AFA calls for greater support for small scale family farmers for food security, nutrition and poverty eradication at FAORAP’s World Food Day celebration


“We all know that we will need a doctor once in a while, a lawyer hopefully never or just once, but a farmer we will need three times a day. No farmer, no food. And food is a basic right. Thus, for food security and nutrition, for eradicating hunger and poverty, for a sustainable, ecological and resilient agriculture, investments for and with small-scale family farmers in the region through enabling policies and programs are definitely an imperative.” Continue reading

AFA calls for communication with, by and for family farmers at the XIII UN roundtable on ComDev


“The challenge to the international community and to decision makers at all levels of society is to work with family farmers, through their farmers organizations… Communication for Development is key to enable social inclusion and put forward our own development agenda.”

This was the message delivered by AFA Secretary General and FAO Special Ambassador for the IYFF in Asia Pacific Esther Penunia in a keynote address at the XIII United Nations Inter-Agency Round Table on Communication for Development with the theme “Enabling social inclusion to support food and nutrition security, resilient rural livelihoods and family farming” last September 16 at the FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy. Continue reading

Asia Pacific farmer organizations celebrate gains of cooperation program in Hanoi meeting

som bandari at mtcp2 rsc

(AFA Vice Chairperson and staff and AFFM president participated in the meeting. The consortium of AFA and La Via Campesina is regional implementing agency of MTCP2.)

Hanoi, Vietnam, 20 October 204 – Farmer organizations implementing the Medium Term Cooperation Program Phase Two (MTCP2) in Asia and the Pacific gather at the Saigon Hotel in Hanoi, Vietnam on October 20-22 to celebrate gains in the first year of implementation of a trailblazing program to strengthen their capacities to engage in policy dialogues and deliver services to their members, discuss some issues and prepare future plans of action.

Read more from the MTCP2 website

AFA Event: First Regional Steering Committee meeting of MTCP2 (20-22 October 2014, Hanoi)

AFA joined other farmer organizations implementing the Medium Term Cooperation Program Phase Two (MTCP2) in Asia and the Pacific in celebrating gains in the first year of implementation of a trailblazing program to strengthen their capacities to engage in policy dialogues and deliver services to their members, discuss some issues and prepare future plans of action. (See Annex: Asia Pacific farmer organizations celebrate gains of cooperation program in Hanoi meeting)

AFA Event: CFS Side Event on Forests and Family Farming for food Security and Nutrition (16 October 2014, Rome)

Committee on Food Security (CFS) Side event on Forests and Family Farming for food Security and Nutrition (16 October 2014, Rome)

AFA co-organized a side event with FAO Forestry Department and Forest and Farm Facility together with the Indigenous Partnership for Agro-biodiversity and Food Sovereignty. AFA was represented by Mr. Lyam Bahadur Darjee, a farmer leader and Secretary-General of National Land Rights Forum (NLRF), who shared his experience and reflections of a Nepali Farmer on Agro-Forestry Based Farming for Food and Nutrition Security. The discussion during the side event highlighted the interconnectedness of forests and farms at the landscape level as well as the important role of forests and trees in family farming and food security through the direct provision of nutritious food and by maintaining sustainable agriculture systems for ensuring sustainable livelihoods.

Lyam Bahadur Darji – Agro-Forestry Based Farming for Food and Nutrition Security – Powerpoint Presentation 
Forest and Family Farming for Food Security and Nutrition – Proceedings

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.


In the News: ASEAN ministers should protect interests of smallholder farmers

From September 23 to 25, ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF) will hold their annual meeting in Nay Pyi Taw. Prior to this meeting, the Food Security Working Group (FSWG), a network of national and international NGO’s working on food security in Myanmar, organised a regional civil society dialogue, during which civil society representatives from a range of ASEAN countries discussed and formulated recommendations for their agriculture ministers. Continue reading

AFA to attend UN inter-agency roundtable

AFA will be in Rome on September 16-18 for the XIII UN  Inter agency RT on Communications for Development on the theme “Mainstreaming Communication for Development in Policies and Programs Enabling Social Inclusion to support food and nutrition security , resilient livelihoods and family farming.” AFA Secretary General Esther Penunia will, who is also the IYFF Ambassador for Asia Pacific, will deliver a keynote address during the event.

