- The WCC, composed of highly representative family farming and development organisations from all continents, urges governments, international organisations and other actors to accelerate scale up the implementation of the United Nations Decade of Family Farming (UNDFF), in response to the Covid-19 crisis.
- Responses to the current crisis must address the most urgent needs of family farmers, but should also include medium and long-term measures that strengthen and support the sustainability of local food systems based on family farming.
30 June, 2020. In an extraordinary meeting held at the beginning of June, the members of the WCC (World CSO Coordinating Committee for the UNDFF) discussed the situation facing family farming in the context of Covid- 19 and the need to dedicate the necessary means and resources (in the short, medium and long term) to improve resilience, sustainability and inclusiveness and underpin the viability of agricultural systems based on family farming.
For this reason, they sent a Joint Declaration to international organisations, including the FAO and IFAD, governments and other interested parties, stressing the urgent need to promote the United Nations Decade of Family Farming (UNDFF), especially through the UNDFF National and Regional Action Plans, and ensure the participation of family farming organisations, National Committees for Family Farming and other spaces for dialogue in developing measures in response to the Covid-19.
Family farmers -particularly exposed to the effects of pandemics- are being significantly affected by the Covid-19 crisis. In fact, the enormous difficulties that family farming was already facing have been aggravated by the spread of the pandemic, with the serious problems in accessing inputs, food preservation or accessing markets, among other issues.
At the same time, family farmers and their organisations and cooperatives have been at the frontline since the beginning of the crisis, developing alternative solutions to maintain and/or strengthen their production and processing and bringing their fresh produce closer and more directly to rural, as well as urban, local markets and sustainably managing natural resources.
Therefore, given the inescapable link between food and family farming, the Covid-19 crisis brings to the table the urgent need to strengthen local food systems and resources based on family farming.
The WCC recognises that “ the United Nations Decade of Family Farming (UNDFF) 2019-2028 is a concrete and consensual instrument of great importance for defining comprehensive policies in support of family farming and offers a framework of collaboration facilitating the implementation of these policies”.
IT’S TIME TO ACCELERATE THE DEVELOPMENT OF NATIONAL ACTION PLANS FOR THE DECADE OF FAMILY FARMING
There is a need to act now and create the conditions to ensure sustainable and viable family farming with the capacity to respond to future crises.
In this sense, the WCC requests governments, United Nations agencies and institutions, international and cooperation organisations, the International Steering Committee of the Decade, its Secretariat and other interested stakeholders, to establish and strengthen a continuous dialogue with family farming organisations, the National Committees for Family Farming and other political dialogue platforms to define and implement policies and plans, including the UNDFF National Action Plans.
These Plans must include short, medium and long-term measures and actions that improve the resilience, sustainability, inclusivity and viability of family farming. This could mitigate the effects of the pandemic on food systems and rural livelihoods and prevent further major disruptions from potential future crises similar to Covid-19.
It should be recalled that the Global Action Plan for the Decade sets the goal of developing 100 National Family Farming Plans drawn up by Governments, in dialogue with farmers’ organisations and/or National Family Farming Committees, by 2024. It also considers the development of 5 Regional Action Plans and 7 Subregional Action Plans on Family Farming.
The response to the current crisis offers us an enormous opportunity to rethink agricultural policies, and to provide the means and resources – including economic resources – to ensure the future of family farming. This will be through commitment and political dialogue between the various actors.