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Coalition on Family Farming and on strengthening actions in support of the United Nations Decade of Family Farming (CFF)

The UN Decade of family Farming (UNDFF) proved to be a successful framework for developing public policies and investment to holistically support family farmers and unleash their transformative potential to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

However, an additional commitment and joint action is needed in order to scale up the implementation and to overcome the structural challenges of food systems. The CFF promotes a renewed effort towards the development and effective implementation of policies, strategies, programmes and investment aimed at overcoming the structural barriers faced by family farmers and that hamper the full display of their transformative potential. It will benefit from the existing UNDFF mechanisms and inclusive processes in place at national level to support the implementation of the outcomes of the UNFSS, including through the National Action Plans on Family Farming.

Science-based evidence to prioritize this coalition

The UN Decade of Family Farming (2019-2028) adopted by the 74 UN General Assembly, recognizes “the role that family farms play in improving nutrition and ensuring global food security, eradicating poverty, ending hunger, conserving biodiversity, achieving environmental sustainability and helping to address migration”.

The SDGs must be met in the context of food systems that face increasingly pressing challenges. Family farmers, considering their multi-dimensional nature, play a key role in contributing to food security and nutrition, managing natural resources, ensuring the cohesion of rural communities and preserving cultural heritage.

Rough estimates indicate that more than 90 percent of the 608 millions farms in the world are family farms, occupying around 70–80 percent of farmland and producing about 80 percent of the world’s food in value terms. Small family farms of less than two hectares represent 84 percent of all family farms and produce 36 percent of food globally. The relevance of family farming is included in 2014 SOFA report.

Despite this huge contribution, family farmers often face the highest levels of poverty, food insecurity and vulnerability. The spread of COVID-19 and related measures to contain transmission exacerbated already existing structural weaknesses and inequalities of food systems and brought unexpected challenges to family farmers.

Mechanisms of implementation

The CFF leverages on the results, networks, governance and implementation mechanisms already created in the framework of the UNDFF, with the objective to scale up and scale out the already achieved results. To achieve this goal, the CFF adopts a systemic and transformative approach which addresses the core issues in an integrated manner, thus tackling with complex challenges by acting at different levels and within different sectors.

The CFF contributes to support the effective contextualisation of international tools and guidelines in support family farmers, such as the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas (UNDROP) and many United Nations Committee on World Food Security and global policy instruments.

The CFF reinforces UNDFF’ capacity to channel key emerging priorities, needs, messages, and concrete solutions from the local and national level to feed the global discussion and the international agenda. The reinforcement of this two-way dialogue is paramount to supporting countries in their efforts to achieve the SDGs and to pave the way for the establishment of synergies and collaboration with other relevant processes and fora at the global and regional level.

Actions will be focused on creating and strengthening international, national and local cooperation and partnerships with the view of promoting the rights and multifunctional role of family farming and on promoting an enabling social, economic and political environment for family farmers to lead the transformation towards zero hunger and poverty, sustainable and healthy food systems, and an inclusive and resilient society.

The existing governance and implementing mechanisms of the UNDFF at national, regional and global levels should be strengthened, including the International Steering Committee -composed of representatives of Member States and family farmers’ organizations and supported by FAO and IFAD in their joint performance of the Decade’s secretariat functions-, the 45 existing National Committees of Family Farming and other multistakeholder platforms.

Strategic partners

The CFF is a multistakeholder initiative, which encourages the involvement of actors at all levels, with the aim to build awareness and ownership of the processes and to promote better coordination and coherence. Relevant UN agencies, particularly FAO and IFAD must provide guidance, and international donor agencies could support sectoral and dedicated policies, programmes and initiatives promoted by the CFF.

Member states that have confirmed support or expressed interest: Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Spain, Switzerland, the Philippines, Islamic Republic of Iran.

FFOs/NGOs/CSOs: World Rural Forum (WRF), , World Farmers Organization (WFO), Asian Farmers Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA), Confederación de Organizaciones de Productores Familiares del Mercosur Ampliado (COPROFAM).

Monitoring and Evaluation

The Global Action Plan of the UNDFF, offers a guide to the identification of relevant actions that are strictly related to sets of SDG targets and indicators, thus providing an instrument to measure and monitor the contribution to the achievement of the 2030 development agenda and to align and promote synergies with national development agendas.

Focal point contacts

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