EFARD representatives in a meeting on Family Farming in Brussels

On behalf of EFARD, two NGO representatives - Caroline Amrom, CSA and Marianne Meijboom from ETC Foundation -  participated in the regional dialogue meeting on family farming which was held on 11-12 December in Brussels. This meeting was organised by FAO in collaboration with the World Rural Forum (WRF), the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) and the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO) and brought together over 100 people from all over Europe and Central Asia to discuss family farming in the context of the region. The discussion aimed at increasing the understanding of the role of family farming including the identification of challenges and opportunities for improved market inclusion and further sustainable development under the pressure of open globalised markets. Major challenges that were identified include: secured access to land, water and finance, land grabbing, succession issues, market price volatility, low interest of youth in family farming, speculation, globalisation and also access to appropriate research and development. Research is considered as one of the instruments to advance family farming, however, present research has created new technologies which are often of little use to small scale family farmers. Research, therefore, needs to better address family farming issues. EFARD could play a role in this through advocating for investment in research that better supports the efforts of family farmers.

The meeting concluded by stressing the importance of family farming in food and nutrition security and their role in reducing poverty and hunger. There is a need for more debate on the role of family farmers not only on their role on food production but also on their value for rural communities and the environment.

Relatively little attention was given to the role of family farmers in Agricultural Research for Development. Hopefully, EFARD could draw much more attention to this in the coming International Year of Family Farming (IYFF).

Click for more information about the IYFF.

Country: 
Belgium

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