Category Archives: Other Events

Event: Regional Dialogue on Women’s Inclusion in Landscape Management in Asia (October 7-9, 2014, Chiangmai, Thailand)


AFA Marketing and Enterprise Development Officer Victoria Serrato represented AFA in the regional dialogue organized by WOCAN and its partners. The dialogue focused on understanding the current debates on women inclusion/exclusion at the regional and international levels, building communities of practice and promoting women’s inclusion and gender equality in debates around the future role of women and the value of forests in relation to food, fuel and fiber and contributing to regional approaches of “The Forests Dialogue in Asia and International.” AFA shared the existing mechanisms on how women are included in the processes and the assessment of the role of women involvement in the sustainable enterprise and agriculture value chain. In addition, AFA was able to build new networks/linkages with other CSOs in Asia and beyond, and with community-based forest and management networks and learned from their experiences that can be used as input in developing tools and technical support in the implementation of the Forest and Farm Facility project.


Event: IYFF 2014 Worldwide Farmer Leaders’ Meeting (21-22 January 2014, Abu Dhabi)

AFA attended the meeting which was organised by the World Rural Forum and supported by Khalifa Fund for Entreprise Development and Agriterra. Farmers leaders coming from five continents met to agree on global claims needed to strengthen Family Farming worldwide. Thirty leaders of farmers’ organisations sought consensus on their main demands, which was to be transmitted to society and decision makers during the IYFF 2014. The event is one of the first activities held by CSOs attached to IYFF 2014 since its official launch in November 2013 in New York. PAKISAMA National Coordinator Raul Socrates Banzuela attended the meeting in behalf of AFA. (See Annex: Worldwide farmer leaders meet at Abu Dhabi sustainability week to agree to global demands to boost family farming)

AFA pushes for an FO-led MTCP2

AFA attended the second MTCP Steering Committee meeting for South Asia and Southeast Asia plus China last December 18, 2012 in Bangkok, Thailand. The meeting was convened to review the reports of the IFAD Supervision and Implementation Support (SIS) mission on the implementation experiences of MTCP (2009-2012) in the ten countries it covers. The review drew lessons learned, which were shared with IFAD as a major financer for possible scaling up.

Since June 2009, the Medium Term Cooperation Programme (MTCP) funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and coordinated at the regional level by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has been implemented in two sub-regions, namely Southeast Asia plus China and South Asia. The goal of the MTCP is to improve the livelihoods of rural poor producers, and its purpose is to enable small farmers’ organizations in the Asia and Pacific region and their networks to influence policies affecting their members. As an active member of the Global Farmers’ Forum, AFA, together with other regional/international FOs, pioneered the promotion of MTCP within IFAD.

IFAD initially expressed commitment to support MTCP phase 2. AFA expressed appreciation for IFAD’s effort to strengthen solidarity and cooperation among farmers. In line with this, AFA pushed for a more FO-led MTCP 2 as manifested by an institutional arrangement that allows FOs to manage and coordinate various activities not only at the national level but also at the sub-regional and regional levels.

CFS 39 adopts first version of Global Strategic Framework, approves way forward for Responsible Agri Investments

AFA participates in side event on women in agriculture

15 October 2012, Rome, Italy – Opening session of the 39th Session of the Committee on World Food Security CFS, FAO headquarters (Plenary Hall). ©FAO/Giulio Napolitano
The Committee on World Food Security (CFS) met for its 39th session last October 15-20, 2012 in Rome, Italy. During this meeting, the member governments endorsed the first version of the Global Strategic Framework for Food Security and Nutrition (GSF) and approved the terms of reference (TOR) for an inclusive consultation process within CFS to develop and ensure broad ownership of principles for responsible agricultural investments or RAI.  The Civil Society Mechanism for CFS ( CSM) actively engaged in the discussions during the entire meeting. AFA  Secretary General Esther Penunia participated in some meetings and in a side event on the role of women in agriculture organized by the World Farmers Organization.

The member governments of CFS  noted that the GSF will “provide an over-aching framework and a single reference document with practical guidance on core recommendations for food security and nutrition strategies, policies and actions validated by the wide ownership, participation and consultation afforded by the CFS.”

