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Rivers of Knowledge in the Greater Mekong Region

Posted by Ariel Halpern Thursday, October 25, 2012

Rivers of Knowledge in the Greater Mekong Region
Self-reliance and self-sufficiency are the ground philosophies of rural development programmes in Thailand. A cutting edge policy strategy stressing the role of local talent wisdom, in a frame of inclusive competitiveness, gives room to sustainable public private approaches.

It’s been three days since practitioners of Cambodia, India, Laos, Madagascar, Thailand and Vietnam started their learning route. Mrs. Tram Mihn Tam, from the Vietnamese team already took note about how if the right measure of public and private interest is located, capacity enhancement and market opportunities will arise for the rural poor families with an increased impact.

The Route participants visited Sri Muang Agricultural Central Market at Ratchaburi Province, which is an initiative established in 1994. A multi stakeholder strategy with the involvement of public actors allowed the building of a strong quality control system, which is today the support of a service cluster. Farmers and middlemen are engaged today in a specialized market niche value chain.

The Chao Phya Abhaibhubejhr Foundation also hosted the participants of the learning route, and is willing to engage with the Laos’ participant Mr. Bounheng Amphavanh on a technical assistance contract. This experience, localized in the Prachinburi Province, portrays a successful initiative on local knowledge retrieval and valuing of traditional medicine, with an extended supplying network of small farmers supported on fair trade practices.

The knowledge exchange between participants and the AIT-E scholars and government officers already created a good ambiance for innovation. In the upcoming days participants will arrive to Nakhon Ratchasima province to meet Siam Organic and PDA PPP experiences.