The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), KOICA Alumni Association of Nepal (KAAN) and Beautiful Coffee Nepal (fair trade related KOICA supported NGO) has organized a joint program to memorize 2019 World Fair Trade day on May 13, 2019(Monday) at Beautiful Coffee Nepal, Sanepa.
The major objective of the program is to strengthen partnership between KOICA Alumni members and Fair Trade related NGOs on the occasion of celebrating World Fair Trade Day. The program provided an opportunity to have a better understanding of KOICA’s various types of cooperation. There was an intensive participation of more than 200 people from fair trade related NGOs, government officials, KOICA fellows ,KOICA Overseas volunteers as well as other likeminded organizations and public.
Sunghoon Ko, Country director of KOICA point out the contributions made by fair trade in bringing economic empowerment of small producers, gender equality in practices, workplaces and promoting responsible production practices. He added that with a vision of pursuing global social values KOICA’s mission is also to leave no one behind with people centered Peace, Prosperity and Planet. Creating opportunities and capacity building are the common principles of KOICA and the Fair trade; definitely both of them work with different groups of people but with same principle. He further added that there is the gap between various partners of KOICA because of which the impact made by each partner of KOICA is not that visible. He wished to see if all of them can identify some innovative ways of working together for people centered, meaningful, result oriented and sustainable development.
Sunil Chitrakar, Vice-Chaiman of Fair Trade Group presented what fair trade is as well as its basic principles. Fair trade is a sustainable business model where resources are shared with needy ones taking sustainable approach because it looks after community, profit as well as environment. Initially, fair trade was started with charity to support WWII effected communities in Europe but now there are 26 organizations associated with fair trade in Nepal. Fair Trade Group has created 15,000 jobs for 45,000 households in Nepal in 40 districts especially for the vulnerable communities as well as women.
Binod Bidari, President of KAAN presented the introduction as well as objectives of KAAN. It was established in 2001 as a KOICA Club. Its main objectives are to serve a bridge between Korea and Nepal, to help in enhancing the effectiveness of future program provided by Korea and effective exchange of information to share new ideas and knowledge in the field of education and socio-cultural activities etc. He shared major as well as annual activities of KAAN along with the activities conducted in 2018.
Prachandaman Shrestha, Chairperson of Beautiful Coffee explained about the establishment of Beautiful coffee as a resource center for coffee sub-sector development in 2014 in Nepal with technical expertise in coffee production, processing, marketing and organizational development. Via the second phase project Regional Development through Strengthening of Cooperative and Business Capacity in Nepal, KOICA has supported for Beautiful Coffee in Sindhupalchowk and Lalitpur district. He emphasized the KOICA project that has integrated fair trade policy in Coffee Producer’s Cooperatives. The project is more focused on Strengthening/Capacity building of the coffee producers and their association, Nondiscrimination and gender equality, Trading practice, Transparency and Marketing platform.
During the seminar, possible collaboration activities are also shared between government officials, KAAN members as well as KOICA personnel. Fare trade related NGOs like Mahaguthi, KOLPA, H Plant, M cube gallery, DD bakery kept stalls to promote their products.
KOICA’s Civil Society Cooperation program aims to eradicate poverty and improve welfare of people in partner countries, based on cooperation with private organizations. This program supports international development cooperation activities of CSOs (Civil Society Organizations) and academia, working towards reducing poverty and promoting the better standard of living in developing countries, in agriculture and fisheries, multi –area). In Nepal, Currently KOICA is supporting more than 5 Korean NGOs in Nepal who are working in various development sectors.