Farming First was on the ground in Zambia last week, attending the World Farmers’ Organisation General Assembly in Livingstone, opened by the President of Zambia, H.E Edgar Changwa Lungu. Under the theme of “Partnership for Growth”, leading farmer groups, representatives of United Nations bodies, government officials and the private sector came together to debate the future of agriculture and sustainable development.
In her keynote speech, Ms. Evelyn Nguleka, President of the World Farmers’ Organisation, set out her vision for improving partnerships to help farmers not only grow more food, but grow their businesses in a sustainable way. Identifying the various needs of the players involved, and respecting each others strengths, she commented, is key. She also highlighted that for those in the developing world, improving literacy levels is going to be crucial, to allow farmers to seize partnership opportunities.
The role that information and communications technologies (ICT) can play was also championed throughout the conference. Pekka Pesonen, Secretary General of Copa Cogeca highlighted the fact that the challenges faced by the developed and developing countries are the same – but developed countries have much better access to information and technology. “ICT will transform the sector globally more than we could imagine,” he commented.
Yvonne Harz-Pitre, Director of Public Affairs at the International Fertilizer Industry Association delivered a presentation on the role that nutrient management can play in growing farmers’ businesses and feeding a growing population.
“Only transformative partnerships will provide access to the needed knowledge, equipment, finance, inputs and output markets to all farmers, to sustainably produce sufficient quantities of nutritious food whilst protecting the environment,” she commented.
Stay tuned to Farming First TV for exclusive interviews with farmer leaders on site at the WFO General Assembly.