The Role of Family Farming in Meeting the Food Security Challenge

Today marks the launch of the International Year of Family Farming (IYFF-2014) at the United Nations headquarters in New York, from 3 to 5 pm EST. After a lengthy campaign that gained the support of 360 organisations on five continents, the 66th United Nations General Assembly officially declared 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming.

The World Rural Forum, a member of the International Land Coalition (ILC), is coordinating the IYFF-2014 Civil Society programme, highlighting the need to agree on public policies that promote the development of family farming and recognise the right of nations to produce the majority of their food. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) was invited by the UN General Assembly to facilitate its implementation.

In Antigua, Guatemala in April of this year, the Assembly of Members of the ILC declared its full support for the IYFF-2014 in the Antigua Declaration. ILC’s diverse membership, which brings together grassroots organisations, networks fighting for human rights and the rights of women and farmers’ organisations, global research institutions and multilateral agencies, resolved unanimously to encourage the empowerment of small-scale producers and family farmers through stronger organisations, especially of women.

“ILC Members universally agree that a sustainable future can only be achieved if there is secure and equitable access to and control over land that protects the interests of the world’s family farmers, which already produce 80 per cent of the food consumed in the developing world, despite the incredible number of challenges they face”, said Ms Annalisa Mauro, ILC Secretariat’s Network Coordinator. “Some of these challenges are directly related to land tenure and land governance.”

Small-scale food producers and family farmers are at the forefront of the fight to eradicate hunger. Under the right conditions, their contributions can be increased in scale and transform agricultural systems throughout the world. Addressing landlessness and securing the land rights of people on the verge of becoming landlessness is a fundamental initial step.

As we approach 2014, the ILC will work with its members to celebrate the role of family farmers and the critical importance of securing their land rights for achieving a food-secure future.

Post published in: Africa News

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