9 October 2012, Rome, Italy. World Farmers Organization – The Role of Women in Agriculture. CFS 39 – Side Event. FAO headquarters (Malaysia Room). ©FAO/Marco Salustro

The CSM found positive aspects in the GSF document, especially its reference to the right to food, to  smallholder farmers, agriculture and food workers, artisanal fisherfolk, pastoralists, indigenous people and the landless, women and youth, and recognition of agro-ecology, among others. Since the GSF is not a legally binding document, the challenge is for national governments to promote and make use of the GSF when formulating strategies, policies and programmes on food security, nutrition, agriculture, fisheries and forests.

In the approved TOR for RAI, the  tentative schedule of the consultation process for the set of principles on RAI starts in November 2012, with the final version scheduled to be approved during the CFS Plenary meeting in 2014. Regional multi-stakeholder consultations, e- consultations and consultations within existing regional meetings/fora is tentatively scheduled in 2013. While small farmers and their organizations are categorized under private and public investors, separate from CSO, the TOR nevertheless states that  the consultation process should be open and include all stakeholders, and that adequate participation of CSOs and the private sector (of all sizes) should be ensured.

19 October 2012, Rome, Italy. World Farmers Organization – The Role of Women in Agriculture. Ms. Estrella Penunia. CFS 39 – Side Event. FAO headquarters (Malaysia Room). ©FAO/Marco Salustro

During the side event entitled “Role of Women in Agriculture,” Ms. Penunia delivered the following intervention: “A woman farmer produces food. She cooks and puts food on the family dining table. She also markets her family’s farm produce. She takes care of the health of the family. She is the first teacher of her children. She gives birth. For a woman farmer, these roles are interrelated, interconnected. Thus if we want to ensure food security and nutrition, and want to reduce hunger and poverty in the world, we have to respond to the needs of the woman farmer down at the household level so that she can perform effectively and efficiently her many roles as a woman farmer.”

Click here for the first version of the Global Strategic Framework (GSF)

Click here for the Final Report of CFS 39, which includes the TOR for RA

Click here for the link to the CFS 39 documents

In the News (Philippines): Aquino asked: Probe NFA debt, raise subsidy for small farmers

(Achieving rice self-sufficiency is an important food security concern for rice-consuming Asian countries like the Philippines. But government corruption and import dependency undermine food sovereignty and hurt small farmers and consumers alike. Further, advocates warn that the rice industry faces the threats of deregulation and privatization. — Admin)

MANILA, Philippines—President Benigno Aquino III should investigate first the source of surge in debt of the National Food Authority under the Arroyo administration before considering any proposal that may only worsen the problem, according to a network of food security advocates.

In a news release, the Task Force Food Sovereignty on Thursday warned that Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima’s proposed solution to stop the NFA rice subsidy and to sell the staple at prices determined by the market may only increase hunger and poverty incidence in the country.

Read the full story at the Philippine Daily Inquirer

AFA Secretary General pleads for more support to women at Global Farmers’ Forum

AFA Secretary General Estrella Penunia is in Rome to attend the Third Global Farmers’ Forum from 15 and 16 February 2010 in conjunction with the Thirty-third session of IFAD’s Governing Council. The Forum will bring together more 70 farmers’ leaders from around the world, representing millions of smallholders and rural producers from all over the world who will interact with IFAD staff and selected partners. The Forum will be opened by the President of IFAD, Kanayo Nwanze. Its closing session, in the afternoon of Tuesday, 16 February, will be open to the members of IFAD’s governing bodies.

The following is an excerpt from IFAD’s social reporting blog:

Estrella Penunia, gave a passionate keynote address, in which she said: “Women farmers will not remain victims, we’re key solution providers, nothing about us without us”. She made a plea to move away from gender stereotypes and reminded the participants and audience that women should be at the forefront of the agriculture. She said: “If we earn more, we can spend more on food, education, health.” Estrella then continued to say “Women perform magic to put food on the table”.

In her keynote address, Estrella shared with the gathering that “in many developing countries women cannot owe land, yet we are the one who cultivate the land and take care of land.”

She continuted to say that “50-90% of work in farms is done by women and women ensure food security when crops fail.”

