How are farmers worldwide coping with global challenges and crises?
Yesterday, July 6, at the United Nations High-Level Political Forum 2022 (HLPF 2022), currently taking place (July 5 to 15, 2022) in New York in a hybrid format under the auspices of Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), we talked about how farmers worldwide are tackling present global challenges and crises.
Hosted by the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO), on behalf of the Farmers’ Major Group, the official side event “Farmer-driven solutions to global challenges» aimed to showcase farmers’ stories and best practices from different regions, putting a light on how farmers, as agents of change, are coping with the many issues the humankind has to face, as well as how other relevant stakeholders, including UN organisations, are collaborating with them to deal with these challenges. It was also the occasion to highlight farmers’ needs and constraints within the continuing crises.
It is plain to all the unprecedented crisis we live in these days, with conflicts arising in different countries, climate change effects and related disasters increasing, food insecurity and malnutrition worsening in several regions. And not to mention the fact that the pandemic is still ongoing, causing disruptions to health care systems, transportation, economies, and livelihoods, especially for the most vulnerable ones, including farmers, particularly in developing countries.
Farmers are those who have been and will provide, healthy, nutritious, and affordable food while protecting our planet
Despite all this, the past two years have been showing even more how we all rely on agriculture because farmers are those who have been and will provide healthy, nutritious, and affordable food while protecting our planet. Indeed agriculture, both organic and conventional, has a key role to play in ensuring food security and nutrition while at the same time combating climate change, including through carbon sequestration and preserving biodiversity in both livestock and crop production.
Moderated by Luisa Volpe, Advocacy, Policy and Partnerships, APP, Practice Leader at WFO, the event started with the opening remarks of the newly elected WFO President Arnold Puech d’Alissac, who set the scene for a forward-looking conversation about how farmers are struggling against food insecurity, climate change effects, rising conflicts, and their consequences.
The esteemed speakers who joined the conversation bringing their knowledge, expertise and experience were:
- Gábor Figeczky, Senior Manager of Global Policy, IFOAM-OI
- Wali Haider, representative, Society for Roots for Equity
- Minette Batters, President NFU UK
- Janet Maro, Executive Director, Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania
- Anna Korzenszky, FAO, UNDFF Secretariat
- Frederik Shulze-Hamann, representative, Farmers’ Association of Schwäbisch Hall (BESH)
- Rafael Mariano, Chairman Emeritus, Peasant Movement of the Philippines
By the end of the discussion, all participants agreed that no matter what and where they farm, farmers are the ones who eke out a living with their fingers in the soil and in their hands lie the local solutions to global challenges.
Farmers are diverse, but in every corner of the world, they share the same needs and expectations for their farms to flourish and their families to thrive.
May these conversations continue and drive toward more enabling, inclusive, cross-sectoral and coherent policy environments at all levels engaging farmers as partners in the creation of more sustainable, fair and resilient food systems, accelerate the 2030 Agenda and achieve SDGs.
In case you missed it, you can watch the event recording here: