The International Year of Family Farming promotes sustainable development
20 May 2014, Rome-- These interviews underline the central role that family farmers play nowadays in food security and biodiversity. Within the framework of the International Year of Family Farming (IYFF), global policies and central governments should support family farmers’ opportunities in agriculture to eradicate hunger and increase food security. The following interviews were taken during the FAO Regional Conference for Africa and the Regional Conference for Europe and Central Asia. The views expressed in these interviews are solely those of the individual interviewees and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of FAO.
Rafaat Zaki, Director of International Organizations & Conferences, Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation of Egypt, asserts that youth play a pivotal role in agriculture and rural development. African countries should reflect on the basis of a regional vision towards food security. Within the framework of the IYFF, FAO should facilitate the dialogue between African countries.
Hanny Van Geel, member of La Via Campesina in Europe, underlines that farmers are much more than food producers or rural entrepreneurs. Farmers play a pivotal role in the production of high-quality food, preserve the environmental biodiversity and promote agro-ecological dynamics. Farmers and smallholders should be supported in the framework of IYFF to produce in a sustainable way and build alliances with local communities to sell their products.
Janneke Bruil, Learning and Advocacy Coordinator at ILEIA (Centre for Learning on Sustainable Agriculture), asserts that family farmers contribute to around 70% of the global food production and play a central role in preserving biodiversity. Policies should support local markets by encouraging farmers to produce for themselves and for their communities so that local economy can thrive.