Launch of the International Year of Family Farming 2014
Families share everything. They share their living space and their mealtimes. They share their aspirations, dreams, successes and failures. Throughout the developed and developing world, farming families reap the benefits of sharing the workload too.
In fact, with over 500 million family farms in the world, this is the predominant form of agriculture, and it is inextricably linked to world food security.
Ideally, men and women should have the access and support they need to manage and carry out the rural activities of food production, with their children taking on age-appropriate tasks after school and playtime.
As a farming family, they play a central role in ensuring environmental sustainability and the preservation of biodiversity. They are embedded in territorial networks and local cultures, and boost the local economy by spending their income mostly within local and regional markets.
Yet more than 70% of the food insecure population is made up of family farmers in rural areas of Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Near East. They cannot reach their full production potential because they lack the access to natural resources, credit, policies and technologies they need.
And that's why 2014 has been declared the International Year of Family Farming. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations was invited to facilitate its implementation, in collaboration with Governments, International Development Agencies, farmers' organizations and other relevant organizations of the United Nations system as well as non-governmental organizations.Because with the right agricultural, environmental and social policies, family farming can make an important contribution to the eradication of hunger and poverty, while protecting the environment and achieving sustainable development.