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The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), Government of Japan has chosen the International Cooperative Alliance to implement an umbrella Project on “Capacity Building in Agricultural Sector in Asia and Africa” for three years starting from 2017.  Under this project, the 1stTraining Course on “Empowering Women in Business and Management of Agricultural Cooperatives” was held in Thailand and Japan from 16th July to 10th August 2017.  Eight women participants from eight countries, namely, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam attended the Training Course.

 

The objective of the training course was to assist capacity building of women leaders from rural areas   in the areas of organizational management and organized business activities. 

 

Part-I of the program – field study visits with a focus on observation of the activities of cooperatives/women groups and social institutions – was held in Thailand from 16th to 25th July in collaboration with the Cooperative League of Thailand (CLT), a member organization of ICA. 

 

 

Visit to the Co-operative League of Thailand

 

Part-II of the program held at the Institute for the Development of Agricultural Cooperation in Asia (IDACA) from 26th July to 10th August included extensive classroom work and study visits to agricultural cooperatives in Saitama, Yamanashi and Kanagawa Prefectures of Japan.  Lecture-cum-practical field study visits assignments were combined to impart necessary knowledge to the participants on the working of women’s associations and the general activities of agricultural cooperatives in Japan. Some of the key subjects covered at IDACA were: (a) Development of Agricultural Cooperatives in Japan; (b) Women’s Associations of Japanese Agricultural Cooperatives; (c) Rural Women’s Entrepreneurship (marketing and local agro-processing); (d) Women’s Participation in Rural Development; (e) Finalization and Presentation of Action Plans; and (f) Reporting and Evaluation.

 

Based on the experiences gained by the participants through class room lectures, field visits in Thailand and Japan, the participants were able to prepare their Action Plans which they would be recommending to their respective organizations for implementation.

The course evaluation conducted at the conclusion of the training on 9th August showed that the participants felt the training course was very relevant for them and it should be continued. A Certificate of Participation was awarded to each participant at the concluding session held at IDACA.