ROME: Family farmers, who are on the frontline of global efforts to fight undernourishment and other forms of malnutrition and to promote healthy eating, require stronger support amid rising hunger and obesity around the world, the President of the UN General Assembly, Maria Fernanda Espinosa, said in Rome recently.
In a world where one third of the food produced is lost or wasted and one third of land is used for livestock production, they are vital socioeconomic actors who can support improved livelihoods, job creation, community cohesion, and development in rural areas,” she said in remarks to over 300 participants gathered at an international dialogue co-organised by FAO and IFAD to discuss challenges and opportunities for family farming.
Espinosa noted that family farmers make an essential contribution to safeguarding agrobiodiversity and traditional knowledge, in the context of alarming warnings that nearly 1 million plants and animal species are at risk of extinction.
“We also have a huge challenge ahead both in terms of inequality and quality of food worldwide”, she said highlighting that the world is witnessing a simultaneous worrisome rise of hunger and obesity rates.
“From pastoralists to indigenous peoples, forest dwellers, family farmers make a crucial, crucial contribution to the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development,” she said.
The meeting took place ahead of the launch on 29 May of the United Nations Decade of Family Farming (UNDFF, 2019-2028) and a Global Action Plan to boost support for family farmers.
Both FAO and IFAD lead activities for the implementation of the Decade of Family Farming, declared by the United Nations at the end of 2017, which aims to create a conducive environment that strengthens the position of family farming, and maximises family farmers’ contributions to global food security and nutrition.