6 October 2020
Manila, Philippines / Jakarta, Indonesia
On the opening day of the Regional Forum: Sustaining family farming in Asia-Pacific through inclusive, farmer-driven approaches, participants reiterated the important role of family farmers in responding to the Covid-19 pandemic and helping communities eradicate hunger and poverty. In order for countries across Asia to build back better, family farmers must be recognized as the frontrunners of sustainable development. Participants agreed that an inclusive, bottom-up, multi-stakeholder collaboration between family farmers, private partners, and governments would ensure more sustainable and resilient economies and societies.
This includes securing land rights for family farmers, securing access to productive resources, transforming food systems, and protecting the rights of women farmers. "The Forum aims to keep the momentum of partnerships to achieve people-centred land governance and sustainable family farming across Asia through building regional solidarity and promoting farmer-driven approaches," said Esther Penunia of the Asian Farmers Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA).
Discussions in the event highlight the role of the United Nations Decade of Family Farming (UNDFF) in advancing the welfare of family farmers and identified ways to engage with global platforms. Participants aimed to characterize the situation of family farming in Asia, particularly in the inclusivity of farmers in policy formulation, land rights, and the adoption of sustainable agriculture practices.
Penunia further said that the Covid-19 pandemic is a wake-up call on our food systems. In Asia, while family farmers produce most of the world’s food, they remain lacking control over tenurial security and food security, among others. Moreover, governments’ policies to ensure food security during the Covid-19 crisis tend to be partial, failing to take into account the key roles that family farmers play to promote sustainable, resilient, and diversified food systems.
"Securing the right to land and natural resources for the landless, indigenous peoples, pastoral communities, women, youth, and peasant groups is fundamentally more relevant now than ever, in order to build back better. This is why we need local solutions that showcase the potential diversity of the region’s food systems," stressed Anthony Marzan of the People's Campaign for Agrarian Reform Network (AR Now!).
It is within this context that the Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA), the People's Campaign for Agrarian Reform Network (AR Now!), and the International Land Coalition Asia (ILC Asia), are organizing this regional event.
“The forum aims to promote the multi-actor collaboration in strengthening family farming through agenda and policies, and especially to amplify the voices of smallholder farmers, traditional pastoralists, indigenous peoples and local communities to be heard in the current global agenda especially in the United Nations on Decade of Family Farming (UNDFF) and the Food System Summit (FSS) frameworks. In the next two days, we will also discuss the human rights violations against smallholder farmers and activists, and the rising number of land grabbing cases in Asia during the Covid-19 pandemic. The recommendations and solutions discussed here will be delivered to governments and policymakers across the region,” says Saurlin Siagian, ILC Asia Regional Coordinator.
The regional forum will continue until Wednesday, 8 October 2020, and will focus on the strategies, key lessons, and factors that have influenced policy development and implementation on sustainable agriculture. Discussions will also tap into issues intersecting with family farming and food systems, such as on land rights defenders, indigenous knowledge, and secure land rights for women, among others.
Registration to the event is still acceptable via this link:
For further information, please contact
Andita Listyarini, ILC Asia
Languages: English, Indonesian
Irish Baguilat, AFA
Languages: English, Tagalog