UN Decade of Family Farming launches in Rome with support from forest and farm producer organizations

©FAO/Ogden Rodas

29 May 2019, Rome – The UN Decade of Family Farming, which aims to bring together the international community to raise awareness of the important contributions of family farming to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), was launched today at FAO headquarters in Rome.

The Forest and Farm Facility, a global partnership hosted by FAO that strengthens forest and farm producer organizations by providing direct funding and enhancing local capacities, played a key role in the development of the UN Decade by helping to convene an exchange between 100 leaders of forest and farm producer organizations at the global conference of the World Rural Forum in Bilbao, Spain earlier this year.

Conference participants provided specific input into the design of a strategic global action plan for the UN Decade, including references to the importance of forests and trees for family farming and to the need to strengthen the capacity of family farmers’ organizations to generate knowledge, represent farmers and provide inclusive services in both urban and rural areas.

“The UN Decade of Family Farming provides a useful mechanism for countries to highlight the links between forests, farms and other elements of the landscape by focusing attention on the challenges faced by family farmers, who depend on and help sustain forests,” said Forest and Farm Facility Manager Jeffrey Campbell. “National strategies will be developed at the country level, and national forestry departments are encouraged to engage actively in this process”.

Family farms located in or near forests are part of an integrated system. Together forests and family farms conserve biological diversity, deliver ecosystem and cultural services, and enhance local economies and the well-being of indigenous peoples, local forest communities, and smallholders living in rural landscapes.

Forests are essential to the livelihood strategies and natural resource management systems of smallholders and family farmers across the globe and provide important nutritional supplements vital to food security. For example, much of the daily diet of rural families comes directly from forests, including fruits, tubers, vines, mushrooms and leafy legumes, as well as insects and animals.

Concrete experience has shown that when farmers get organized and strengthen their collaboration, they achieve better results, playing key roles in climate resilience, forest and landscape restoration, poverty reduction, inclusive value chains, rural development, gender equity and the achievement of many of the SDGs.

“By organizing into forest and farm producer organizations, family farmers can influence policy and gain greater access to markets,” said Campbell.

The Forest and Farm Facility Phase II

The Forest and Farm Facility is a global partnership between FAO, the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and AgriCord that assists Forest and Farm Producers’ Organizations (FFPOs) through an inclusive mechanism that provides direct funding and enhances their local capacities.

Following the success of the first phase of the Forest and Farm Facility, which was instrumental in assisting governments and supporting 947 forest and farm producers’ organizations, a second phase was launched involving nine core countries, plus a further seven, in addition to supporting regional and global apex organizations and federations.

The Forest and Farm Facility has a proven high-delivery capacity, and has been cited nine times for positive results by the FAO 2018 Multilateral Organization Performance Assessment Network (MOPAN).

last updated:  Wednesday, May 29, 2019