Published November 5th, 2010
By Esther Penunia
AFA Secretary General
6 October 2010
Good afternoon to all of you. Am happy to be with you, to share our thoughts for the proposed next phase of the Farmers Fighting Poverty or FFP.
The Asian Farmers Association or AFA is a regional alliance formed in 2002. Currently, we have ten national FOs in eight countries in Asia, representing 10 million small scale women and men farmers, fishers and indigenous peoples. AgriCord, through Agriterra, is a consistent significant partner in our growth and development and in our fight against poverty.
Why are many of us still poor? First, many of us do not own the small lands we till. Thus we cannot decide on what, how, where to market our produce. We cannot plan long term investments on land. Second: we lack access to credit, technology, extension, roads, infrastructure, pre and post harvest facilities. Third, we lack access and control of our markets. It is the buyer who decides on the prices of our produce, we don’t have good roads, we don’t know who gives the higher price, and we don’t know how to add value to our products. Fourth, we are not the decision-makers, we are weak in terms of influencing our government’s policies and programs because we lack the numbers, the confidence to speak, the sharpness of our arguments.