Supporting pro-poor public-private partneships in Bac Kan


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An Agro-Forestry Promotion Investment Fund (APIF), funded by the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), has been launched in the northeastern province of Bac Kan to access sustainable markets, create jobs and increase salary for low-income people. The Communist Party of Vietnam Online Newspaper interviews IFAD Vietnam Country Programme manager, Atsuko Toda.

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Supporting pro-poor public-private partneships in Bac Kan

  1. 1. Supporting pro-poor public-private partnership in Bac Kan<br />20/07/2011<br />An Agro-Forestry Promotion Investment Fund (APIF), funded by the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), has been launched in the northeastern province of Bac Kan to access sustainable markets, create jobs and increase salary for low-income people community in Na Ri, Bac Be and Pac Nam Commune. On the sideline of this event, we have an interview with Ms. Atsuko Toda, IFAD Country Programme Manager in Vietnam.<br /> <br />Reporter: What can you tell us about APIF please?<br />Ms Atsuko Toda: We designed the fund with an aim to develop a pro-poor public private partnership framework. We believe this framework will generate sustainable access to markets, create jobs and increase income for local people. The low income districts of Bac Kan province including Ba Be, Pac Nam and Na Ri will benefit significantly through supporting business initiatives on inclusive ventures.<br />Reporter: What type of partnership do you wish to see development between the public and private sectors to help the poor people of Bac Kan?<br />Ms Atsuko Toda: Bac Kan provincial government has tailored policies specifically to attract investment for socio-economic development and poverty reduction. To date most of the agriculture and rural development in Bac Kan has been driven by government subsidised inputs only. The absence of private businesses that can act as value chain partners constrains economic opportunities. We hope that by enhancing private sector investment in Bac Kan province, together with creating commercial awareness for farmers, an environment will be created to improve livelihoods of rural poor households. Local people will participate and benefit from value chains as suppliers or employees.<br />We’ll attempt making it easier for participating private firms to enter by reducing their transaction costs. We’ll also meet exceptional start-up costs, for example costs involved when partnering with large numbers of poor smallholders. In addition, we’ll look at financing businesses’ commercially strategic goods and services, if they include the local low-income population of Bac Kan province into their value chains as suppliers or employees.<br />Reporter: Why did IFAD choose Bac Kan for the APIF fund?<br />Ms Atsuko Toda: In Bac Kan, poverty remains high in rural areas, particularly among the ethnic minority communities such as the Mong (79%), Dao (65%) and Nung (51%). The challenges in Bac Kan province are compounded by limited agricultural land and a upland terrain that raises investment costs for road, irrigation and water supply. However, the province has a large, relatively undeveloped forestry resource, a significant livestock industry, aquaculture and tourism potential. Importantly, Bac Kan also has an administration that is open to market-led reform. Investment potential is closely linked with the natural resources of the province. We see a great opportunity for private businesses to be part of the value chains connecting farmers and end-users.<br />Reporter: So, what areas of investment will the fund consider?<br />Ms Atsuko Toda: Agriculture, forestry, aquaculture and tourism will be considered. Proposals for investment in Bac Kan in these areas could receive from 30,000 to 100,000 USD. The amount will not be greater than 49% of the total cost of each business project. We expect the implementing partner to make a counterpart contribution of at least 51% of the total project costs. In exceptional cases where the potential social impact of the proposed project is extremely high or the private investment is likely to bring a tremendous change in the industry, the maximum APIF grant is USD 250,000. This will require an ad-hoc approval from the Provincial Steering Committee.<br />Reporter: Besides the APIF fund, is IFAD working on any other projects in Bac Kan?<br />Ms Atsuko Toda: The fund was formed under the 3PAD Project. This project promotes the sustainable use of forest land, working towards bio-fuel use and reducing emissions from deforestation. 3PAD also helps farmers have a more commercial approach to their farming operation. We expect to see new income for poor farmers from additional productive activities using largely under-utilized forestry and slope-land.<br />Nguồn<br /><br />