The farmers of Gia Lai province are finally able to join HRNS’s Water Management project. It’s the last of five coffee growing provinces of the Central Highlands where HRNS has set up its activities. The kick-off workshop Rational Irrigation to Enhance the Efficiency of Coffee Production in districts of Chư Pah, Ia Grai and Chu Sê (Gia Lai), 2017-2019 took place in Plei Ku on May 18, 2017 and was attended by the representatives of local authorities at provincial, district and commune levels, banks and local media.

Representatives  of HRNS Asia Pacific and Gia Lai  Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) have discussed and signed the working regulation for the project implementation based on the decision No 401/QĐ-UB issued by PPC of Gia Lai on April 4, 2017.

As usual, the main steps will be establishing demo plots, selecting local field staff and collaborators, providing the training of trainers (TOT), arranging Farmer Field Schools (FFSs) and Farmer Coach Visits (FCVs), and evaluating the adoption rates. According to the training program’s target, the project must have at least 25 skillful farmer- trainers capable of facilitating FFSs and FCVs. To secure the project’s outcome, 50 farmers will be selected and trained by the project to reach the mentioned target.

Choosing people to be trained as future farmer-trainers is always a challenging task. As Mr. Le Ngoc Linh, HRNS’s Project’s coordinator put it:

“Our previous experience in four other provinces shows that careful selection of farmer-trainers is the pivotal factor in the project’s success”

Mr. Nguyen Van Hop, head of Chu Se district’s DARD suggested that commune cadastral officers, extension staff or members of the Farmers’ Association should be selected as farmer-trainers since they have certain skills and knowledge of making reports for submission to local authorities on the project’s implementation progress, including positive results, as well as difficulties and work on areas.

The chairpersons agreed on the tactic and strategic action plan. The deadline for submission of commune introduced farmer-trainers’ lists has been set for May 25, 2017. Ten demo plots are to be distributed within three project areas by December 2017, before the next irrigation season. The recruitment of the collaborators is the shared responsibility of the provincial coordinator and the District Coordination Unit.

The first reports on the project implementation progress and farmers’ feedback will be available on HRNS Vietnam website in early 2018.