AFA supports Philippine coconut farmers’ march for justice

coconut farmes' march for justice

The Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA) supports the march of coconut farmers in the Philippines under the coalition “KILUS Magniniyog” in order to campaign for the establishment of a 71 billion-peso coconut farmers’ trust fund.

Composed of 10 national farmers’ federations in the Philippines, the coalition was formed on July 1-2, 2014 in order to aggregate and represent the interest of the coconut farmers who have suffered a grave injustice for several decades.

The march started on September 21, 2014 and will cover 1,750 kilometers over 71 days from Davao City south of the Philippines to the President’s office in Malacanang in Manila in the north.

The coco levy fund was collected from coconut farmers over a nine-year period (1973-1982) under the Marcos dictatorship, purportedly for the development of the coconut industry.

The coconut farmers, estimated at 3.5 million, are among the poorest in the country, earning only 18,000 thousand pesos per year, mostly as wages from farm work as many of them are landless.

AFA member PAKISAMA is one of the farmer organizations in the KILUS Magniniyog coalition and its farmer leaders are among those who are marching.

We call on our partners to support the farmers in their march for justice.

Solidarity statements can be sent to the coconut farmers through afa@asianfarmers.org and/or pakisama.natl@yahoo.com.

Click here for photos of the marchers as they arrive in Quezon City.

For more information, visit:

https://www.facebook.com/KilusMagniniyog

https://twitter.com/KilusMagniniyog

To sign the online petition addressed to the President, visit:

https://www.change.org/p/president-benigno-simeon-c-aquino-iii-sign-an-executive-order-creating-a-coconut-farmers-trust-fund-and-certify-as-urgent-the-initiative-bill-version-filed-in-both-houses-of-congress

IYFF celebrated during 4th Bogor Organic Fair

IMG_20141114_093230Bogor, Jakarta – The Indonesian Organic Alliance or Aliansi Organis Indonesia (AOI), together with the Indonesian Peasant Alliance or Alliansi Petani Indonesia (API), in cooperation with the city government of Bogor, launched the 4th Bogor Organic Fair (BOF) and IYFF celebration last November 14.

The organic fair is a yearly event started in 2011, which aims at generating public awareness on the benefit of organic products. For 2014, the International Year of Family Farming (IYFF), API took the opportunity to integrate the celebration of IYFF with the annual Bogor Organic Fair.

Various organic farmer producers including the members of AOI, API and its partner Bina Desa, as well as other CSOs, showcased their organic products in Sempur, a public park in the center of Bogor City. The opening ceremony was graced by IFOAM president Mr. Andrew Leu. API Secretary General Mr. Nuruddin, AOI president Mr. Wahyudi and Bogor Vice City Mayor Engr. Usmar Hariman.

Mr. Nuruddin highlighted the situation of family farming in Indonesia and encouraged the government to support small-scale farmers to enhance their production of local and organic products. Mr. Leu pointed out that with the big population in Indonesia, there is a huge potential demand for organic products, which serves as a good opportunity for farmers to shift to organic farming.

At the end of the first day of the fair, the women farmers of API were happy because they were able to sell their products and meet new contacts who are interested to buy their products.

AFA emphasizes small scale farmers’ role in OECD-ASEAN conference on food security

Bogor, Indonesia – AFA attended the regional conference on policies for food security between OECD and ASEAN held last November 11-12, 2014 at Hotel Salak, Bogor, Indonesia. AFA was represented by its policy advocacy officer, Ms. Lany V. Rebagay. The main objective of the conference was to provide a venue for exchange of policy experiences between OECD, ASEAN countries and international organizations in the region, with a special focus on food security. The conference also hoped to identify knowledge gaps and issues, on which the OECD could make a contribution in the region, and facilitate the exchange with regional partners.

During the conference, the newly endorsed ASEAN Integrated Framework for Food Security-Strategic Plan for Action for Food Security 2015-2020 (AIFS-SPA-FS) was presented. Ms. Rebagay acknowledged the goals of AIFS-SPA-FS which include the improvement of livelihood of small-scale farmers. She further reminded the delegates that small-scale farmers in the ASEAN region have been recognized as one of the key main investors in agriculture and should therefore be considered as key stakeholders in any discussions on food security. She added that ASEAN member states’ efforts like the provision of a multi-quality price policy or differentiated purchase price for quality rice in Indonesia should be implemented to encourage small-scale farmers to continue producing healthy and organic rice which is good both for the consumers and the environment as well.

The differentiated purchase price policy was recently approved based on strong advocacy by CSOs particularly the organized small-scale farmers including AFA’s member Aliansi Petani Indonesia (API) together with other farmers group like Serikat Petani Indonesia (SPI) and WAMTI  composing the Farmers Forum / platform supported by the Medium Term Cooperation Program Phase 2 (MTCP2) funded by IFAD and SDC.

Ms. Rebagay also reiterated the need for support for community-based food reserves system including rice and seed banks as important initiatives to ensure food self-sufficiency and ensure resilience amidst climate change. In addition, the need to encourage young farmers to engage in sustainable farming was also emphasized particularly as one important sustainability factor for ensuring availability of nutritious food for all.

Click here to download the Conference Agenda

Click here to visit the Conference Website

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

(Source: http://www.fao.org/)

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

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

Source: http://c4d.undg.org/

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

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

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: http://www.fao.org/agriculture/crops/thematic-sitemap/theme/spi/international-symposium/en/

Empowering small scale women and men farmers in Asia