The International Steering Committee of the UN Decade of Family Farming (2019-2028) kicks Off

©FAO/Giulio Napolitano

09/11/2018 - 

FAO HQ hosted today the first official meeting of the International Steering Committee of the UN Decade of Family Farming. The meeting was attended by the representatives of countries from all FAO’s Regions, the three Rome-based UN agencies (FAO, IFAD and WFP), global and regional family farmers’ organizations, including World Rural Forum (WRF), La Via Campesina (LVC), World Farmers’ Organization (WFO), Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA), Network of Farmers Organizations and Agricultural Producers of West Africa (ROPPA), and Confederation of Family Farmers Organizations of the Extended Mercosur (COPROFAM).

Producing over 70 percent of the world's food, family farmers, including indigenous peoples, fisher folk, mountain farmers, pastoralists and many other groups, are key agents of change to transform food systems and to achieve the SDGs. Given the multi-dimensional nature of family farming that touches on various dimensions of rural development, such as economic, social, cultural, and environmental, focusing on family farming goes naturally hand in hand with meeting the SDGs.

On 20 December 2017, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the UN Decade of Family Farming 2019-2028 to serve as a framework for countries to develop public policies and investments to support family farming, and called upon FAO and IFAD to lead its implementation, in collaboration with governments and other relevant actors and stakeholders.

The International Steering Committee is the main governing body of the upcoming Decade, responsible for overseeing its implementation. In this first meeting, the participants discussed the general and specific objectives, as well as the participatory process in order to design the Action Plan of the Decade. Various participants emphasized the importance of a broad consultation in order to develop an Action Plan that addresses the concrete needs and interests of the family farmers at the local and national levels. The participants also defined the next steps: the consultation process is expected to start later this month.

The meeting represented an opportunity for constructive debate and a fundamental step towards the official launch of the Decade of Family farming, envisaged in May 2019.