Sue Carlson: Why Agriculture is Essential to the Success of the SDGs as a Whole

Farming First is at the United Nations today, addressing a session on Financing for Development and the Post-2015 process. The delegation is bringing agriculture’s central role in achieving several of the Sustainable Development Goals to the attention of negotiators, not just those relating to hunger.

Sue Carlson, Chair of the Women’s Committee of the World Farmers’ Organisation has also highlighted concern that access to inputs and extension is not currently featured in the draft outcome statement of the International Conference on Financing Development. Read her statement below.

Good morning Mr. co-chairs,

I am Sue Carlson, a farmer from North Dakota representing the World Farmers Organisation, a co-organizer of the Farmers Major Group. World Farmers Organisation is one of hundreds involved in Farming First’s coalition calling for agriculture to be central to the sustainable development agenda.

Looking at Goal 2 and the related targets, we are very pleased with the work of member states to focus on agriculture, nutrition and food security.

The challenge becomes ensuring agriculture’s role in implementation.  In addition to ensuring women’s land tenure, infrastructure and functioning markets, farmers need access to science and innovation.

We are pleased to see the draft document on financing for development includes this concept; more emphasis should be placed here.

We are extremely concerned to note there is no mention of access to inputs or extension in the zero draft on Financing for Development. Rural advisory services, also known as extension services, allow farmers to access knowledge of science and agronomy to productively and sustainably grow crops and livestock.

Reference to farm input access and knowledge sharing are included in the targets for the proposed post-2015 SDGs. We encourage their addition to clause 12, Financing for Development, as areas where investment be substantially increased.

Farming is the first way to achieve Goal 2 on hunger and malnutrition but also contributes to many SDG goals, i.e. poverty alleviation, access to water, gender equality, climate change and ecosystem management. Knowledge and science is essential to improving the development of agriculture. Agriculture is essential to the success of the SDGs as a whole.

Thank you.

Farming First is also launching the latest in its award-winning series of creative products in New York this week, entitled “The Story of Agriculture and the Sustainable Development Goals”, which illustrates this essential role that agriculture will play in the post 2015 agenda. To explore the new interactive essay, click the image below.

Main ImageTo find out more, click here to read Sue’s article on the Chicago Council’s Global Food for Thought blog.