On July 15th, the Secretary General of the World Farmers’ Organisation, Arianna Giuliodori, brought the voice of the farmers of the world into the virtual debate “Future Scenarios for the EuroMED Agrifood”.

Promoted by the PRIMA Foundation and Italian Secretariat of PRIMA, in collaboration with Union for the Mediterranean, the event featured the participation of speakers from major institutions and initiatives to discuss on the main priorities and challenges to build back better in the post-pandemic landscape.

Here are some key messages from the WFO Secretary General’s speech:

  • If from a general perspective, value chains delivered properly during the COVID crisis, that is not what the farmers have experienced in terms of difficulties. Disruptions in access to inputs and access to markets have hindered the capacity of the farmers to earn their living in the right way during the COVID pandemic.
  • Farmers are scared not only by the pandemic but also and foremost by the ghost of poverty and hunger. Farmers might encounter troubles in the next season because many of them have committed to the banks, to financial institutions. The COVID crisis found them already in the middle of the production or even in the harvesting season. But what about next season if the farmers are not able to plant if the farmers are not able to produce? It’s urgent to financially support the farmers to ensure that food production can continue.
  • COVID 19 is also forcing us to see the opportunities that lay behind the threats. Never before we had food so high in the public debate; everybody is now caring, everybody is now concerned about food production, and we must seize this opportunity to work on the food systems we want for the future.
  • WFO has been already adopting a policy that is common to all the farmers of the globe about how we want to work on food systems and what we want from food systems. That includes not only quick recovery from COVID 19 but also breaking silos and getting all the actors working together, putting the farmers at the very heart of food systems, especially family farmers, Family farmers anchor not only rural areas but all the communities and ensure that food can be on our tables (CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE WFO FARMERS’ ROUTE TO SUSTAINABLE FOOD SYSTEMS).
  • It is necessary to eliminate trade-offs between Healthy People, Healthy Planet and a lively agricultural sector: only if farmers can decently earn their living, they can provide food to a growing global population.
  • Incredible innovative practices are proving that farmers are already committed to driving the transformation towards more sustainable food systems. For instance, we assisted in a push towards the digital transformation with farmers both in developing and developed countries switching towards digital sales channels and direct sales channels.