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


“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.”

This was part of the keynote speech delivered by AFA Secretary General Esther Penunia during the World Food Day Regional Observance held at FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok, Thailand last October 15.

“We know that many policies and programs may take more than a year to discuss, debate, enact and implement. Though we have wished that for this year, each government can enact or implement well at least one important policy or program, so that we can really feel that this is our year – and that we are being specially cared for and treated well. We still have two and a half months to lobby for that. We hope you can help us liaise with your country offices on this. But we know that this year will just be a beginning. As we appreciate the role of family farmers we can look more into the construction of a more enabling policy environment that truly invests in family farmers. We hope we can enter into effective policy dialogues” Penunia also said in the conclusion of her speech.

In recognition of the importance of small-holder/family farmers, five farmers from across Asia-Pacific received awards for a series of innovative food production practices. The five – three men and two women – came from China, India, Myanmar, New Zealand and Thailand. The FAO awards were presented to the farmers by the Princess as Guest of Honour.

The 2014 World Food Day theme – Family Farming: “Feeding the world, caring for the earth” – has been chosen to raise the profile of family farming and smallholder farmers. It focuses world attention on the significant role of family farming in eradicating hunger and poverty, providing food security and nutrition, improving livelihoods, managing natural resources, protecting the environment, and achieving sustainable development, in particular in rural areas.

The UN General Assembly has designated 2014 “International Year of Family Farming.” This is a strong signal that the international community recognizes the important contribution of family farmers to world food security.

Click here for the keynote speech of Esther Penunia

Click here for FAORAP’s news about the event

Click here for more information on FAO’s 2014 WFD celebration

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