AFA to attend international symposium on agroecology

AFA will participate in the “International Symposium on Agroecology for Food Security and Nutrition” that will be held at FAO Headquarters in Rome on 18th and 19th September 2014.
In an information note sent to stakeholders, FAO states:
“Agroecology is a key approach to move towards more sustainable food systems, especially regarding ecosystem functioning and resource efficiency. Agroecology is being included in a number of national policies and received strong multi-disciplinary support particularly from farmers’ organizations and grass-root civil society organizations around the world.  Agroecology supports food production and offers an alternative to high-input strategies and the science and field practices adopted by farmers and producers all over the world have seen uptake in the past decade. But there is a need to further enhance a global uptake.”
Additional information about the Symposium, including a draft agenda for the event, can be found on this website:

IYFF 2014: Choose the best photos of family farming! (One month to go!)

The international photo competition Family Farming: Feeding the world, caring for the earth visualizes how family farmers around the world produce healthy and nutritious food while they respect the environment and biodiversity.

In the first months of 2014, over 1300 photos were received from all continents. They are a great sample of the strength, potential and challenges of multifunctional family farmers. Many thanks to all participants. An international jury consisting of farmer leaders and renowned artists has made a pre-selection of these photos. Now it is time for you to choose! Continue reading

FAO assures FO participation in GAFSP project in Bangladesh

Farmer organizations in Bangladesh are participating in the capacity building activities of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) under the Technical Assistance (TA) component of the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) project of Bangladesh.

Md. Mahmud Hossain, National Team Leader of IAPP-TA in Bangladesh said that the Integrated Agricultural Productivity Project (IAPP) already has two farmer representative members in the Project Steering Committee from two regions of the project area and they attend the meetings regularly.

“We included them in our capacity building initiative so they can participate more efficiently in the PSC meeting,” Hossain emphasized.

According to Hossain, the farmer representatives who sit in the steering committee of IAPP are: (1) Md. Wahedul Islam, President, Ghonirampur Livelihood Field School in Manirampur, Taraganj, Rangpur; and, (2) Md. Fazlul Haq, President, Munda Pasha Livelihood Field School in Munda Pasha, Uzirpur, Barisal

Click here for more information about the GAFSP Asian CSO representative

AFA discusses cooperation projects with CSA

AFA meeting with CSAMarek Poznanski of Collectif Stratégies Alimentaires (CSA), a Brussels-based development NGO specialized in agricultural and food policy issues, as well as an agri-agency member of Agricord, is meeting with the Asian Farmers’ Association this week in order to discuss some cooperation projects for farmers and farmer organizations in the region. One is on institutional buying, also known as public procurement, while another is on knowledge sharing and innovation on sustainable agro-enterprises.

AFA to attend consultation on family farming in India

AFA will join the upcoming Asia Pacific Regional Consultation on The Role of Family Farming in the 21st Century: Achieving the Zero Hunger Challenge by 2025,” to be held Aug 7-10, 2014 at Chennai, India. The consultation is also a follow-up meeting of the November 2013 meeting on IYFF held in Bangkok after the FAO CSO partnership strategy meeting, which AFA also attended.

Phil FOs to organize organic rice enterprise summit

AFA member PAKISAMA will organize the “Organic Rice Enterprise Summit” on August 14-16, 2014 at the Boso Boso Highlands Resort and Convention Center in Antipolo City.  The goal of the summit is to strengthen the network of the nine (9) FO-members of PAKISAMA engaged in organic rice enterprise particularly determining the possibility of consolidated marketing. Jane U. Zamar, PAKISAMA Business DevelopmentServices (BDS) Manager is overall coordinator of the summit.

FOs call for more open dialogue, representation and participation with government on GAFSP at country level

UWUA presentation on GAFSPAs support organization for the GAFSP CSO Asia representative, the Asian Farmers’ Association (AFA) held a regional consultation about GAFSP and other agriculture -related programs among its members and partners last May 8, 2014 in Bali, Indonesia. The consultation was held during the 6th AFA General Assembly with the theme “Seizing the Momentum to Get Concrete Gains for Small Scale Farmers this IYFF,” which was attended by 30 men and 10 women from 17 national farmer organizations in 13 countries, as well as partners and supporters from Agriterra, Collectif Stratégies Alimentaires (CSA), AsiaDHRRA, World Rural Forum (WRF), Food and Agriculture Organization Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (FAORAP), Asia Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutes (APAARI), Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR), International Land Coalition (ILC) Asia and Konsorsium Pembaruan Agraria (KPA). Continue reading

Empowering small scale women and men farmers in Asia