Update from the IYFF National Committees

The broad network of nearly 60 National Committees, which brings together a wide range of over 630 organizations, continues to raise awareness on family farming among the general public and policy makers alike.

Various initiatives and events have taken place across the globe throughout September to ensure a better future for family farmers around the world.

In the Philippines, a long march was organized by Kilus Magniniyog, a coalition of coconut producer organizations. The aim of the march is to urge authorities to pass the ‘coco bill' which would result in the creation of a committee of small-scale coconut producers who would manage a monetary fund financed by the tax revenue from the coconut industry.

On 21 September, 71 coconut producers set out to walk the 1772 kilometres from Davao to the capital Manila, which they intend to reach on 26 November, in time to attend a major thematic meeting on family farming in the Philippines.

Government and international institutions as well as civil society organizations forming part of the National Committee in the Philippines will be attending this event. The meeting will provide an opportunity to discuss lessons learnt during the 2014 International Year of Family Farming, including the challenges family farmers face such as access to markets and the necessary National political commitments required.

On their march, the 71 coconut producers will cross the country’s 36 coconut-producing provinces and will be joined and supported by many other producers.

France’s young farmers’ organization, Jeunes Agriculteurs, and Agriculteurs français et développement international (AFDI), both of which are on the French National Committee, organized an international summit of young farmers in Bordeaux on 4 September.

The event was attended by approximately 100 people, including more than 30 young farming leaders from five continents. During this event, round table discussions, made up of young farmers, took place on a variety of topics including social and political recognition of farming as an occupation, the establishment of young people as farmers and the role of farming in territorial development.

In the presence of the French Minister for Agriculture, Food Industry and Forestry, Mr Stéphane Le Foll, those attending signed a manifesto setting out a list of demands relating to public policies to facilitate the establishment of young farmers' access to land and improved incomes for family farms.

The World Rural Forum presented a holistic view of IYFF-2014 at the summit, with a special focus on Abu Dhabi Declaration, which underlines the public policies needs for young farmers.

In Paraguay, the National Committee is continuing to set up departmental family farming committees. So far, six have been put in place to promote awareness and policy activities throughout the country. The committees set up are in the departments of San Pedro, Cordillera and Concepción and more recently Paraguarí, Caazapá and Misiones.

Meanwhile, in Colombia, IYFF 2014 is having concrete results through resolution 300 (2014) which sets out the conditions for access to microcredit included in the family farming programme put in place by the Colombian government. The programme was launched in Cartagena where five regional agreements (regions of Antioquia, Bolívar, Santander, Tolima and Valle del Cauca) were presented and signed by the authorities.

Finally, as part of International Year of Family Farming 2014, the Uganda National Committee is organizing the East African Regional Consultation on the Coherence of World Food and Nutrition Policies in Kampala from 23-25 September. This major event is financed by FAO and will be attended by local and regional farming organizations and by the representative of the Kenya National Committee. The consultation provides an ideal opportunity to exchange ideas on various matters including the need to transform family farms in order to improve efficiency and profitability.

Information provided by the World Rural Forum and IYFF-2014 National Committees

Family Farming Campaign