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2014 International Year of Family Farming (IYFF-2014)

arton4367The 2014 International Year of Family Farming (IYFF-2014), formally declared at the 66th session of the UN GA in 2011 (A/RES/66/22), aims to raise the profile of family farming and smallholder farming by focusing world attention on its significant role in alleviating hunger and poverty, providing food security and nutrition, improving livelihoods, managing natural resources, protecting the environment, and achieving sustainable development, in particular in rural areas.

The official launch of IYFF-2014 will take place at UN Headquarters in New York on 22 November 2013, and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has been requested to facilitate implementation, in collaboration with governments, development agencies, UN entities, farmers’ organizations, as well as relevant civil society organizations.

The goal of IYFF-2014 is to reposition family farming at the centre of agricultural, environmental and social policies in national agendas by identifying gaps and opportunities to promote a shift towards a more equal and balanced development. The International Year will promote broad discussion and cooperation at the national, regional and global levels to increase awareness and understanding of the challenges faced by smallholders and help identify efficient ways to support family farmers.

Why is family farming important? • Family and small-scale farming are inextricably linked to world food security.

• Family farming preserves traditional food products, while contributing to a balanced diet and safeguarding the world’s agro-biodiversity and the sustainable use of natural resources.

• Family farming represents an opportunity to boost local economies, especially when combined with specific policies aimed at social protection and well-being of communities.

FAO, in collaboration with the World Rural Forum, the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA), and the World Farmers Organization (WFO), are jointly planning a series of regional dialogues to enhance local, regional and global discussions on family farming and smallholder farming (including forestry, fisheries, pastoral and aquaculture production). More information is available online.

IYFF-2014 is an initiative promoted by the World Rural Forum and supported by over 360 civil society and farmers’ organizations. The worldwide celebration aims to become a tool to stimulate active policies for sustainable development of agricultural systems based farmer families, communal units, indigenous groups, cooperatives and fishing families. This work is being made from the perspective of effectively combating poverty and hunger and the search for a rural development based on the respect for environment and biodiversity. More information is available online.

The UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS) is an inter-agency programme of the United Nations mandated to develop constructive relations between the UN and civil society organizations.

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