Regional Technical Platform for Family Farming

Dialogues on Knowledge and Practices of Family Farming
Family Agriculture in the Face of Climate Change: Experiences and Solutions from Agroecology

Reflecting on the challenges to advance a transformational agenda for food systems and the construction of more prosperous and inclusive societies involves addressing the effects/impacts of climate change and strengthening initiatives that allow for a transition to more sustainable productive systems. Hunger and malnutrition have increased in recent years in a context of demographic growth, greater pressure on natural resources, loss of biodiversity, and the threat of climate change, whose effects are becoming increasingly acute. The intensity of extreme climate phenomena has risen dramatically, from 9% in 2000-04 to 57% in 2015-2020. By 2030, climate change could push between 2.4-5.8 million people into extreme poverty in the region (Jafino, 2020), and there is an anticipated worsening of the effects on rural livelihoods and food security, particularly for small and medium farmers and indigenous mountain communities. This is in addition to the overall reduction in agricultural production, suitable agricultural land, and water availability (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2022).

While family farmers are particularly exposed to the impacts of climate change, family agriculture has witnessed thousands of years of transformations, boasting a heritage of ancestral knowledge and wisdom that positions them as key allies in designing climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies. In this regard, it is crucial to recognize family farmers as significant holders of agroecological knowledge.

Agroecology offers a unique approach to meeting the needs of present and future generations. It aims to transform agri-food systems by addressing the root causes of problems and providing long-term holistic solutions based on the co-creation of knowledge, exchange, and innovation, including the combination of local, traditional, indigenous, and practical knowledge with multidisciplinary science.

Similarly, the agroecological transition has been linked to sustainable rural development processes, strengthening small farmers, protecting biodiversity and the environment, and combating climate change, giving priority to family farmers as key players in expanding the reach of agroecology and preserving traditional productive knowledge and the ancestral wisdom of indigenous peoples. Therefore, it is essential to advance public policies that incorporate the fundamentals of this approach into agricultural and rural development in the region.

In light of the above, this first edition of the Dialogues on Knowledge and Practices of Family Farming will focus on Agroecology. This edition will consist of three sessions, focusing on successful experiences of family farming and agroecology in different geographical contexts, emphasizing their specific contributions to the adaptation and mitigation of climate change.

Taking advantage of the existing dynamics within the framework of the Agroecology Commission of the Specialized Meeting on Family Farming of MERCOSUR (REAF/MERCOSUR) and the progress made in this space for the development and implementation of actions and policies for the Family Farming sector, each working session is expected to address the following topics:

Session 1: Agroecology for Climate Change Adaptation, Mitigation, and the Environmental Agenda - September 29, 2023.

Session 2: Agroecology and Institutionalism: Advances in Public Policies for Family Farming in MERCOSUR Countries - October 12, 2023.

Session 3: Global Experiences on Agroecology - October 31, 2023.



- Analyze successful experiences of family farming and agroecology from different regions of the world, focusing on their specific contributions to climate change adaptation and mitigation.

- Examine the benefits and advantages of agroecology in terms of climate change adaptation and mitigation, highlighting its contributions to the resilience of agricultural systems and food security.

- Explore the pivotal role of family farmer organizations, women, and youth in promoting and implementing agroecological practices, emphasizing their contributions in terms of traditional knowledge, innovation, and community engagement.