FAO and WFO to help farmers drive global agricultural agenda

FAO and WFO to help farmers drive global agricultural agenda

Photo for The Washington Post by Kristina Barker

The World Farmers' Organisation and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation on Friday reaffirmed their commitment to help farmers become the driving force behind the global agricultural agenda with a new accord to empower them, FAO said in a statement.

"This agreement will help build a farmers-driven agricultural agenda to bolster global Zero Hunger efforts, and better support the interests of millions of farmers worldwide," said Maria Helena Semedo, FAO Deputy Director-General for Climate and Natural Resources.

"Farmers can bring a range of innovative solutions to the complex challenges we face today," Semedo added.

The new FAO-WFO agreement will focus on enhancing the key role that farmers and their organisations play in efficient, inclusive and sustainable agriculture and food systems by reducing rural poverty, achieving food and nutrition security and the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the statement said.

WFO welcomed the joint accord, which will aim to build farmers' capacity to lead decision-making processes on agricultural policies at all levels, based on best sustainable agricultural practices that farmers are already applying.

"We are ready to do our part and we are deeply grateful to organizations like FAO that support us in this ambitious agenda," said Theo De Jager, WFO President.

"We, as farmers, rely very much on the support of FAO for the creation of a global political environment in agriculture which is favourable to our farming systems, our families and our communities," he stated.

"Our expectation is to increase productivity, tackling climate change, and contribute to global sustainable development," De Jager said

The agreement will strengthen collaboration on tackling climate change, responsible management of natural resources, sustainable livestock production and safe and effective use of antimicrobials, FAO said.

Boosting the capacities of farmers' organisations that include women and youth to deliver quality services to their members, farmers' technical capacity and sharing of practical, workable solutions on climate change mitigation and adaptation, sustainable agriculture and responsible natural resource management are further goals of the accord, said FAO.

The compact also aims to help family farmers and their organisations gain better access to markets and services: and implement guidelines and principles such as Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests, Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems, and Small-scale Fisheries, FAO added.