A decade for thriving Filipino family farmers, who are at the forefront of attaining a sustainable food system in the country while building a resilient future for the years beyond — this is the heart of the Philippine Action Plan for Family Farming.
The United Nations Decade of Family Farming (UNDFF) national plan for the Philippines, known as the Philippine Action Plan for Family Farming or PAP4FF, was launched on 21 July by the Agriculture and Rural Development Knowledge and Policy Platform (ARDKKP) network. The PAP4FF is the national framework and implementation for fulfilling the vision of UNDFF, which highlights the role of family farmers as catalysts of sustainable global food systems and resilient communities. The network consists of ILC members in the Philippines PAKISAMA, AR Now, ANGOC, AFA, CARRD, PAFID, XSF, and TFM, and other stakeholders.
"This launch today of the National Action Plan, which is a shared and inclusive action plan, where all the voices of different stakeholders are being heard -- it's quite important and it's the beginning of an important process,” shared Alessandro Marini, the country director of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), as he formally started the launch.
Conducted through an online conference, the PAP4FF launch was attended by involved organisations and representative leaders of farmers, fisherfolk, indigenous peoples, rural women, and rural youth in the Philippines. Speakers from IFAD, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Department of Agriculture (DA), UNDFF, Pambansang Kilusan ng mga Samahang Magsasaka (PAKISAMA), National Anti-Poverty Commission, Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Training Institute (DA-ATI), ARDKKP, and AsiaDHRRA were also present in this remarkable day for Filipino family farmers.
Gathering these various organisations and multi-sectoral groups, the PAP4FF launch aimed at providing an avenue for 1) promoting awareness of the national action plan; 2) encouraging active participation on sectoral issues and concerns; and 3) identifying and proposing sectoral performance indicators for baselining and profiling.
“We believe that the plans are excellent tools to unleash the huge potential of family farming while responding to enormous challenges. The plans are a great opportunity for all relevant and national stakeholders to mobilise resources, align and reinforce their actions in support of family farming,” stated the UNDFF Focal Person of the World Rural Forum, Belen Citoler, during her solidarity message for the participants of the launch. She also shared that the unprecedented pandemic all the more highlighted the role of family farmers as major producers of food and as an integral key in transforming the food system of the world.
Challenges, proposals, and commitment: Plight of the family farmers through the sectoral solidarity messages of family farmer leaders
Putting a value on a bottom-up approach and multi-stakeholder engagements, the launch devoted the whole afternoon to Sectoral Workshops through breakout sessions. These workshops provided an opportunity for participants of each sector to voice out concerns and issues that they continuously face. They were also able to discuss program and policy proposals to address these challenges, as they expressed their commitment to the PAP4FF implementation. Through dialogues like these, development and implementation of plans would be contextualised and relevant for the family farmers, who are at the forefront of every intervention.
Action points: Collaboration and participation towards 2028 and beyond
“Paalala, Payo, Panalangin (Reminder, Advice, Prayer)” -- These were the three words described by Peddie Baclagon of We Effect as he concluded the afternoon session of the launch. After he reviewed the PAP4FF goal and pillars, as well as the breakout sessions with the participants, he enlisted action points that the relevant stakeholders, including the general public, can do to take part in the PAP4FF.
In Paalala (Reminder), Baclagon showed where we are in the ten years allotted for PAP4FF, in which the country is already nearing its transition from the current administration to the next. With this, he moved on to his point on Payo (Advice), where he emphasised the importance of voting wisely especially in the upcoming national election as an instrumental action in implementing the national plan and fulfilling the goal of UNDFF in the Philippines.
"I want to share with you my prayer. The dream of PAPAFAFA [or PAP4FF] is to achieve ‘Abundant Harvests, High Income, and Dignified Life of Family Farmers.’ I hope that by 2028, this dream will not remain as a dream, but as a happening,” shared by Backlagon as he closed the launch.
And to formally close the PAP4FF launch, Rene Cerilla of PAKISAMA left an encouragement to all participants, “Let’s continue to do this. Let’s continue and make our discussions here flow to our communities. Let’s make this as part of our dialogues , and let’s strive and do our best to continuously feed the nation,” he stated as he urged everyone to continuously provide food in the country through active collaboration and participation.
This is just the beginning. The upcoming years toward 2028 -- and even beyond -- will be a fruitful and dynamic time not just for every Filipino family farmer, but for every Filipino who also has a role in achieving a sustainable food system, resilient communities, and a nation of thriving family farmers.