Today is the World Environment Day. This celebration reminds all of us of the importance environment, and more importantly a sustainable environment, has for the life of planet and its inhabitants.
Farmers play a significant role in managing and preserving natural resources. Facilitating access to land, water and other natural resources and implementing specific public policies for family farmers (credit, technical assistance, insurance, market access, public purchases, and appropriate technologies) are key components in increasing agricultural productivity, eradicating poverty and achieving global food and nutrition security.
Farmers preserve traditional food products, while contributing to a balanced diet and safeguarding the world’s agro-biodiversity and the sustainable use of natural resources. They are the custodians of a finely adapted understanding of local ecologies and land capabilities. Through local knowledge, they sustain productivity, often on marginal lands, through complex and innovative land management techniques. Because of the intimate knowledge they have of their land and their ability to sustainably manage diverse landscapes, farmers are able to improve many ecosystem services.
However, farmers are already facing the emerging challenges posed by climate change. Simultaneously, the degradation of land and water resources, coupled with further negative environmental impacts, confirms the limits of highly intensive farming systems. Farmers play a pivotal role in the local production, marketing and consumption circuits that are so important not merely in fighting hunger but also in creating jobs, generating income, and in stimulating as well as diversifying local economies.
WFO is working tirelessly to support the farmers in their role of agents of positive change and will keep and will keep on so doing.