The #WFO2024 Annual Meeting opened today at FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy, setting the stage for a vibrant and inclusive exchange among farmers from all over the world and relevant food systems stakeholders to promote and enhance the centrality of farmers as fundamental contributors to the sustainable development of agriculture and food production and the importance of a win-win approach to advance the sustainability of global agri-food systems.

Under the central theme “Harvesting Tomorrow: Farming Shaping the Future of Agriculture and Food Production,” the meeting is bringing together hundreds of farmers of all sizes and sectors, family farmers, young and women farmer leaders, farmers’ organisations and agricultural cooperatives from across the globe. Additionally, relevant stakeholders such as government representatives, multilateral institutions, academia, scientists, private sector entities, civil society groups, and financial institutions are participating.

United Nations Decade of Family Farming Stocktaking Moment – Co-organised Session by WFO, LVC, and WRF

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The day kicked off with a landmark session, marking the first time collaboration among three prominent global organizations representing farmers globally — World Farmers’ Organisation, La Via Campesina and the World Rural Forum — within the framework of the United Nations Decade of Family Farming (UNDFF) 2019-2028.

Approved in December 2017, the UNDFF 2019-2028 aims to prioritise family farming in national public policies and investments. To support this initiative, a collaborative FAO-IFAD Secretariat has been established, operating under the guidance of an International Steering Committee (ISC) composed of Member States and Family Farmers Organisations, with WFO recently nominated Vice Chair.

As 2024 marks the halfway point of the Decade, the session aimed to take stock of progress made so far and pinpoint areas needing further attention to ensure the full realisation of the decade’s objectives. The session opened with an acknowledgement of the critical role family farming plays in global food security and poverty alleviation. Participants reviewed significant achievements over the past five years, showcasing successful implementations of family farming initiatives that have enhanced food production, strengthened local economies, and increased resilience to climate change.

The discussions also highlighted ongoing challenges, such as limited access to markets, insufficient policy support, and the impacts of climate change on agricultural productivity. A key feature was the emphasis on inclusivity, ensuring fair representation of women and young farmers. These groups shared their unique challenges and contributions, enriching the dialogue with their first-hand experiences. This inclusive approach provided a comprehensive understanding of the diverse realities within the agricultural sector.

The session, moderated by Global Engagement Officer Elena Bertusi from IFAD, included insights from Berioska Morrison, Minister Counsellor, Mission of the Dominican Republic to the Rome-based UN Agencies; Fatouma Seid, PSU Deputy Director, FAO; Martin Uriarte, President, WRF; and Zainal Arifin Fuad, Member of the National Board of the Indonesian Peasant Union and International Coordination Committee of LVC. It also featured direct experiences shared by WFO Gymnasium alumna Evangelista Chekera from the Zimbabwe Farmers’ Union and Esther Penunia, Secretary General of the Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development, as well as Paola Laini from the Youth Working Group, LVC; Guilherme Brady, Head of Family Farming Engagement, FAO; and Marco Camagni, Lead Global Technical Specialist Rural Institutions, IFAD. The session concluded with reflections from Shantanu Mathur, Lead Adviser at IFAD

Panellists contributed valuable insights, reinforcing the importance of multi-stakeholder collaboration in achieving the UNDFF’s goals. The session concluded with a commitment to present a comprehensive summary of the discussions and recommendations at the mid-term Forum on the UN Decade of Family Farming, scheduled for October.

Innovation and Digitalisation in Agriculture – Co-organised Session by WFO and EU Projects DIVINE and TRUSTyFOOD

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In an era where the internet and digital technologies are transforming our world, the ‘digital age’ is becoming one of the global political priorities. A plan to achieve digital transformation across economies and societies is already underway.

In this context, during the first day of the #WFO2024 Annual Meeting, the World Farmers’ Organisation, in collaboration with EU-funded projects DIVINE and TRUSTyFOOD, decided to host a dedicated session exploring the opportunities and challenges arising from the transition to digitalisation in agriculture.

Despite being extensively discussed as a solution for traceability, transparency, and accountability in food supply chains, Blockchain technology remains underutilised in agriculture and food production. TRUSTyFOOD aims to bridge this gap by supporting policies that highlight the tangible benefits and opportunities of blockchain in the agri-food sector. This project equips farmers and stakeholders with the tools to implement blockchain technology effectively, addressing issues like food fraud and improving overall supply chain integrity.

New technologies and innovative agricultural practices also generate vast amounts of valuable data; DIVINE focuses on harnessing the potential of data-driven agriculture. By conducting industry-led pilots and exploring new business models, DIVINE aims to create an agri-data ecosystem that benefits farmers and tackles challenges such as data ownership, semantic interoperability, and market transparency, helping farmers access new markets, increase profitability, and collaborate more effectively within the agri-food value chain.

The session, moderated by researcher Delia Milazzo, included insights from Andrea Porro, WFO Secretary General; Ioanna Roussaki, DIVINE Project Leader; and Marianna Faraldi, TRUSTyFOOD Project Leader. It also featured direct experiences shared by two alumni of the WFO Gymnasium Capacity Building Program: young farmer leaders Kemei Mark Kiprono from Kenya and Katariina Latva from Finland.

Opening Ceremony


The official opening ceremony of the #WFO2024 Annual Meeting was a highlight, featuring addresses from high-level representatives. Key speakers included Mr Arnold Puech d’Alissac, President of the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO); H.E. Mr Francesco Lollobrigida, Minister for Agriculture and Food Sovereignty of Italy; Mr QU Dongyu, Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO); Mr Alvaro Lario, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD); Ms Cindy McCain, Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP); Ms Berioska Morrison, Minister Counsellor of the Dominican Republic to the Rome-based UN Agencies; Mr Ettore Prandini, President of Coldiretti; Mr Cristiano Fini, President of the Confederazione Italiana Agricoltori (CIA); and Ms Elizabeth Nsimadala, Board Member of the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO).

The evening included a special Gala Dinner hosted by the WFO Italian Member Organisation, Coldiretti, at the historic Palazzo Rospigliosi. With support from Fondazione Campagna Amica and Filiera Italia, the dinner offered international guests a sensory culinary journey through authentic flavours intricately connected to the deep knowledge of Italian farmers and the rich heritage of Italian agriculture.