Civil society demands transformation of food systems in IYFF
In a series of regional meetings in the first half of 2014, farmer organisations, pastoralists, fisherfolk, indigenous peoples, NGOs and workers unions are putting forward concrete demands to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).
Small scale family farmers play a crucial role in food production, rural employment and biodiversity maintenance. However, as pointed out by the organizations, trade liberalisation, privatisation and deregulation have worked to the benefit of transnational corporations while reducing the capacity of countries and peoples to ensure the right to food for everyone.
These policies have worsened hunger, poverty and malnutrition. They also contributed to rural-urban migration and led to the displacement of small scale family farmers from their land, often in violation of their human rights. All this stands in stark contrast with the celebration of the 2014 International Year of Family Farming (IYFF).
To reverse this situation, civil society calls upon FAO and governments to ensure that family farmers, many of whom are women, have access to land, water and genetic resources. On the issue of food losses and food waste, civil society recommends the promotion of local food systems based on agroecological production methods. Another key demand is the adoption of coherent policies that enable young people to enter in farming, and the removal of support to industrial agricultural businesses.
The organisations also emphasise that in the IYFF, real progress for family farmers has to include the implementation by governments of the Right to Food Guidelines as well as the Voluntary Guidelines on Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests.
The civil society proposals were presented at the 2014 Regional Conferences of FAO, which is the implementing agency for the International Year of Family Farming.
- Asia-Pacific CSO Statement, 15 March 2014
- Africa CSO statement, 27 March 2014
- Europe and Central Asia CSO statement, 30 March 2014
- CSO statement from Latin America and the Caribbean (May)