Open letter from WFO President to global and regional Farmers’ Organisations on COVID-19 and Agriculture

Dear fellow Farmers,

During these hard times of COVID-19 pandemic, I am humbly addressing this message to you as I think that now more than ever, farmers have to be united.

The lock-down has now been applied almost everywhere in the world, and most of the productive sectors have been obliged to close their activities with devastating effects on the global economy. However, my friends, the agricultural sector is still up and running to ensure that the planet remains food secure both in cities and in rural areas. And farmers keep working daily to make sure that fresh and nutritious food reaches the cities and the supermarkets to keep people healthy. Nature never stops, and neither do the farmers!

In the meantime, while some compartments of the processing sector and transports have slowdown or closed their activities, the planet is healing, and farmers are contributing to this as well, by continuing farming as usual and boosting carbon sequestration with farming activities.

There is one thing that COVID-19 has for sure put under everybody’s eye, which is the fact that we are all interconnected in a global system that shortens distances in a few seconds. The second thing being that the food system is at the heart of human life and farmers are the first responsible actor in this.

However, we, fellow farmers, are exposed to a series of challenges that are affecting the sector and for which we are paying the costs. We need support from Governments that should establish favourable conditions for us to work, produce and market our products for the benefit of the whole population. Farmers’ Organisations at local, national and international levels should be involved in political decision-making to implement the right measures in place to protect us.

The world needs us to act together, and we need to coordinate a worldwide response from the farmers to defend our role and protect our work.