8th Farmers Forum – Key Demands: Enhance the autonomy of small-scale food producers

8th Farmers Forum – Key Demands: Enhance the autonomy of small-scale food producers

Start a dialogue!

Ibrahim Coulibaly the president of PAFO brought today, on behalf of the organisations of family farmers and small producers in the Farmers Forum the message to the Governing Council of IFAD that meets on the 14 and 15 of Februry directly after the Farmers Forum.

On the 12th and the 13th of February LVC, together with other global and regional organisations of farmers, peasants and other small food producers participated to the 8th IFAD Farmers’ Forum.

Since the last Farmers Forum in 2020, the Farmers Organizations have formally requested Observer Status on the Executive Board of IFAD. In the interim, the world has undergone significant transformations. The pandemic underscored the critical significance of local access to food and food production, the climate crisis deepened, exposing even more the destructive effects of large scale industrialized production and the level of war and conflict increased. Volatile prices on the global markets because of speculation on main commodities showed the vulnerability because of the dependencies on the global food market. As a result governments increasingly understood the importance of agroecological food production for local markets that does not depend on massive imports of industrial inputs such as chemical fertilizers and industrial seeds.

The IFAD mission statement states “to make rural economies and food systems more inclusive, productive, resilient and sustainable investing in the millions of people who are most at risk of being left behind: poor, small-scale food producers, women, young people and other vulnerable groups living in rural areas”. In the Farmers Forum at national, regional and international level organisations of farmers, peasants and other small food producers enter in a dialogue with IFAD.

As a result of in-depth exchange among farmers organisations and IFAD during the Forum following demands put forward:

  • to integrate more relevant and ambitious peasant agroecology and other sustainable and resilient practices, including organic farming, into all its projects and programs.
  • to commit to support redistributive land policies instead of market based approaches, working directly with member states and recognizing the leadership of the FAO, towards a new international conference for agrarian reform and to support the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security,
  • to support structural public policies in support of producers for the fair sharing of the rights to use land, policies to support the massification of peasants agroecology, market regulation policies, in order to ensure the stability of local markets, fair prices that cover the costs of a sustainable production and decent revenues for farmers, peasants, fishermen, livestock producers, pastoralists and all small-scale food producers and policies to develop infrastructures that small scale producers need.
  • to strengthen FAFO processes globally, involving FOs in IFAD programs at all levels, boosting their role in resource mobilization, providing clear collaboration guidelines, making FO inclusion a project prerequisite for genuine participation, and ensuring ongoing dialogue with FOs at the country level.

These policies must be based on fundamental human rights and respecting existing international frameworks such as the UNDFF, the UNDROP and on food sovereignty principles. It is key for IFAD to support the implementation of the UNDROP at all levels, by funding specific programs at regional and national level, and by proactively engage in the newly created UN Working Group of Experts on Peasants’ Rights and in all other relevant UN bodies and mechanisms. In general it remains essential to strengthen the multilateral system and inclusive spaces like the CFS and its Civil Society and Indigenous Peoples Mechanism.

In their common statement the organisations urge governments to provide more funds to IFAD to support these important public policies and programs. In this respect it is central that IFAD funds should not be given to activities that undermine the existence of small-scale food producers and to activities for compensation related to climate and biodiversity.

The organisations request to stop the financing of projects involving large-scale land acquisitions, land grabbing and speculative investments from private actors and development banks and propose to increase the funding for more sustainable long-term investment, strengthening Farmer Organisations’ internal capacity through direct support to farmer organizations.

Article from: La Via Campesina