AFA, as member of the Civil Society Mechanism-Southeast Asia Working group (CSM-SEA WG), co-organized the Southeast Asia CSM Sub-regional Consultation: Development of Principles for Agricultural Investment, Voluntary Guidelines on Land, and other Priority Issues of CFS last May 23-25, 2013 in Jakarta, Indonesia. The consultation is one of the first of the regional CFS RAI multi-stakeholder consultation. The consultation shall also revisit other areas for priority action such as the follow through of the Voluntary Guidelines on Land at the national level, and discussions on CFS, Biofuels, and the Global Strategic Framework. The workshop was organized to:
1. Create a deeper understanding of the issues confronted in the sub-region on agricultural investments among CSOs and social movements in preparation for the 2013 rounds of consultation on the rai principles;
2. Identify strategies to effectively influence the implementation of the CFS sanctioned Voluntary Guidelines on the Governance of Land Tenure and other Natural Resources;
3. Discuss other issues identified as priority agenda by CFS for 2013 to include Climate Change and Biofuels, among others;
4. Strengthen the SEA Sub-regional CSM through clearer understanding of the CSM, its value added to on-going sub-regional CSO efforts on common agenda on food security and nutrition, and by strengthening the SEA CSM coordination structure and processes
On May 13, 2013, AFA also conducted its own internal learning session on RAI to prepare its farmer leaders as they engage in RAI consultation processes. AFA leaders noted that small-scale farmers should actively promote its vision of a sustainable and inclusive agricultural investment which recognizes the needs and contribution as well as fair benefits of small-scale farmers from any responsible agricultural investment. The primacy of access and control over productive resources (land, water, seeds, energy) by small-scale farmers was articulated by farmer leaders as key to any responsible agricultural investment. In addition, AFA farmer leaders articulated that the participation of small-scale farmers in developing the responsible agricultural investment (RAI) is not only due to the fact that its the small-scale farmers who are negatively affected by agricultural investments but more importantly because small-scale farmers are major investors in agriculture in the absence of needed appropriate support from both public and private sector.