Series of Global Webinars on Family Farming launched

©FAO Ecuador27 May 2020, Rome - The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is launching today the first of a “Series of Global Webinars: Towards Resilient Family Farming - Solutions from producer organizations”.The virtual meeting is an opportunity to learn about the main impacts of COVID-19 on regional producer organizations and family farms, and to exchange good practices, and solutions to the health crisis caused by COVID-19.

Regional organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean are sharing experiences, particularly on financing and savings mechanisms that have helped producer organizations respond to the pandemic. The webinars mark the first anniversary of the United Nations Decade of Family Farming.

Responding to the impacts of the pandemic requires coordinated efforts, in addition to the health measures implemented by governments. These efforts should maintain efficient, inclusive and resilient agri-food systems that are sensitive to food and nutritional security. Such responses are needed to mitigate social and economic impacts and lead people to rethink their social and economic relations in post-pandemic scenarios. These measures should also ensure the continuity of the contribution of family farming.

Producer organizations are in an opportune position to lead these responses as they play a vital role in local economies as employers, suppliers and buyers. Their base and reach are a critical asset in coordination efforts.

“Small-scale forest producers and family farmers organizations in rural areas provide vital organized response to local needs in times of crisis, especially for some of the most vulnerable rural people,’’ says FAO’s Jeffrey Campbell, FFF Manager. “They can offer social support, draw on traditional knowledge to lead responses for recovery and rehabilitation and share vital information through their vast networks,” he adds.

FAO’s Boris Fernandez states, “Family farming supermarkets are a creative alternative to collect and market the products of small producers. These are part of the strategy to supply food to population centers with fair prices and weight, as well as with all the measures of food security and safety.’’ In Bolivia, for instance, family farming supermarkets have been set up in different cities to supply the population with fresh, nutritious and diversified food.

The webinar series is part of FAO’s efforts to collect a wealth of information on the impact of the crisis on forest and farm producer organizations (FFPOs) and indigenous peoples, including responses and initiatives of governments and civil society.

Analysing this information provides a better understanding of the impacts in different contexts and on different levels, and thus provides better guidance to FAO’s Member States. FAO also promotes South-South Cooperation exchanges to gather information on successful measures and common challenges between producers, organizations and decision-makers. This mechanism provides learning of proven solutions that can be adapted by participants to their own contexts.

FAO has been facilitating locally adapted measures through the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF), a partnership between FAO, the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and AgriCord. These measures include, among others, youth engagement in communication campaigns, involving women in planning and leadership, and facilitating e-commerce for FPPOs to trade and develop new market opportunities. It is also helping FFPOs to document and share best practices arising from their emergency response to COVID-19.

The second webinar of the series will be held on 29 May for FFPOsfrom Bolivia, Ecuador, Guatemala and Uruguay. The webinars are broadcast through community radios and posted on websites such as Onda Rural, to reach millions of people in Latin America.

last updated:  Wednesday, May 27, 2020