The Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA), a regional alliance of nine national farmers’ organizations in Southeast and East Asia, representing ten million small-scale men and women farmers, supports the campaign to declare an International Year of Family Farming.
The World Rural Forum (WRF), an international platform for meeting, analysing and observing rural development, has launched this worldwide campaign to give a decisive boost to the development of family farms.
In its letter of support addressed to the FAO, AFA said that:
“Family farming is much more than an agrarian economic model: it is the basis of sustainable food production, of environmental management of land and its biodiversity, the fountain of important cultural dimensions of each people and, all things considered, a fundamental pillar of the integral development of all nations.
“Deplorably, the existing world reality is marked by the existence of extensive rural poverty, extreme in many cases, which is suffered by more than 900 million rural inhabitants on the different continents. In Asia, the poorest people are those small-scale farmers, fishers and indigenous peoples who depend on agriculture for their livelihoods.”
The FAO has recently emphasized that the “confrontation because of the lack of food and the consequent rise in international prices require strategies such as the strengthening of family agriculture”.
The celebration of an International Year dedicated to family farming would create a unique opportunity to develop means, which would assure in the medium and long term, a prosperous and sustainable family agriculture development and, as a result, in the rural areas on all the continents, especially, in the developing countries.