The global validation and dissemination workshop on RuFBeP project held in ‘The Sukosol’, Bangkok during 24-25 January 2019, to bring in the relevant organizations and agencies offering or engaged in the process of providing sustainable rural finance across geographical locations within the Asia-Pacific region together. The core idea for the workshop rests on the foundation that apart from discussions in the dissemination forum on the results of the pilot testing on rural finance best practices, the workshop will also invite the experts from emerging areas of development finance and take stock on the financial infrastructure, rural transformation through innovative financial products and the technological innovations which will drive rural and agricultural finance in the next decades. The global dissemination workshop was attended by participants from 16 countries from Asia-Pacific region and global participants from International Agencies UNCDF, World Bank apart from experts from IFAD.
ACE-BIRD in collaboration with the Centre for Research on Financial Inclusion and Microfinance (CRFIM) has conducted an international training programme for APRACA member countries on “Self Help Groups (SHGs) – A tool for Financial Inclusion and Women Empowerment”, during 14 – 18 January 2019. The programme was inaugurated by Shri. H R Dave, Deputy Managing Director, NABARD in the presence of Smt. T. S. Raji Gain, Director BIRD. Eighteen (18) officers involved in microfinance activities of Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development, Afghanistan, Aga Khan Foundation, Afghanistan and commercial bank viz., Agrani Bank, Rupali Bank and Janata Bank of Bangladesh have participated in the programme.
The Secretary General of APRACA was invited to speak on the Asia Finance Forum 2019 held in Bangkok during 22-23 January 2019. He delivered his presentation on the emerging business models and opportunities for investment, successful initiatives and options for scaling up, Key barriers and solutions across the region and outlook for a changing FI landscape. The Forum gathered more than 250 delegates from financial institutions, FinTech companies, international development agencies and civil society organizations.
Dr. Prasun Kumar Das, Secretary General who is also the IFAD Project Manager was invited to the IFAD Annual Country Programme Review (ACPoR) of Philippines held in Sagada, Mountain Province. The SG along with the representative from ACPC, Philippines presented the APRACA’s experience on implementation pf pilot project on value chain finance with the Multi-Purpose Fruits and Vegetables Cooperatives in La Trinidad, Benguet.
The Bangladesh country office of International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) invited the Secretary General of APRACA to be a member of the IFAD project design mission in Bangladesh to support PKSF (member of APRACA) to develop the Rural Microenterprise Transformation Project (RMTP) to be implemented by them. The project will support marginal and small farmers and micro-entrepreneurs (or their organisations) and agribusinesses to improve their operations and develop commercially beneficial linkages within selected value chains.
Dr. Prasun Kumar Das was invited by SKBBL, Nepal to deliver a presentation on ‘Cooperative Enterprises: Process, Practice and Challenges’ during the Small Farmers Summit 2019 focused on ‘Agriculture Transformation and Entrepreneurship Development for the Prosperity of Small Farmers’ held in Kathmandu. The Main Objectives of the Summit was to support small farmers for agriculture transformation and entrepreneurship development through a dialogue among practitioners, regulators, specialists based on concrete research findings as well as through best practices. About 1000 delegates and leaders from Small Farmer Agriculture Cooperative Ltd. (SFACLs) participated in the summit.
The Philippines country office of International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) invited the Secretary General of APRACA to be a member of the IFAD implementation support mission to assess the implementation of actions in FARM project being implemented in Myanmar. The other objectives of the mission was to provide the way forward to achieve the objective of the project being implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation (MoALI), the Ministry of Finance (MoPF) and the FARM Project Coordination Unit (PCU) based in Naypyitaw.
ACE-BIRD has organized an international training programme on “Embracing Digitisation for Finance and Governance” during 25 – 28 March 2019 at BIRD, Lucknow. The programme was inaugurated by Smt. T. S. Raji Gain, Director BIRD and graced by Dr Prasun Kumar Das, Secretary General, APRACA and Shri Raj Kumar, Joint Director, BIRD. Twelve executives from three counties namely Cambodia, China, and Nepal participated in the training programme.
The SG visited New Delhi to meet the officials from the Ministry of Agriculture Farmers Welfare and Cooperatives, Government of India and NABARD, Regional Office to discuss on organization of 6th World Congress on Rural and Agricultural Finance to be held in New Delhi during 12-14 November 2019. The invitation to the Departmental Secretary was handed over and detailed discussions were held on participation of the Government officials in the global event.