. For Y-Farm, she hopes her project can be a part of Y-Farm network in the future. She would like to visit the farm in Laos.

Mr. Hsu Htoo from Myanmar. Most of his friends call him ‘Eric’. He got a B.Sc (Qualify) in Zoology. Now, He is pursuing Master degree student. He has participated in the International Youth Friendship Camp 2016 in Bali, Indonesia. Moreover, He joined the Model ASEM Ha Noi 2016 Hanoi, Vietnam. And then, He has cooperated CIMB Young ASEAN Leaders 2016. Recently, He is a internship candidate in JTI. Moreover, He has plan to participate and cooperate with Y-Farm network and would like to visit the farm in Cambodia.

Mr. Doan Truong Han is a ​youth ​with passion for agriculture. After he graduated he decided to go back to his hometown as a farmer in MelasHill Farm​. He​ comes from Lam Dong province which is famous for tempered vegetables, flowers and coffee beans​​.​ He got a​ bachelor degree in ​​International Studies. In the future, he plans to ​engage young people who are interest in agriculture and agricultural tourism and become a co-project with Y-Farm Network.

Ms. Thuy Le is a core members of Delta Youth Alliance in the Mekong Delta. She is also working in the environment and natural resource office in Can Tho City, which is her hometown. Thuy realises the importance of Agriculture when Farmers only focused on yield and economic in the present. Furthermore, How about quality of food and issues related to farms and organic farming in the future. She would like to share information and ideas about starting new farms, how to think , practice and create as well as other content related to sustainable agriculture – environment and food systems for young generations in her hometown. Thuy got bachelor degree and master degree on environment studies from Can Tho University.

Ms. Khem Davon is a young female and raises awareness on community empowerment including small-scale farming in slum areas. She’s got a bachelor in general management. In the future, she’s passionate to contribute ideas and activities to involve more children at school in slum areas, her hometown, and along the Mekong river with small-scale organic farming. She hopes that after the scholarship, she would share her knowledge and do the farming activities with the children at school and slum areas.

Ms. Saroeurn Leakhena is a young female with passion for educational and agri-tourism. She’s got a bachelor of art on Tourism Management. She has been training, facilitating, and doing farming with the model farming located at Sambor District, Kratie province, Cambodia. She’s working on a project of environmental education which includes agricultural adaptation on climate change along the Mekong River. In the future, she would like to do green business with social enterprises of organic vegetables which is educational/responsible tourism in the local community on the Mekong River.

Ms. Ladsamy Phantamixay helps her professor doing some researches about rural development, agriculture and Chinese Green agriculture? She is also a volunteer for Punyanivej for four years. She seems very fresh in term of practical aspect. If compared to another two applicants, she has less experience in term of full implementation in the field. However, the place where she volunteers is very interesting in terms of making a connection for a learning centre for youth and children to do organic farm. Even though she is an urban girl, she is passionate to promote local wisdom and knowledge as a priority to address climate change. She also believes that local education is a valuable investment for a community to be able to adapt to climate change by themselves.

Ms. Noudsavanh Pheungsavanh graduated from Faculty of Environmental Sciences, National University of Laos in 2014. In the same year of her graduation, she then joined Mekong School where it is a long training course in Chiang Mai, Thailand. She is interested in research on Environmental and Social justices, especially the development in Laos. She had experiences to do few independent field researches on the impacts of hydropower dams to local communities in Laos. As a member of youth organization, Mekong Youth Assembly, she is engaged with local youth groups from six Mekong countries to advocacy for youth participation and fair development in the Mekong region. She also joined many activities with youths from ASEAN such as ASEAN Youth Forum. Recently, with the team from Mekong Youth Assembly, Noudsavanh is working with them to develop Ecological Child Rights curriculum (ECR) which hopes that this issue will be recognized widely and especially, in the ASEAN Agenda. In 2015, she joined Academic Fellows Young Southeast Leaders Initiatives in the state of Montana. In 2016, she worked as a fellowship at Mekong School in Chiang Mai. Since 2016, she has started to do activities with Green Laos Community Volunteer (GLCV) as a volunteer in Pak Ou district, Luangprabang province. Last activity, together with Khmu Youths, she had joined them to learn about food security of community and the community’s perspective of river change that affects to their livelihoods and the way how community will adapt with change, especially on food forest and free chemical gardening are key activities.

Teaching Farming and Youth Engagement project is an initiative highlighting issues related to youth and farming activities in the region. The team works together in order to develop an eco-system for engaging young volunteers in the farming sector and related activities. Teaching farming, School farm/garden, Organic farming, youth farmers and community farms are key activities for engaging youth. Y-Farm is an initiative for building a Resilient Mekong Community which focuses on youth empowerment through organic farm developments as well as learning life-long skills in sustainable agriculture. Y-Farm is supported by YSEALI Seeds for Future 2017, YSEALI is President Obama’s Initiative on Young Leadership in Southeast Asia Countries.

Can Tho, 25 of July 2017.

 

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