Presence of Family Farming at the FAO Regional Conferences 2016

Civil society has urged governments and public institutions to support the declaration on the Decade of Family Farming and to put in place the appropriate tools required to promote Family Farming in their countries.

Monday 9th May 2016. During the FAO Regional Conferences for Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia-Pacific and Africa which were held in March and April 2016, family farming received several mentions of interest. It has been mentioned in several of the documents which were worked on during the FAO Regional Conferences, and has been included in the statements on prior consultations with civil society as well as in several of the official FAO documents. The Regional Conferences allow governments to analyse the FAO’s activities in the region during the previous 2-year period (2014-2015) and to set the action priorities for the next period (2016-2017).

The Conferences are also an opportunity for governments to engage with civil society, farming and indigenous organizations, NGOs, inter-government organizations, regional integration organizations and other United Nations agencies.

The official documents will shortly be published for the 30th FAO Regional Conference for Europe which was held between 4th and 6th May 2016, and the Regional Conference for the Middle East will take place between 9th and 13th May in Rome.


Latin America and the Caribbean: 34th Regional Conference. Mexico City, Mexico. 29th February – 3rd March 2016

The final report from the LAC Regional Conference endorsed support for “platforms for dialogue on family farming policies such as REAF and the Family Farming National Committees”.

In addition, the report on FAO activities for 2015 makes reference to the “17 National Committees which remained active, and a Regional Committee for FF, which were set up during the International Year of Family Farming (2014) as inclusive forums (for government and civil society, producer organizations, academia etc.) for the discussion of FF policies.”

In the 5th Regional Consultation of People, Social Movements and Civil Society Organizations for Food Sovereignty and Social Justice, held prior to the Regional Conference, an express request was made for “recognition, strengthening and support from governments and international organizations in FAO and FIDA for the National Committees which participated in the actions arising from the International Year of Family Farming IYFF 2014, such as national forums for dialogue and discussion between governments and family farmers, rural and indigenous people, artisan fishermen and pastoralists, particularly in view of the global commitment to the decade of family farming IYFF+10.”


Asia-Pacific: 33rd Regional Conference Putrajaya, Malasia. 7th -11th March 2016

In the prior consultation with Civil Society a request was made for governments “to recognise the global contribution of family farming by supporting the United Nations declaration on the Decade of Family Farming and to review the commitments made in previous years regarding cooperatives, land and other areas of food and agriculture which have been recognised by the United Nations.”

In the final report from the Asia-Pacific Regional Conference, ministers and government delegates recognised “the important role of smallholders, family farming and fishing in contributing towards food security and nutrition, and requested reinforcements to improve their capacity to work together more efficiently with modern value chains”. The report also encouraged “the inclusion of gender equality and raising the standard of living in rural areas to keep young people in agricultural activities.”


Africa: 29th Regional Conference. Abidjan, Ivory Coast. 4th -8th April 2016

In the statement from the prior consultation with Civil Society emphasis is placed on “the important role which family farming has in national food security, in creating employment and in combating poverty, and so governments and the FAO are asked to recognise this global contribution by supporting the declaration on the Decade of Family Farming.”

This statement has been included as an annexe in the final report of the Africa Regional Conference.


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