Bangkok, Thailand – The Asian Farmers’ Association (AFA), together with other CSOs, called for a more institutionalized mechanism for participation of small-scale farmers in key decision-making processes in ASEAN, particularly on issues of food security/sovereignty, agricultural trade, climate change, etc, through the creation of an ASEAN Small-scale Farmers’/ Producers’ Council.
The groups made the call during the preparatory forum for the 2nd ASEAN Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF)-Private-Public Dialogue (PPD) organized by the ASEAN-USAID MARKET project last September 6-7, 2012 at Athenee Plaza in Bangkok, Thailand.
The forum intended to provide a venue for various stakeholders including farmers and fishers organizations, non-government organizations, as well as regional and international agribusiness to exchange views and identify common agenda along three major concerns, namely, agricultural productivity, agricultural credit and role of women in agriculture.
AFA delegates actively pushed for access and control over productive resources (land, water, seeds, energy) as imperative for increasing agricultural productivity alongside the promotion of sustainable agricultural farming practices and access to affordable credit with appropriate crop insurance coverage for both women and men small-scale farmers.
AFA also emphasized the need for an enabling legal environment for organizing and strengthening farmers’ association/cooperative in recognition of the crucial role of farmers’ associations and cooperatives in facilitating collective marketing.