From October 11 to 14, a delegation of the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO) joined the 49th Plenary Session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS 49), addressing several panels and roundtables.

Organised shortly after the United Nations Food Systems SummitCFS 49 focused on the 2021 State of Food Security and Nutrition report, its policy implications, and CFS’s role in the context of COVID-19. 

Here is a round-up of the events WFO has been involved in. 

11 October – “Transforming Food, Land and Water Systems for Sustainable Healthy Diets”

Julie Bissonnette, a dairy farmer and president of the Fédération de la Relève Agricole du Québec – FRAQ, represented WFO at the event “Transforming food, land and water systems for sustainable healthy diets“, organised by Stanford University, WorldFish, Environmental Defense Fund, UN Nutrition, CGIAR, ILRI.

Bringing the young farmers’ perspective into the debate, she remarked on the crucial role of young farmers as the foundations of future food systems and the importance of inclusive approaches where we all work together to go in the same direction. Click here to watch the event recording 

13 October – “Youth Leadership for a Better Food Future: The World Food Forum (WFF) as a Movement by Youth and for Youth to Transform Agri-food Systems” 

Khoushbou Singh Sewraj, Vice-president of Falcon Association Mauritius, spoke on the importance of strengthening generational sustainability of family farming to transform food systems at the event “Youth Leadership for a Better Food Future: The World Food Forum (WFF) as a Movement by Youth and for Youth to Transform Agri-food Systems”, hosted by World Food Forum (WFF)FAO, FAO Youth Committee, Major Group for Children and Youth, Youth Alliance of Zero Hunger. 

The session showcased the highlights and outcomes of the first-ever WFF flagship event (October 1-6, 2021), which engaged young agri-food systems stakeholders to mobilise action and identify solutions to transform our food systems and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular, “zero hunger”. 

Khoushbou Singh Sewraj brought to the CFS 49 event the key outcomes from the World Food Forum Young Farmers’ Roundtable on strengthening the generational sustainability of family farming to build more inclusive and sustainable food systems. 

We need policies and interventions enabling youth to build their future in agriculture,” she affirmed, highlighting that empowering young farmers through capacity building/development programs and guaranteeing their meaningful participation in elaborating and implementing national policies is crucial for youth-inclusive agri-food systems. Click here to watch the event recording 

14 October – “Rethink > Repurpose > Reform: Why and how we Need to Overhaul Agricultural Support for Better Food Security and Nutrition” 

Hosted by FAO, UNDP and UNEP, the event “Rethink > Repurpose > Reform: Why and how we Need to Overhaul Agricultural Support for Better Food Security and Nutrition” brought together global multi-stakeholders to discuss the state of global agricultural support and how to redirect it to help transform food systems into sustainable, equitable and inclusive realities and ensure that nutritious food is available to all. 

The WFO Secretary General Arianna Giuliodori addressed the session to bring the voice of farmers into the discussion on how to design a repurposing strategy that is equitable and farmers-inclusive. 
“We must put the Farmers at the centre once and for real” – WFO Secretary General stated –” We must abandon the rhetoric of smallholder as a poetic status. We need to focus on family farming. Family farmers anchor rural communities, and we must make sure we recognise them for their real nature,” as people, families, members of their communities, custodians of the environment and traditions but also and foremost economic actors. 

That can only come by empowering farmers’ organisations in every country and investing in research and innovation in a farmer-driven approach Also, the financial sector must work closely with the farmers and farming communities, with women and youth to identify suitable financial solutions for farming families
Finally, farmers are economic actors, and they need markets that work properly at all levels to compete on a level playing field. Click here to watch the event recording