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FAO Regional Office for Near East and North Africa

FAO launches the Small-Scale Family Farming studies in the Near East and North Africa

@FAO-RNE/Ana Pizarro - new series on Small Scale Family Farming

Cairo, 6 March 2017

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) published a comprehensive series of studies on small-scale family farming in the Near East and North Africa with the aim of catalysing the work of development and agricultural practitioners towards sustainable and inclusive development of in the NENA region.

Dr. Alfredo Impiglia, the Delivery Manager of FAO’s Regional Initiative on Small-Scale Family Farming (SSFF) for the Near East and North Africa, commented: “To sustain Small-Scale Family Farming is essential for the region to move out of rural poverty. These comprehensive publications on the situation of these farmers are crucial to effectively implementing the regional initiative. The studies will serve as a benchmark to measure the progress we will make in the coming years.”

He thanked the “trustworthy partners in developing these studies, especially the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD), the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Montpellier (CIHEAM-IAMM) and Mamoun Beheiry Center for Economic and Social Studies and Research in Africa (MBC) as well as the national teams that worked diligently to substantially contributed to the studies, in coordination with FAO regional office and country representations.”

The seven studies are comprised of one regional synthesis (in French and English; the Arabic version is in process) and six country-specific studies covering Egypt, Lebanon, Mauritania, Morocco, Sudan and Tunisia. The regional study highlights the importance of SSFF for economic development in the region, the importance of agriculture for the region’s demo-economic development and the effects of policies on SSFF. The country-specific reports assess the challenges and solutions that are particular to the relevant country to give a more detailed understanding.

The studies call for the capacity building of institutions, governance and public policies, including gender equality through youth organizations, cooperatives and producer organizations. They also recommends improving SSFF productivity and efficiency, increasing rural employment opportunities and integration, improving value chains to connect SSFFs with markets, building resilience of SSFFs to climate change, and improving statistical tools and methods for understanding SSFF.

About the Regional Initiative on Small-Scale Family Farming

The FAO Regional Initiative on Small-Scale Family Farming (RI-SSFF) in the Near East and North Africa Region is one of three regional initiatives established at the request of member countries attending the 32nd FAO Regional Conference for the Near East in 2014 who identified small-scale family farming as critical to the region’s transition out of rural poverty. RI-SSFF works alongside two other regional initiatives: the Regional Initiative on Water Scarcity and the Regional Initiative on Building Resilience for Food Security and Nutrition.


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