The UN Decade of Family Farming is an “extraordinary opportunity” to advance public policies that allow the development of family farming and progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals, José Graziano da Silva, Director General, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), said in Lisbon on Tuesday.
“Family farming is crucial to sustainable development in many aspects, including the eradication of poverty, hunger and all forms of malnutrition, as well as in preserving natural resources and biodiversity,” Graziano da Silva said at the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) high-level meeting on family farming.
The FAO Director-General added that the commitment of governments, the allocation of resources, the development of cross-cutting public policies and social dialogue are the “basic ingredients” to successfully support family farming.
The essential points of “differentiated, effective and cross-cutting” public policies, Graziano da Silva noted, include guaranteeing family farmers’ access to natural resources and production means, particularly land and water, and the promotion of more inclusive markets through public procurement instruments for family farming products.
He also stressed countries should strengthen social protection instruments and offer public incentives to adapt to climate change, such as practices related to agro-ecology.
Graziano da Silva reiterated the importance of promoting the economic independence of rural women, and youth inclusion. To consolidate food and nutrition security it is also crucial, he added, to work on legislative and institutional frameworks.
In that regard, the FAO Director-General praised the CPLP for approving the Guidelines for the Promotion and Support of Family Farming and urged countries to put them into practice.
In 2012 the Portuguese-speaking countries took an important step to address the problem of hunger and malnutrition by adopting the CPLP Regional Strategy for Food and Nutrition Security and by creating a Council on Food Security and Nutrition.
UN Decade for Family Farming
The CPLP countries also played a key role in the negotiations that led to the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly approving the Decade of Family Farming (2019-2028). It aims to draw attention to the people who produce more than 80 per cent of the planet’s food and, paradoxically, are often the most vulnerable to hunger. The resolution establishes that FAO and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) will be responsible for implementing it.