Family agriculture represents 70% of the world food production and family farmers account for 40% of the global active population. But paradoxically, 72% of starving people are farmers, not earning enough to be able to provide food in sufficient quantities to their families. This is one of the main issues addressed by the organizations participating in the International Year or Family Farming. Another main concern of the year 2014 will also be to find innovative, sustainable and productive ways to make the family farming feed the world by 2050.

The French Young Farmers Association (JA – Jeunes Agriculteurs) had already announced their support of the family farming model at the 2013 French International Salon of Agriculture (SIA – Salon International de l’Agriculture). An international conference focusing on the importance, role and challenges of family farming, as well as addressing the best means of support for family farming, took place in Brussels at the end of November.

Family farming exists in developing countries…

The International Year of Family Farming reminds us that family farming exists and must be enhanced in developing countries as well as developed ones. At a national level, a supportive institutional and economic framework should be implemented alongside public policies, supporting and recognizing the economic and social role played by family agriculture. The priority of France’s policy in international cooperation and development aid is to encourage family farming since it is a type of farming that promotes diversity, generates employment and respects ecosystems.

Farmer's woman and her baby in Mwanza District, Malawi,

Swathi Sridharan/Wikimédia – Farmer’s woman and her baby in Mwanza District, Malawi

…As well as in developed countries

A large set of events will take place in 2014, as early as February, with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Farmer’s Forum planning to focus on family farming. These events have four key objectives: to support the development of policies conducive to sustainable family farming, to increase knowledge and communication, to attain better understanding of family farming needs and constraints as well as to ensure technical support and sustainability development. These aims will be achieved by promoting dialogue in policy decision-making processes, sharing knowledge and experiences, and campaigning to reach out a large range of actors, from farmers and financial institutions to the general public.

©Xavier Remongin/Min.agri.fr TrophŽes de l'agriculture durable 2011 - catŽégorie "exploitants agricoles" Ð Laurence et Erwan Le Roux, EARL du coteau de l'Aber.

©Xavier Remongin/Min.agri.fr – Trophy of Sustainable Agriculture 2011 – catŽegory “farmers” Ð Laurence et Erwan Le Roux, EARL du coteau de l’Aber.

Some facts about family farming and global agriculture:

A document presenting France’s position on family farming

The International Year of Family Farming website (in English)]

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France’s position on global food security