FAO and the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters launch regional virtual consultations

Moving towards concerted action on communication, community media and information and communication technologies (ICTs) for family farming

There is a growing global consensus brewing on the importance of smallholder and family farmers in alleviating rural poverty and ensuring food security for all, in feeding the world and caring for the earth.  Now, more than ever, communication and community media are drivers for social change in rural areas, facilitating access to timely information for improved agricultural production and above all, encouraging farmer participation in the rural development process.  

To help propel family farmers’ voices forward, FAO and the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) are hosting a series of regional virtual consultations open to development professionals, community media practitioners, rural development agencies and the private sector alike.  The participatory discussions opened on 25 August 2014, and will continue into September, focusing on “Communication for Development, community media and ICTs for family farming and rural development’’.

Participants are invited to share their regional perspectives, using the platforms Onda Rural in Latin America, YenKasa Africa and ComDev Asia. The inputs collected will then inform the Forum on Communication for Development & Community Media for Family Farming (FCCM), to be held in the framework of the International Year of Family Farming (IYFF) in Rome, Italy from 23-24 October 2014.  The FCCM will identify opportunities, policy options and strategic initiatives to promote rural communication services in support of family farming and rural development.

The aim of the virtual consultations is to highlight regionally relevant contributions of ComDev, community media and ICTs to family farming, to identify main trends, challenges and priorities for rural communication services in support of family farming, as well as to discuss common approaches to promoting communication for rural development.  The consultations’ guiding questions have been organized around compelling themes such as key family farming issues requiring communication as well as identifying priority areas of action for ComDev in the rural sector, among others. 

As a result of this consultative process, a compilation on needs and opportunities regarding the integration of rural communication services in rural development and regional family farming policies will be prepared and presented at the FCCM.  In addition, a global consultation on the topic will be launched on the E-agriculture platform to discuss and complement the outcomes of the regional consultations. 

For more information, please contact: comdev@fao.org / secretariat@si.amarc.org

Information will also be shared via Twitter: @FAOcomdev and @AMARCnews