It seems in December there is always a surge of announcements that the next year will be dedicated to one cause or another. For 2014, it’s now supposedly the Year of the Brain, the Year of Crystallography, the EU-Russia Year of Science, but also…
The FAO launched a big new campaign in the end of November to draw attention to the importance of family farming – as opposed to agribusiness – with the following key messages (taken from their website):
“Family Farming is the predominant form of agriculture both in developed and developing countries
There are over 500 million family farms in the world.
Their rural activities are managed and operated by a family and rely predominantly on family labour.
They range from smallholders and medium scale farmers, to peasants, indigenous peoples, traditional communities, fisherfolk, pastoralists and many other groups in any region and biome of the world.
Family farmers are an important part of the solution for a world free from poverty and hunger
In many regions, they are the main producers of the foodstuff consumed every day in our meals.
Over 70 percent of the food insecure population lives in rural areas of Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Near East. They too are family farmers, especially smallholders, with poor access to natural resources, policies and technologies.
All kind of evidence shows that poor family farmers can quickly deploy their productivity potential when the appropriate policy environment is effectively put in place.
Facilitating access to land, water and other natural resources and implementing specific public policies for family farmers (credit, technical assistance, insurance, market access, public purchases, appropriate technologies) are key components for increasing agricultural productivity, eradicating poverty and achieving world food security.