World Food Day 2009: Fight Hunger through Investment in Farmers’ Organizations.
October 16, 2009, Rome Italy - On this World Food Day 2009, with the theme Achieving Food Security in Times of Crisis, the International Federation of Agricultural Producers (IFAP), as part of the Farmers ‘Fighting Poverty program,’ calls upon governments and funding agencies for a major effort to invest in farmers’ organizations in developing countries. The future of food security hangs in the balance. The 20 billion dollar agricultural investments promised by the G-8 could lead to global food security if farmers’ organizations are the focus of the resources.
The “Farmers Fighting Poverty” puts farmers in the driver’s seat for agricultural development and poverty reduction. The Farmers Fighting Poverty program follows the recommendations of IFAP to eliminate hunger and poverty.
Presidents from farmers’ organizations in Canada, France, the Netherlands, Belgium and other countries have signed the statement “Look again at how to tackle poverty.” It calls upon governments upon governments for a major and increased effort to invest in farmers’ organizations in developing countries.
Farmers can double the world food availability to meet the needs of a growing world population of 9 billion people by 2050. This requires a long-term global action plan to increase agricultural output in an environmentally sustainable, economically feasible and socially responsible manner.
The G-8 announcement to invest 20 billion dollars in agriculture worldwide must be made concrete and workable with the direct involvement of farmers.
“Farmers need direct access to such funding and they will create secure and sustainable food systems,” said IFAP President Ajay Vashee. “If the money continues to go through a lot of intermediaries, we will no doubt find ourselves in the same cycle of food insecurity that has left more than a billion people hungry in 2009.”
Farmers will make sure investments are utilized effectively towards the development of vibrant agricultural sectors and rural economies through cooperative, entrepreneurial approaches that lead to long term sustainability. Farmers’ organizations at the national level with AgriCord and the IFAP at the international level stand ready to make development dollars work for the rural poor.
AgriCord has taken a successful approach to strengthening farmers’ organizations. Donors need to find genuine trust in the work of the Farmers Fighting Poverty program and the ability of farmers’ organizations to absorb support rather than turning away and funneling resources through the usual government or NGO channels. Better coordination and more transparency of aid flows to farmers’ organizations are key, especially in light of the growing demand from farmers’ organizations in developing countries, which are rapidly getting organized.
Actions are urgently needed. Farmer to farmer cooperation works. Turn words into action to tackle poverty by investing in farmers’ organizations!
Neil Sorensen, Communications Coordinator
Jessica Goodfellow, Communications Officer