February 22nd, 2014
AFA joins other FOs at the 5th global Farmers’ Forum in calling for greater support to smallholder family farmers
They called on IFAD and governments to provide greater support to smallholder family farmers around the world.
In observance of the 2014 International Year of Family Farming (IYFF), AFA, LVC, IFAD, FAO, GFAR and GFRAS sponsored side events on family farming, participatory governance of agricultural innovation and research for development as well as advisory services and extension , agro-ecological agriculture, as well as a special session on small-scale fisheries. The international year is an initiative of the United Nations General Assembly promoted by the World Rural Forum and supported by more than 360 civil society and farmers’ organizations, including AFA.
In a statement read before representatives of the IFAD Executive Board and Vice President by Esther Penunia of AFA and Elizabeth Mpofu of LVC on February 20 and before the IFAD Governing Council by Elizabeth Mpofu of LVC on February 21, farmer leaders attending the forum expressed their expectation that the International Year of Family Farming “has to bring concrete steps to improve the quality of life of hundreds of millions of smallholder family farmers, fisherfolk, livestock breeders and indigenous communities, being recognized as a pillar of local, sustainable development and a guarantee for food sovereignty and peace and stability in the world.”
They called on IFAD to work with them to improve the image of small-scale family farming, pastoralism and artisanal fisheries as the source of 90% of the food consumed in the world and obtain formal recognition of small-scale producers’ status and profession; and to strengthen the involvement of smallholder producers’ organizations at country level and in operational activities, the interaction between the Farmers’ Forum and IFAD governance, and their coordination in international fora/institutions.
They also called on governments to keep supporting IFAD as a key institution that channels resources to the smallholder food producing sector, implement at national level the decisions taken in the CFS and ICARRD, and involve producers’ organizations in the design and implementation of all IFAD programs and projects and in the IFAD Country Program Management Teams.
FOs who participated in the 5th FAFO included the delegations of Steering Committee members the Asian Farmers Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA), Coordination of Family Farms of MERCOSUR (COPROFAM), La Via Campesina (LVC), Pan African Farmers’ Organization (PAFO), Reseaux des Organisations Paysannes et Producteurs Agricoles de l’ Afrique de l’ Ouest(ROPPA), World Forum of Fish Harvesters and Fishworkers (WFF), and the World Forum for Fisher Peoples(WFFP).
A sharing session on the experiences and prospects for scaling up of three capacity building programs for FOs such as the Support to Farmers’ Organizations in Africa Programme (SFOAP), the Medium Term Cooperation Programme (MTCP) in Asia, and the Support to COPROFAM Program in Latin America was also held on February 17-18.