Grass Root Activities （Muscat Fund）
This is our original program representing the intention of AAI for the better contribution to the international cooperation mainly in the field of technical transfer and rural development. Our spirit can be expressed by several keywords that are “Participatory Approach”, “Appropriate Technology”, “Small Scale”, “Sustainability”, “Ownership” and ”Resource Management”.
Since established in the year 1984, AAI have been engaged in the technical cooperation activities with an idea that the basis of agriculture is to sow seeds and to cultivate land as is indicated in the Japanese name of our company. We have been participating in the technical cooperation activities in the fields of agriculture, forestry, rural development and environmental conservation mainly in arid and semi-arid areas of developing countries distributedin Southwestern Asia, Middle East and Africa. Our common impression felt strongly through such activities in developing countries is that the sustainable participation of rural community with keen ownership is indispensable for the improvement of living condition and betterment of welfare. It is, therefore, important to carry out the development project in appropriate-scale. What we have to do is to support the activity performed by the rural community. Hasty and immature proposals, support ignoring the local economic situation and ill-considered funding should be avoided not to destroy the conventional system of rural community.
Under such circumstances, we gradually have thought the future possibility of collaborative projects on “grass-roots level” by ourselves. We also started to consider the problems and the improvement points of the prevailing development aid. In 1997 all AAI staff got together in Muscat,the capital of Oman, and we have decided to carry out our own grassroots activities within our capacity. “Muscat Fund ” was then established through joint contribution by AAI staff to support our own small-scale grassroots activities under the collaboration with Community Based Organizations (CBOs) for genuinely serving the requirement of local community.