27 Oct 2018

“As farmers, we can and want to be a key player in the battle against poverty and malnutrition”

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 Photo credit: ©FAO/Alessandra Benedetti

The Committee on World Food Security (CFS) wrapped up its 45th Session on Friday October 19th, with a renewed commitment to keep this platform open and transparent and all voices heard.

Under the theme “Our Actions Are Our Future: a #ZeroHunger World by 2030 Is Possible”, the 45th Plenary Session of the CFS opened on Monday October 15th and took place at FAO headquarters in Rome within the World Food Week.

As every year, a delegation of the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO) joined this international event to reiterate WFO’s openness and commitment to collaborate with all the CFS stakeholders in the battle against poverty and hunger and advocate for a more inclusive and horizontal representation of farmers within the CFS.

 “If CFS really wants to achieve sustainable food systems, address climate change, work on urbanization and rural transformation, empower rural women and achieve zero hunger, it cannot miss the opportunity to work with the widest representation of farmers possible” said Katie Milne, in her capacity of  WFO Board Member of Oceania, during her speech on Wednesday October 17th .

Farmers are key to achieve food security for all, including young people, who are ready to work alongside the CFS to meet the challenge of feeding the global population, while managing the environment, adapting to and mitigating against climate change, as remarked by Jannes Maes, President of the European Council of Young Farmers and member of the WFO Gymnasium training program for young farmers, who took the floor within the World Food Day High-Level Panel.

CFS mandate is to propose guidelines to UN agencies and Governments to address food insecurity and nutrition issues, thus directly involving and affecting agriculture and as, the farmers, as primary food producers.

“Being important actors of the food chain, farmers should be included and actively participate in the consultative process that will lead to the adoption of the guidelines. There is an increasing and urgent need for a multi-stakeholder, inclusive and holistic approach that include farmers”, said Danielle Lee, member of the WFO Gymnasium training program for young farmers, providing WFO’s view on the CFS Policy Guidance on food security and nutrition.

On the same line Bjørn Gimming, Vice President of the WFO Member Organization Norwegian Farmers Union, discussing on behalf of the World Farmers’ Organisation on the relevance of inclusive multi-stakeholder partnership to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, underlined that farmers might not have the financial resources, but they have knowledge and best practices to share.
“Farmers can and want to bring their experiences and give their concrete contribution to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of CFS policy works”, reminded Sarah Crofoot, young farmer from New Zealand and member of the WFO Gymnasium training program for young farmers.

“Only monitoring the impact on countries and rural communities of the CFS policy guidelines, we could evaluate if the CFS policy products are effectively used at country level”, underlined Agustina Diaz Valdez, in her capacity of member of the WFO Youth Committee, within the session on critical and emerging issues on the preparation of future proposals concerning the CFS Multi‐Year Programme of Work (MYPoW) for 2020‐2023.

Farmers are very much aware of the responsibility they have to feed the world and stand ready to play this role to achieve food security. Is the CFS also ready to work with the farmers?

Let's see where that will take us!