Website of the Asian Farmers Association for Sustainable Rural Development

December 22nd, 2014

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!









November 20th, 2014

AFA supports Philippine coconut farmers’ march for justice

coconut farmes' march for justice

The Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA) supports the march of coconut farmers in the Philippines under the coalition “KILUS Magniniyog” in order to campaign for the establishment of a 71 billion-peso coconut farmers’ trust fund.

Composed of 10 national farmers’ federations in the Philippines, the coalition was formed on July 1-2, 2014 in order to aggregate and represent the interest of the coconut farmers who have suffered a grave injustice for several decades.

The march started on September 21, 2014 and will cover 1,750 kilometers over 71 days from Davao City south of the Philippines to the President’s office in Malacanang in Manila in the north.

The coco levy fund was collected from coconut farmers over a nine-year period (1973-1982) under the Marcos dictatorship, purportedly for the development of the coconut industry.

The coconut farmers, estimated at 3.5 million, are among the poorest in the country, earning only 18,000 thousand pesos per year, mostly as wages from farm work as many of them are landless.

AFA member PAKISAMA is one of the farmer organizations in the KILUS Magniniyog coalition and its farmer leaders are among those who are marching.

We call on our partners to support the farmers in their march for justice.

Solidarity statements can be sent to the coconut farmers through afa@asianfarmers.org and/or pakisama.natl@yahoo.com.

Click here for photos of the marchers as they arrive in Quezon City.

For more information, visit:



To sign the online petition addressed to the President, visit:


November 20th, 2014

IYFF celebrated during 4th Bogor Organic Fair

IMG_20141114_093230Bogor, Jakarta – The Indonesian Organic Alliance or Aliansi Organis Indonesia (AOI), together with the Indonesian Peasant Alliance or Alliansi Petani Indonesia (API), in cooperation with the city government of Bogor, launched the 4th Bogor Organic Fair (BOF) and IYFF celebration last November 14.

The organic fair is a yearly event started in 2011, which aims at generating public awareness on the benefit of organic products. For 2014, the International Year of Family Farming (IYFF), API took the opportunity to integrate the celebration of IYFF with the annual Bogor Organic Fair.

Various organic farmer producers including the members of AOI, API and its partner Bina Desa, as well as other CSOs, showcased their organic products in Sempur, a public park in the center of Bogor City. The opening ceremony was graced by IFOAM president Mr. Andrew Leu. API Secretary General Mr. Nuruddin, AOI president Mr. Wahyudi and Bogor Vice City Mayor Engr. Usmar Hariman.

Mr. Nuruddin highlighted the situation of family farming in Indonesia and encouraged the government to support small-scale farmers to enhance their production of local and organic products. Mr. Leu pointed out that with the big population in Indonesia, there is a huge potential demand for organic products, which serves as a good opportunity for farmers to shift to organic farming.

At the end of the first day of the fair, the women farmers of API were happy because they were able to sell their products and meet new contacts who are interested to buy their products.

November 20th, 2014

AFA emphasizes small scale farmers’ role in OECD-ASEAN conference on food security

Bogor, Indonesia – AFA attended the regional conference on policies for food security between OECD and ASEAN held last November 11-12, 2014 at Hotel Salak, Bogor, Indonesia. AFA was represented by its policy advocacy officer, Ms. Lany V. Rebagay. The main objective of the conference was to provide a venue for exchange of policy experiences between OECD, ASEAN countries and international organizations in the region, with a special focus on food security. The conference also hoped to identify knowledge gaps and issues, on which the OECD could make a contribution in the region, and facilitate the exchange with regional partners.

During the conference, the newly endorsed ASEAN Integrated Framework for Food Security-Strategic Plan for Action for Food Security 2015-2020 (AIFS-SPA-FS) was presented. Ms. Rebagay acknowledged the goals of AIFS-SPA-FS which include the improvement of livelihood of small-scale farmers. She further reminded the delegates that small-scale farmers in the ASEAN region have been recognized as one of the key main investors in agriculture and should therefore be considered as key stakeholders in any discussions on food security. She added that ASEAN member states’ efforts like the provision of a multi-quality price policy or differentiated purchase price for quality rice in Indonesia should be implemented to encourage small-scale farmers to continue producing healthy and organic rice which is good both for the consumers and the environment as well.

The differentiated purchase price policy was recently approved based on strong advocacy by CSOs particularly the organized small-scale farmers including AFA’s member Aliansi Petani Indonesia (API) together with other farmers group like Serikat Petani Indonesia (SPI) and WAMTI  composing the Farmers Forum / platform supported by the Medium Term Cooperation Program Phase 2 (MTCP2) funded by IFAD and SDC.

