KEY Messages

Family farming preserves traditional food products, while contributing to a balanced diet and safeguarding the world’s agro-biodiversity and sustainable use of natural resources.
Through the transformation of products, the generation of services and infrastructures, family farming creates real economic opportunities not only for the farmers of the territory but for the whole community.
Increasing family farmers’ access to infrastructure, technology, communication and tailored innovations is critical to the future of food systems and can attract youth to the sector. This positively affects rural-urban mobility, particularly for younger generations.
Family farming supports diversified food systems that promote sustainable integration between urban and rural areas. With innovative market solutions, urban dwellers can enjoy healthy, nutritious and safe food.
Youth is the future of family farming. Maintaining interest in farming as a profession is vital to future food security and agricultural development. Young farmers are the bridge between traditional, local knowledge and innovative ideas.
Family farming can make food systems more sustainable. Policies should support them in reducing food loss and in sustainably and efficiently managing natural resources.
Recognizing rural women as equal, as well as increasing their access to land and other productive resources, investment, loans, training and information will highly contribute to sustainable development.
By blending traditional knowledge with adequate technical know-how, family farming promotes food systems that are more resilient to climate change.
Family farming offers a unique opportunity to ensure food security, improve livelihoods, better manage natural resource, protect the environment and achieve sustainable development, particularly in rural areas.

INTRODUCING THE UN DECADE OF FAMILY FARMING

The 2014 International Year of Family Farming (IYFF) was successfully carried-out through worldwide engagement of UN agencies, governments, family farmers’ organizations, civil society, private sector, academia, research institutions and other actors who joined efforts and called for the development of an enabling policy environment to raise the profile of family farming worldwide. IYFF 2014 also resulted in the Family Farming Knowledge Platform, a comprehensive and interactive repository of policy, scientific, legal and statistical information on family farming that supports policy-making and exchange of experience at different levels.

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The 2014 International Year of Family Farming (IYFF) was successfully carried-out through worldwide engagement of UN agencies, governments, family farmers’ organizations, civil society, private sector, academia, research institutions and other actors who joined efforts and called for the development of an enabling policy environment to raise the profile of family farming worldwide. IYFF 2014 also resulted in the Family Farming Knowledge Platform, a comprehensive and interactive repository of policy, scientific, legal and statistical information on family farming that supports policy-making and exchange of experience at different levels.

Political commitment and positive collaboration among different stakeholders throughout IYFF resulted in the establishment of multi-actor platforms, including National Committees, for policy dialogue in several countries. These constitute an active legacy of the IYFF 2014. On 20 December 2017, after a campaign organized by civil society and supported by international organizations, governments and other stakeholders, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 2019-2028 as the UN Decade of Family Farming (UNDFF). The Decade will bring together the efforts of the international community on promoting conducive policies, programmes and initiatives to advance family farmers’ position to lead the economic, environmental and social transformational changes that affect rural areas and the entire planet.

The Decade will place women and men farmers and rural youth at the center of its strategy and action plan. This means that they will be agents of their own development, contributing to public policies, while knowledge and livelihoods of their communities will be recognized as  key  to agricultural development.

What is family farming?

Family farming includes all family-based agricultural activities. It is an integral part of rural development. Family farming is agricultural, forestry, fisheries, pastoral and aquaculture production managed and operated by a family and is predominantly reliant on family labour, including both women’s and men’s.

Both in developing and developed countries, family farming is the predominant form of agriculture in the food production sector. Family farming also has an important socio-economic, environmental and cultural role.

At national level, there are a number of factors that contribute to family farming to make it successful, including: an enabling policy environment; access to markets; access to and control over land and natural resources; access to tailored technology, communication and extension services; access to finance; socio-economic inclusion and resilience; availability of specialized education among others.

Family farming, therefore, has an important socio-economic, environmental and cultural role.

Family Farming Knowledge Platform

The Family Farming Knowledge Platform gathers digitized quality information on family farming from all over the world; including national laws and regulations, public policies, best practices, relevant data and statistics, researches, articles and publications.

The future of family farming in the context of the 2030 Agenda

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