Website of the Asian Farmers Association for Sustainable Rural Development

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.


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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!

Until 15 September you can select two favourites for each continent. The winners will be announced at a major international event at the end of October. Winners will receive a cash prize and a place in a 2015 photo calendar.

The photo competition is organised on the occasion of the 2014 International Year of Family Farming by the Agricultures Network and the World Rural Forum, in close collaboration with the Asian Farmers Association, CLOC- La Via Campesina and the More and Better Network.

- Click here to vote:

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 »

July 9th, 2014

AFA raises concerns about proposed Global Alliance on Climate Smart Agriculture

DSCF1014 bTogether with other civil society and farmers’ groups, AFA has raised concerns about the proposed Global Alliance on Climate Smart Agriculture.

CSOs maintain that without environmental criteria, social safeguards, accountability to democratic processes, or clarity about governance, the Alliance risks undermining the very aims it says it hopes to achieve.

An Open Letter signed by over 60 organisations, has been sent to the interim secretariat of the Alliance in advance of the meeting at The Hague this week, in the hope of contributing to constructive discussions and efforts to address these concerns. Read the rest of this entry »

June 23rd, 2014

6th AFA GA: “Seizing the Momentum to Get Concrete Gains for Small Scale Farmers this IYFF”


The Asian Farmers’ Association (AFA) held its 6th General Assembly (GA) last May 6-9, 2014 at Hotel Santika, Bali, Indonesia with the theme “Seizing the Momentum to Get Concrete Gains for Small Scale Farmers this IYFF.”

The GA was hosted by Aliansi Petani Indonesia (API), with support from Agriterra, Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP), and the International Land Coalition (ILC). It 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 »

June 4th, 2014

Asian Farmers and IYFF – What is it for us during the International Year of Family Farming?

Majority of the world’s family farmers are in Asia, and they are also the majority of the world’s poorest. Asia is also home to many successful farmer-led agriculture innovations. The IYFF is an opportunity to highlight the situation and initiatives of small scale farmers in Asia as well as to strengthen engagement with policy makers in enacting favorable policies for family farmers.

Click here to download the issue paper

March 28th, 2014

Philippine CSOs gear up for IYFF 2014 events

IYFF 2014 LOGOCIVIL society organizations (CSOs) will meet at the Partnership Center in Quezon City on Monday (April 1, 2014) to highlight the calendar of activities and set a jubilant mood leading to the global closing event of International Year of Family Farming (IYFF) in the Philippines.

In his opening statement at the 32nd Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Asia Pacific Regional Conference in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia 10 to 14 March 2014, FAO Director General José Graziano da Silva announced that the global closing event of the IYFF 2014 will be held in the Philippines.

“This is in recognition of the lead role of Philippine government and CSOs in the IYFF campaign. We are happy with this confirmation,” said Marlene Destreza Ramirez, secretary general of AsiaDHRRA. “We urge our Philippine and regional partners to make full use of the year and the closing event to drumbeat the issues of smallholders and smallscale food producers.” Read the rest of this entry »

March 11th, 2014

Praying for the passengers and crew of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370

Our thoughts and prayers are with the 239 passengers and crew of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which lost contact last March 8 two hours after departing from Kuala Lumpur en route to Beijing.

Among its passengers is a colleague in the social movement, Chandrika Sharma, executive secretary of the International Collective in Support of Fish Workers, based in Chennai, India.

An expert in fisheries sector and issues related to fishers, Ms. Sharma, a resident of Velachery, was heading to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, to attend a regional conference for Asia and the Pacific hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.

February 22nd, 2014

AFA joins other FOs at the 5th global Farmers’ Forum in calling for greater support to smallholder family farmers

fafo 2014 sophal

[AFA Chairperson Uon Sophal intervenes from the floor during the 5th session of the Farmers’ Forum]

More than 90 leaders of national and regional organizations representing hundreds of millions of smallholder farmers, fishers, pastoralists and rural producers globally, gathered at the headquarters of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) for the Fifth Global Meeting of the Farmers’ Forum on February 17-20, in conjunction with the 37th session of IFAD’s Governing Council held on February 19-20. Read the rest of this entry »

February 6th, 2014

MTCP2 SEA+China sub-regional steering committee to meet in Manila

The first Southeast Asia plus China Sub-regional Steering Committee (SRSC) will be held on February 11-12, 2014 at the 6th Floor Opal Conference Room, Millenia Suites, 8001 Saint Jose Escriva Drive, Ortigas Center, Pasig City, Philippines.  Read the rest of this entry »