Ms. Rebagay also reiterated the need for support for community-based food reserves system including rice and seed banks as important initiatives to ensure food self-sufficiency and ensure resilience amidst climate change. In addition, the need to encourage young farmers to engage in sustainable farming was also emphasized particularly as one important sustainability factor for ensuring availability of nutritious food for all.

Click here to download the Conference Agenda

Click here to visit the Conference Website

October 28th, 2014

AFA calls for greater support for small scale family farmers for food security, nutrition and poverty eradication at FAORAP’s World Food Day celebration

(Source: http://www.fao.org/)

“We all know that we will need a doctor once in a while, a lawyer hopefully never or just once, but a farmer we will need three times a day. No farmer, no food. And food is a basic right. Thus, for food security and nutrition, for eradicating hunger and poverty, for a sustainable, ecological and resilient agriculture, investments for and with small-scale family farmers in the region through enabling policies and programs are definitely an imperative.” Read the rest of this entry »

October 28th, 2014

AFA calls for communication with, by and for family farmers at the XIII UN roundtable on ComDev

Source: http://c4d.undg.org/

“The challenge to the international community and to decision makers at all levels of society is to work with family farmers, through their farmers organizations… Communication for Development is key to enable social inclusion and put forward our own development agenda.”

This was the message delivered by AFA Secretary General and FAO Special Ambassador for the IYFF in Asia Pacific Esther Penunia in a keynote address at the XIII United Nations Inter-Agency Round Table on Communication for Development with the theme “Enabling social inclusion to support food and nutrition security, resilient rural livelihoods and family farming” last September 16 at the FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy. Read the rest of this entry »

October 23rd, 2014

Asia Pacific farmer organizations celebrate gains of cooperation program in Hanoi meeting

som bandari at mtcp2 rsc

(AFA Vice Chairperson and staff and AFFM president participated in the meeting. The consortium of AFA and La Via Campesina is regional implementing agency of MTCP2.)

Hanoi, Vietnam, 20 October 204 – Farmer organizations implementing the Medium Term Cooperation Program Phase Two (MTCP2) in Asia and the Pacific gather at the Saigon Hotel in Hanoi, Vietnam on October 20-22 to celebrate gains in the first year of implementation of a trailblazing program to strengthen their capacities to engage in policy dialogues and deliver services to their members, discuss some issues and prepare future plans of action.

Read more from the MTCP2 website

September 24th, 2014

In the News: ASEAN ministers should protect interests of smallholder farmers

From September 23 to 25, ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF) will hold their annual meeting in Nay Pyi Taw. Prior to this meeting, the Food Security Working Group (FSWG), a network of national and international NGO’s working on food security in Myanmar, organised a regional civil society dialogue, during which civil society representatives from a range of ASEAN countries discussed and formulated recommendations for their agriculture ministers. Read the rest of this entry »

September 18th, 2014

AFA at the International Symposium on Agroecology

AFA Chairperson Shimpei Murakami and Secretary General Esther Penunia are attending the #UNFAO Int’l Symposium on #Agroecology for #FoodSecurity & #Nutrition in Rome on September 18-19. You may follow the live webcast at:  http://bit.ly/1ssXI7N .

September 2nd, 2014

AFA to attend UN inter-agency roundtable

AFA will be in Rome on September 16-18 for the XIII UN  Inter agency RT on Communications for Development on the theme “Mainstreaming Communication for Development in Policies and Programs Enabling Social Inclusion to support food and nutrition security , resilient livelihoods and family farming.” AFA Secretary General Esther Penunia will, who is also the IYFF Ambassador for Asia Pacific, will deliver a keynote address during the event.

September 1st, 2014

Video: AFA Sec Gen Esther Penunia at the International Encounters Family Farming & Research, Montpellier, June 2, 2014

9-Esther Penunia, World Rural Forum – International Encounters Family Farming & Research, Montpellier #agrifammpl from agropolis International on Vimeo.

September 1st, 2014

AFA to attend international symposium on agroecology

AFA will participate in the “International Symposium on Agroecology for Food Security and Nutrition” that will be held at FAO Headquarters in Rome on 18th and 19th September 2014.
In an information note sent to stakeholders, FAO states:
“Agroecology is a key approach to move towards more sustainable food systems, especially regarding ecosystem functioning and resource efficiency. Agroecology is being included in a number of national policies and received strong multi-disciplinary support particularly from farmers’ organizations and grass-root civil society organizations around the world.  Agroecology supports food production and offers an alternative to high-input strategies and the science and field practices adopted by farmers and producers all over the world have seen uptake in the past decade. But there is a need to further enhance a global uptake.”
Additional information about the Symposium, including a draft agenda for the event, can be found on this website: http://www.fao.org/agriculture/crops/thematic-sitemap/theme/spi/international-symposium/en/

August 14th, 2014

FNN visit to Taiwan

1939799_10204346715367297_7234177059689054886_nFarmer and Nature Net Executive Director Pan Sopheap from Cambodia visits Taiwanese farmer Mr. Chen to learn about the burdock industry. Mr. Chen is one of the Top 10 Farmers of 2013. (Photo courtesy of George Lin)

August 13th, 2014

IYFF 2014: Choose the best photos of family farming! (One month to go!)

