Agricultural Development and Commercialization

The transition from subsistence agricultural production to functioning market-economy-based production models is a key challenge facing CLMV countries (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam). 

The Mekong Institute (MI) recently conducted a week-long workshop and structured learning visit (SLV) to address this important issue in the lead-up to AEC 2015. 

The SLV, entitled Successful Contract Farming Models and Cross Border Trade, hosted 33 CLMV participants from national and provincial government agencies, farmers organizations and the private sector involved in contract farming and the booming cross-border agricultural trade. Addressing both the conceptual and practical implications and impacts of cross-border contract farming, the SLV sought to identify the key obstacles and challenges faced by agricultural communities and policy makers. 

Field trips to contract farms highlighted the importance of conceptual modules which emphasized linking smallholder farms to modern value chains as a tool enabling successful cross-border contract farming. Field sites included Suan Lung Krao Garden and Taniyama Siam Co. Ltd in Nakhonpathom Province, and Thayang Agriculture Cooperative in Petchaburi Province. 

As in all of MIs recent SLVs, the Successful Contract Farming Models and Cross Border Trade program served as a platform for multi-lateral engagement between public and private sector actors. Such meetings are vital to the future of the GMS; building lasting relationships and interpersonal foundations which will lead to greater regional cooperation and integration.

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