Re: The e-Consultation on Hunger, Food and Nutrition Security

Lesha Witmer BPW International, Netherlands
24-12-2012

Sustainable farms, food, feed, fuel, funds – all are needed to put us on a sustainable path to the future. But the most important ingredients in the recipe are farmers, especially women farmers, and rural communities whose empowerment is the key to poverty eradication and to sustainable development.

Let's not forget the conclusions and recommendations from CSD 17 e.g.

Build social capital and resilience in rural communities. In that context:
(i) Empower women and small-scale farmers, and indigenous peoples, including through securing equitable land tenure supported by appropriate legal
frameworks;
(ii) Promote equitable access to land, water, financial resources and technologies by women, indigenous peoples and other vulnerable groups;
(iii) Support and promote efforts to harmonize modern technologies with traditional and indigenous knowledge for sustainable rural development;

and the

HAGUE CONFERENCE ON AGRICULTURE, FOOD SECURITY aND CLIMATE CHANGE

13.       Agriculture and water are closely linked. There are many competing claims on water. Worldwide agriculture consumes seventy percent of all freshwater withdrawals. Agricultural water productivity has to be increased significantly. Integrated land and water resources management, efficient use of water resources and safe reuse of waste water are vital in our approach to climate change adaptation. Adaptation efforts must begin now, because institutions and the infrastructure will bind us to patterns of water use and behavior for years to come.

14.       Farmers have adapted to climate variability for centuries. The agricultural sector has the capacity to offer sound solutions to cope with this challenge, provided that farmers are encouraged to do so. Farmers, particularly women, youth and smallholder farmers, indigenous peoples and other relevant natural resources dependent people have an important role in a transition to climate-smart agriculture. Farmers feed the world, yet far too many are living in hunger and hardship. This injustice must cease. Farmers and rural people through their farming practices are custodians of the land and water.  They are also custodians of the forests, of biodiversity, indigenous and traditional knowledge, and other services. Farmers’ organizations can play an important role in promoting dialogue between farmers and across sectors. They can support individual farmers, especially smallholders. They can improve access to financial mechanisms, funding and carbon markets.