Ce membre a participé aux discussions suivantes
In addition to being a more attractive alternative to factory farming where how a product receives the greatest attention rather than to its taste and flavour, family farming offers several attractive features:
- It can serve as an upholder of bio-diversity in food crops and farm animals.
- It can produce food of higher quality with respect to flavour and safety.
- Its continuance reduces urban congestion.
- Environmentally sustainable agriculture is easier to sustain at this level.
I think our current education strategy everywhere on earth has done a great deal of harm in deprecating agriculture in general and family farming in particular by over-emphasising the important of technology and trade as the main areas of one's education.
I am convinced that it is high time to emphasise that agriculture has an indisputable logical priority in education everywhere. This will enable people to understand the obvious, which appears to be not very easy.
Then, it is important that the politicians are made to grasp the four benefits of continued family farming. Iformation dissemination by say the FAO to ministers of agriculture, and general public etc., would be of use here.
I can envisage two legal measures that may be required for the continued existence of family farming.
The first would be useless unless family farmers themselves understand the need for it, viz., a family farm has to be of a certain size if it is to remain a thriving entity. Inheritence laws in many countries allow small farms to be divided among the children of a family in equal shares, which results in their fragmentation into minute bits.
Prevention of this by some appropriate legal means seems to be absolutely necessary. However, it must include some equitable mechanism to compensate those who will be denied a portion of their non-movable patrimony.
Likewise, legal measures to sustain a family farm even when a creditor demands it foreclosure in lieu of a debt might be required in some cases. A loan transfer mechanism that does not entail burdensome interests may prove useful here.
Effective agricultural help at local level may be organised by the authorities to sustain family farming in many ways.
Family farmers within a given area would greatly benefit if they organise themselves into co-operatives to make common purchases as well as to sell their products. Moreover, they may also serve as fora for thrashing out what represents a local best practice, how to bring about improvements, etc.
I think the draft document ought to adapt a really holistic approach to resolving the problem. It is well understood that the possibility of adequate food production is closely linked to the well-being of our environment. Hence, the committment to ensure an adequate supply of food to all can be successfully undertaken only if we ensure that neither the food production nor other economic activities result in environmental damage. This logical fact ought to be the point of departure of the document.
Secondly, ceteris paribus, how one satisfies one's nutritional needs depends on the culture of one's choice. Here, I use the term 'culture' in its widest sense as described by Bronislaw Malinowsky.
Now, food culture of a community evolves with reference to its geography, climatic conditions, communal beliefs, etc. Very often, the food culture of a community embodies wisdom of the ages in terms of nutritional adequacy, appropriateness of its food with respect to health of the consumers, climatic conditions, environmental sustainability, etc.
As we claim that people have a 'right to their chosen culture', and cultural norms may well embody the appropriateness of certain types of foods and their production both for man and to the place where they are produced, it would be reasonable to include measures to preserve culinary diversity of the world. Moreover, this guarantees a healthy diversity of food crops and animals.
Finally, it is of paramount importance that FAO should pioneer food equity by actively working to remove activities such as commodity speculation, price fixing, monopolies such as those engaged in buying food for a whole country or a large region thereby dictating terms to food producers and consumers.