Like every year, during the Plenary Session of the United Nations Committee on World Food Security (CFS), again this October the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO) didn’t miss the opportunity to join the debate on food security and nutrition, attending a large number of events within the framework of the CFS High-Level Virtual Special Event “Global Governance of Food Security and Nutrition” and the World Food Day celebrations.

Exceptional representatives from WFO Gymnasium Alumni composed this year’s WFO delegation led by the President Theo de Jager: Veronica Barbati, President of Coldiretti Giovani Impresa; Denis Kabiito, facilitator of the WFO Youth Committee and CEO of Uganda National Young Farmers’Association (UNYFA); Diana Lenzi, a young woman farmer from the Italian farmers’ organisation ANGA-Giovani di Confagricoltura.

In a nutshell, here is what happened!

14 October- CFS Partner Event “Youth Engagement and Employment in Agri-food systems: What Works? What Doesn’t Work? What Could Work?

Organised by the Youth Alliance for Zero Hunger, Young Professionals for Agricultural Development (YPARD), Thought For Food (TFF), I4Nature, Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate, Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), Rabobank and IFAD, the event brought youth voices and experiences on-the-ground into global agri-food policy discussion spaces. Diana Lenzi represented WFO.

Young farmers are willing and eager to propose innovative solutions to tackle the great challenges that humanity is now facing: food security and nutrition, food safety, food loss and waste, poverty, climate change. I have the fortune of confronting with farmers from all over the world. No one feels they are estranged to these matters,” said Diana Lenzi, opening her speech.

She highlighted the difficulties youth finds when getting involved in agriculture, calling on policymakers to consider these problematics and create an enabling environment for them to work in.

Diana Lenzi reminded that farmers and policymakers need to work side by side to find tailored solutions that can truly help to solve problems. Young farmers should be the ones most called on, as they have the vision, the know-how and courage to innovate for a better future. “When youth gets involved in policymaking the result is automatically more ambitious; the measures are more cohesive to reality, the results more measurable and effective. Youth tends always to raise the bar, never lower it,” she stated.

She also brought into the debate her experience as WFO Gymnasium student, emphasizing there still aren’t enough programs that can help farmers to find tools, skills and courage to speak up for themselves.

15 October – CFS Partner Event “The Potential, Practice, and Politics of Repurposing Public Agriculture Support for Healthy People, Planet and Economy

Co-organized by the Just Rural Transition Policy Action Coalition, the World Bank, and WFO, the event focused on how to repurpose repurposing public agriculture policies and support to deliver healthy people, a healthy planet, and healthy economies. WFO President Theo de Jager and Veronica Barbati joined the debate. Read more

16 October – UNFSS “24-hour Global Relay” Session “Ask a Farmer!”

Organised by Farming First within a 24-hour “global relay” hosted by the UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) on the occasion of the World Food Day to discuss the future of food systems, the event featured the participation of the WFO President Theo de Jager. Read more

16 October – Youth World Food Day

Hosted by I4NATURE with Bayer, FoodFIRST, Council of Ede, World Food Center, Wageningen Youth Institute and Food & Business Knowledge Platform, the Youth World Food Day is held every year on 16 October and is part of the global World Food Day, organised by FAO. This year’s meeting focused on food chain challenges and Denis Kabiito joined the debate to bring young farmers’ perspective into the discussion. Click here to watch the event recording