Economic Development

The UN’s Spotlight: How Family Farming Can Totally Transform the Global Food Game

A Global Forum highlighting the UN’s Decade of Family Farming (UNDFF) got underway on Monday, aimed at identifying priority policies to boost support for family farmers and agricultural development worldwide.

The UNDFF runs through the end of 2028, and the Forum is being convened by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).


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FAO Director-General QU Dongyu, pointed out in his video address to the Global Forum’s opening that the world is moving backwards in its efforts to eliminate hunger and malnutrition.


Growing hunger


He said the number of people facing hunger increased in 2021, and it risks rising further especially among the most vulnerable, of which almost 80 percent live in rural areas and are small-scale, family farmers.


Family farmers around the world are also subject to the new challenges to food systems everywhere, created by the climate crisis, as well as conflict. The war in Ukraine has added further pressure, to already fragile agrifood systems, UN agencies said.


Mr. QU said the forum provides a way, firstly, to discuss “the unique role of family farmers in transforming our agrifood systems; two, take stock of achievements and challenges in the implementation of the UN Decade; and three, strengthen collaboration to ensure global food security, enhance livelihoods and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals”.


80 percent


Family farmers need to be at the centre of efforts to transform agrifood systems if we are to make real progress towards ending hunger,” Mr. Qu said.


He added that “family farming is the main form of agriculture in both developed and developing countries and is responsible for producing 80 percent of the world’s food,” in terms of value.


Family struggle


He noted that often, these family farmers struggle to feed their own families.


Since its launch three years ago, the UN Decade of Family Farming has been promoting integrated policies and investments to support family farmers, and FAO has been assisting national implementation of international tools and guidelines to strengthen family farming, Mr. Qu told the virtual forum.


He also noted that FAO hosts the Family Farming Knowledge Platform to facilitate the exchange of experience, innovation and specialised knowledge.


In addition, the FAO Strategic Framework 2022-31 includes a priority area of work aimed at better supporting small-scale food producers and delivering concrete results.


Push for the future


The main objectives of the Global Forum are to provide a general overview of policy trends and the relevance of family farming to the global push towards reaching the Sustainable Development Goals; highlight the main outcomes of the first three years of implementation; and re-orient the UNDFF agenda through the practical lessons learned so far.


Participants include representatives from national governments, governmental agencies, UN agencies, family farmers and their organizations, civil society organizations, as well as NGOs; the private sector, the media and academia.


© WFP Haiti/Theresa Piorr

Farmers in the north of Haiti work on measures which will prevent the erosion of their farmland.

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12 Comments

  1. Could family farming truly be the answer to revolutionizing the global food supply as the UN suggests? How effective are the policies proposed during the Forum in supporting family farmers?

    1. Family farming holds great potential in transforming the global food game, especially in ensuring food security for vulnerable populations. The policies discussed during the Forum are crucial for providing the necessary support to family farmers around the world.

  2. FAO Director-General QU Dongyu, pointed out in her video address to the Global Forum’s opening that the world is moving backwards in its efforts to eliminate hunger and malnutrition. Growing hunger. She said the number of people facing hunger increased in 2021, and it risks rising further especially among the most vulnerable, of which almost 80 percent live in rural areas and are small-scale, family farmers. Family farmers around the world are also subject to the new challenges to food systems everywhere, created by the climate crisis, as well as conflict. The war in Ukraine has added further pressure, to already fragile agrifood systems, UN agencies said. Ms. Smith said the forum provides a way, firstly, to discuss “the unique role of family farmers in t

  3. As a small-scale farmer myself, I strongly believe that family farming plays a crucial role in sustaining global food security. It’s disheartening to see the challenges faced by family farmers increasing, especially with the current issues like climate change and conflicts. Initiatives like the UN’s Decade of Family Farming are vital in addressing these issues and supporting farmers worldwide.

  4. Isn’t it alarming how the efforts to eliminate hunger are moving backwards? What are the specific policies being discussed to support family farmers?

  5. As a small-scale family farmer myself, I strongly believe that prioritizing policies to support family farming is crucial in ensuring food security worldwide. Family farmers play a vital role in producing food for communities, and it’s disheartening to hear that hunger is on the rise, particularly among the most vulnerable populations. It’s imperative that we address the challenges posed by the climate crisis and conflicts to safeguard our food systems. The UNDFF and forums like these are essential in highlighting the significance of family farming and finding solutions to combat hunger and malnutrition.

  6. As an advocate for sustainable agriculture, I believe family farming is the backbone of our food systems. It’s crucial to prioritize policies that support and empower family farmers worldwide. It’s alarming to see the increase in hunger and malnutrition, especially among vulnerable rural communities. We must address the challenges posed by the climate crisis and conflicts to ensure food security for all.

  7. As a passionate advocate for sustainable agriculture, I strongly believe that supporting family farmers is crucial for transforming the global food landscape. It’s disheartening to see the increase in hunger and malnutrition, especially among vulnerable rural communities. The UNDFF’s focus on family farming is essential for addressing these challenges and creating resilient food systems worldwide.

  8. It is truly alarming to see that the number of people facing hunger has increased and the risks are even higher for the most vulnerable populations, especially those who live in rural areas and are small-scale family farmers. Family farming plays a crucial role in ensuring food security, and it is essential to address the challenges they face such as the impacts of the climate crisis and conflicts. The UNDFF and the Forum are important platforms to discuss and implement policies to support family farmers and improve agricultural development globally.

  9. I strongly believe that family farming plays a crucial role in transforming the global food game. It is alarming to see that the efforts to eliminate hunger are moving backwards, with the number of people facing hunger on the rise. Family farmers, especially those in rural areas, are particularly vulnerable. The challenges posed by the climate crisis and conflicts further exacerbate the situation. It is essential to prioritize policies that support family farmers for sustainable agricultural development worldwide.

  10. As discussed in the article, FAO Director-General QU Dongyu aptly highlighted the concerning increase in hunger, especially among vulnerable rural communities. It’s crucial that we prioritize supporting family farmers worldwide to address this growing issue and tackle the challenges posed by climate change and conflicts affecting food systems.

  11. How can policymakers ensure that family farmers receive the necessary support to overcome the challenges posed by climate change and conflict?

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