The international photo competition Family Farming: Feeding the world, caring for the earth visualizes how family farmers around the world produce healthy and nutritious food while they respect the environment and biodiversity.

In the first months of 2014, over 1300 photos were received from all continents. They are a great sample of the strength, potential and challenges of multifunctional family farmers. Many thanks to all participants. An international jury consisting of farmer leaders and renowned artists has made a pre-selection of these photos. Now it is time for you to choose! Read the rest of this entry »

August 12th, 2014

FAO assures FO participation in GAFSP project in Bangladesh

Farmer organizations in Bangladesh are participating in the capacity building activities of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) under the Technical Assistance (TA) component of the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) project of Bangladesh.

Md. Mahmud Hossain, National Team Leader of IAPP-TA in Bangladesh said that the Integrated Agricultural Productivity Project (IAPP) already has two farmer representative members in the Project Steering Committee from two regions of the project area and they attend the meetings regularly.

“We included them in our capacity building initiative so they can participate more efficiently in the PSC meeting,” Hossain emphasized.

According to Hossain, the farmer representatives who sit in the steering committee of IAPP are: (1) Md. Wahedul Islam, President, Ghonirampur Livelihood Field School in Manirampur, Taraganj, Rangpur; and, (2) Md. Fazlul Haq, President, Munda Pasha Livelihood Field School in Munda Pasha, Uzirpur, Barisal

Click here for more information about the GAFSP Asian CSO representative

August 6th, 2014

AFA discusses cooperation projects with CSA

AFA meeting with CSAMarek Poznanski of Collectif Stratégies Alimentaires (CSA), a Brussels-based development NGO specialized in agricultural and food policy issues, as well as an agri-agency member of Agricord, is meeting with the Asian Farmers’ Association this week in order to discuss some cooperation projects for farmers and farmer organizations in the region. One is on institutional buying, also known as public procurement, while another is on knowledge sharing and innovation on sustainable agro-enterprises.

August 2nd, 2014

AFA to attend consultation on family farming in India

AFA will join the upcoming Asia Pacific Regional Consultation on The Role of Family Farming in the 21st Century: Achieving the Zero Hunger Challenge by 2025,” to be held Aug 7-10, 2014 at Chennai, India. The consultation is also a follow-up meeting of the November 2013 meeting on IYFF held in Bangkok after the FAO CSO partnership strategy meeting, which AFA also attended.

August 1st, 2014

Phil FOs to organize organic rice enterprise summit

AFA member PAKISAMA will organize the “Organic Rice Enterprise Summit” on August 14-16, 2014 at the Boso Boso Highlands Resort and Convention Center in Antipolo City.  The goal of the summit is to strengthen the network of the nine (9) FO-members of PAKISAMA engaged in organic rice enterprise particularly determining the possibility of consolidated marketing. Jane U. Zamar, PAKISAMA Business DevelopmentServices (BDS) Manager is overall coordinator of the summit.

July 31st, 2014

FOs call for more open dialogue, representation and participation with government on GAFSP at country level

UWUA presentation on GAFSPAs support organization for the GAFSP CSO Asia representative, the Asian Farmers’ Association (AFA) held a regional consultation about GAFSP and other agriculture -related programs among its members and partners last May 8, 2014 in Bali, Indonesia. The consultation was held during the 6th AFA General Assembly with the theme “Seizing the Momentum to Get Concrete Gains for Small Scale Farmers this IYFF,” which was attended by 30 men and 10 women from 17 national farmer organizations in 13 countries, as well as partners and supporters from Agriterra, Collectif Stratégies Alimentaires (CSA), AsiaDHRRA, World Rural Forum (WRF), Food and Agriculture Organization Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (FAORAP), Asia Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutes (APAARI), Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR), International Land Coalition (ILC) Asia and Konsorsium Pembaruan Agraria (KPA). Read the rest of this entry »

July 29th, 2014

In the News: Farms work when run like family

In the Philippines, PAKISAMA and AFA have partner with the government, especially the DA and the DAR in drumbeating the issues concerning farming families and small-scale food producer.

The theme of the IYFF is “Ang Family Farming ay Buhay (Family Farming is Life),” seeking to highlight the importance of farming families in food security and the protection of natural resources.

The celebration is also aimed at stimulating active policies for the development of farming families, indigenous farming families, cooperatives and fishing families. Read the rest of this entry »