12 Oct 2017

Willi Kampmann's Statement on Urbanization, Rural Transformation and Implications for Food Security and Nutrition


This afternoon during the plenary of the CFS 44 Mr. Kampmann gave his Statement in representation of Farmers' constituency focusing on the challanges that farmers and especially young farmers have to face  because of rapid urbanisation.

"As WFO, we are glad that the important subject of Urbanization, Rural Transformation and Implications for Food Security and Nutrition is taken up in this forum, and we would like to compliment you for that.

My name is Willi Kampmann and I speak on behalf of the farmers’ constituency.

Farmers are key actors in the transformation of rural areas against the background of urbanization and therefore should be involved in the decision making process at all political levels.

First and foremost, rapid urbanization is partly a consequence of missing opportunities of the youth in rural areas. An enabling environment for a transformation of farms and the agri-food sector into a profitable business opportunity for the youth is a key challenge in counteracting a too rapid urbanization.

In particular the young farmer committee of WFO deals with this important issue.

Last Saturday and Sunday WFO started a training program called “Young Farmers ´Gymnasium”. Young farmers of all continents came together to discuss their challenges and are trained to take action and careers in agriculture.

Young farmers need an income opportunity that can live up to an employment in the city.

Urbanization offers challenges and chances for farmers at the same time.

With increased distances to the consumer we see a lengthening of value chains within a country, across regions and internationally, with negative impacts on farmers’ position in the value chain. Women and youth farmers are the most affected by these transformations that have the potential of exacerbating their disadvantages in terms of income, markets opportunity and access to resources and services.

At the same time, income growth and a higher demand for animal products as well as high-quality foodstuffs, such as horticultural products, in cities constitutes a tremendous income opportunity for farmers by supplying to these markets. Via good governance in the area of support for market development and many other areas - policy makers need to enable farmers to do their job and to meet these demands. One big tool to achieve this is the organization of farmers in groups and cooperatives, which reduces costs, helps farmers to move up the value chain and allows for joint marketing.

Any discussion of the ways in which urbanization may affect food demand and supply needs to take into account the complexity of the linkages between rural and urban people and farmers that operate in it, and to recognize the capacity of food producers to adapt to changes in urban demand.

Ultimately, farmers in rural areas are not only providing food for urban markets but also fight climate change and preserve the biggest part of the natural resources. They need sufficient remuneration for these activities, both through the marketplace and policy frameworks".