Estrella Penunia and other women leaders such as Elisabeth Atangana, Kati Partanen and all the women farmer leaders showed passion in their interventions. Elisabeth remarked: “If women don’t have economic power, they can’t do very much. Women need access to financial resources, and access to land”.

As Estrella said: “Women work with personal touch, we need to help more women farmer leaders to further unleash their potential”.

Read more at at the IFAD Social Reporting Blog

Views on FTAs: Human rights and the ASEAN-China FTA

Iman Prihandono , Sydney | Tue, 01/12/2010 9:29 AM | Opinion

Entering year 2010 is marked by the entry into a free trade area agreement between ASEAN and China, also known as the ASEAN-China FTA. Little attention was given to the possible impact of this FTA agreement to fulfill human rights in Indonesia. Some rights include the right to health and a healthy environment, work and earn a decent livelihood, the access to natural resources, and other social, economic, and cultural rights.

The ASEAN-China FTA was first made in 2001 at the ASEAN-China Summit, which formulated a Framework on Economic Cooperation and established an ASEAN-China Free Trade Area. Under this framework, establishing a free trade area within 10 years time was agreed.

The ASEAN-China FTA is not the first trade liberalization agreement entered by Indonesia. Indonesia’s participation in regional and international trade agreements began with the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) in 1992, and followed its accession as a WTO member, as well as other agreements such as the ASEAN-Japanese FTA, the Korea-ASEAN FTA and a bilateral agreement with Japan, the Indonesia-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (IJ-EPA). These agreements could possibly be added by the EU-ASEAN FTA. The same possibility may also happen with the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA, both agreements are now still in the negotiation process.

Critics said a number of trade agreements may potentially hinder the fulfillment of human rights.

Read the full article at “The Jakarta Post”

AFA participates in CSO forum parallel to the World Summit on Food Security 2009 (Nov 13-17)

AFA participated in an international conference entitled “People’s Food Sovereignty Now: Civil Society Organizations (CSO) Forum Parallel to World Summit on Food Security 2009″ held on November 13-17, in Rome, Italy.

AFA was represented by Ms. Sudaporn Sittisathapornkul (Khun Paew), Chairperson, AFA, and Adviser, SKP; Mr. Pote Chumsri (Khun Pote), Secretary General, SKP and translator; Mr. Jonjon Sarmiento (Jon), Youth Leader Organizer, PAKISAMA; Ms. Luisita Esmao (Ka Cita), Chairperson, LAKAMBINI; and Ms. Ma. Estrella Penunia (Esther), Secretary General, AFA.

The purpose of the CSO forum was to facilitate the participation of women, small-scale farmers and peasants, Indigenous Peoples, artisanal fisherfolks, food and rural workers, youth, the urban poor, environmental organizations, human rights defenders, NGO and other CSO working for food sovereignty and to ensure that their voices are heard in the World Food Summit; and to seek the commitment of governments and UN agencies to the people’s food sovereignty agenda as key alternative to eradicate hunger.

Click here for the CSO forum program:

Continue reading AFA participates in CSO forum parallel to the World Summit on Food Security 2009 (Nov 13-17)

AFA, other farmer groups, push for solutions to climate change crisis (Nov 13 & 17)

AFA participated in a side event entitled “Agriculture in Climate Change Negotiations – Identifying Farmers’ Solutions” during the CSO Forum Parallel to the World Summit on Food Security last November 13 and 17, 2009 in Rome, Italy. The workshop was attended by leaders of peasant and fisher organizations from around the world. It aimed to help farmers organizations define their engagement in the discussions on the major challenges for agriculture related to climate change during the FAO World Summit on Food Security last November 16-18, 2009 and the Copenhagen UN Conference on Climate Change last December 8 to 18, 2009.

Click here for the program:

AFA participates in international meeting on climate change vulnerabilities (Oct 21-22)

AFA Secretary General Esther Penunia represented AFA in the international meeting entitled “Territories, agriculture, fisheries and forestry sectors faced with climate change: A better understanding of vulnerabilities for a more efficient response” organized by FAO and UNDP last October 21-22, 2009 in Brent, Le Quartz.

Click here for the program:

Click here for the introductory note:

AFA participates in World Food Week events in Rome (Oct 12-16)

AFA Secretary General Esther Penunia represented AFA to the World Food Week events in Rome on October 12-16, 2009.

She was a panelist in one of the sessions of the High Level Experts Forum on “How to Feed the World in 2050” held at the FAO Headquarters in Rome last October 12-13. It was a talk show format.

Click here for the program:

She was also a panelist in the IFAD-sponsored workshop on organic agriculture last October 15.

Click here for the program:

And she was also a panelist in the CSO roundtable last October 16.

Click here for the program:

Click here for more information about the World Food Week:

AFA participates in WTO public forum (Sep 28-30)

AFA participated in a WTO public forum entitled “Global Problems, Global Solutions: Towards Better Global Governance” held last 28 30 September 28 30, 2009 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Click here for more information about the WTO Public Forum 2009:

AFA Secretary General Esther Penunia was a panellist for a session organized by IATP on September 29 at 2:15-4:15 PM entitled “A new global contract for food and agriculture: what can the WTO contribute?”

Click here for a blog article and audio recording of the session from AITP:

Continue reading AFA participates in WTO public forum (Sep 28-30)

AFA joins international agricultural seminar on markets

Looking at the necessity to regulate the agricultural markets in the light of the current food price volatility, farmers’ organizations and civil society organizations gather for a seminar on mutually supportive agricultural and trade policies in Brussels on May 4 and 5, 2009.

Represented by its Secretary General, AFA participates in this seminar entitled “The Need to Regulate Agricultural Markets: Analysis and Proposals in View of the Recent Food Price Crisis,” which is organised by a steering group of farmers organisation (Belgian Beet Growers, European Coordination Via Campesina, ROPPA from West Africa and FETRAF from Brasil) together with NGO in support of the process (CSA and Oxfam-Solidarity).

AFA Secretary General Esther Penunia will make a presentation on the second day, May 5, on the topic “Market access for farmers on local level: Reduction of the imbalance in trade relations, reinforcement of transport infrastructures…”

Continue reading AFA joins international agricultural seminar on markets

AFA holds roundtable discussion on marketing project


By Tsai Shu Hui, AFA
To help us understand better the marketing project in Asia and get comments and feedback on the initial concept, AFA called for a roundtable discussion last October 3, 2008.

Twelve (12) participants attended from different organizations such as, AsiaDHRRA, PAKISAMA and AFA secretariat. The RTD was held at the AsiaDHRRA Office, in Quezon City, Philippines.

Farmer leaders from PAKISAMA gave useful ideas on the marketing proposal which will be drafted by AFA. (Photo by Tsai Shu Hui, AFA)


AFA participates in 2008 Global Farmers’ Forum

Representatives of the Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA) joined around 80 farmer leaders from around the world for the second global meeting of the Farmers’ Forum that took place on February 11-12, 2008 in conjunction with the thirty-first session of International Fund for Agricultural Development’s (IFAD) Governing Council.

(In the photo: AFA Secretary General Esther Penunia reads the synthesis of deliberations during the IFAD governing council meeting.)

Continue reading AFA participates in 2008 Global Farmers’ Forum

AFA to join global farmers’ forum

Leaders of the Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA) will join around 80 other farmer leaders from around the world for the second global meeting of the Farmers’ Forum that will take place on February 11-12, 2008 in conjunction with the thirty-first session of International Fund for Agricultural Development’s (IFAD) Governing Council.

Continue reading AFA to join global farmers’ forum

AFA participates in CSO-organized activities on Climate Change

AFA, through its Indonesia member Aliansi Petani Indonesia or API, participated in activities organized by civil society organizations (CSOs) parallel to the conferences of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC or FCCC), such as the thirteenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 13) and the third session of the meeting of the parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 3), in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia last December 3-14, 2007. API has been invited by some CSOs who organized the parallel activities to UNFCC.

Continue reading AFA participates in CSO-organized activities on Climate Change

Bali talks: NGOs from North and South challenge catastrophic climate and ecosystems impacts of large-scale biofuel production

Press release – for immediate release
5th December 2007

Joint press release by World Rainforest Movement, Watch Indonesia, Walhi Jambi, Grupo de Reflexion Rural, Biofuelwatch and African Biodiversity Network

Continue reading Bali talks: NGOs from North and South challenge catastrophic climate and ecosystems impacts of large-scale biofuel production