Farming First Newsletter January - March 2013 Issue
At Rio+20 in June 2012, the world’s governments agreed that as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) come to an end in 2015, the next generation of targets should embrace sustainable development. Gains in food security, eradicating poverty and reducing child mortality cannot be sustained without a thriving agricultural sector that protects the planet, while offering growth opportunities to farmers and their communities. As framing discussions for the SDGs start up, the Farming First Coalition are entering into the debate and will keep you informed on progress, opportunities to engage and our key messages.
The Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals
The MDG goal to halve the proportion of people suffering from hunger between 1990 to 2015 will not be met. Many feel this opportunity was missed, given the lack of focus on agriculture and rural development in the first years of the MDGs. Rio+20, in framing the challenges that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) must meet, emphasized the importance of agriculture and the need to reinvigorate farming worldwide by supporting farmers, increasing investments in research, technology and market infrastructure and extending knowledge sharing. This will catalyse innovation and empower farmers.

As we illustrated at COP18 with our infographic ‘The Story of Agriculture and Climate Change’ a central challenge for farmers and the global community in meeting SDGs for agriculture, will be stresses from changing weather. Farmers in Africa for instance are expected to suffer no less than a 15% decrease in yields by 2050, which will be devastating to achieving food and nutrition security on the continent.

Via our work on the SDGs we will seek to bring the collective voice of farmers, scientists and businesses working in agriculture to the forefront of the dialogue—while reinforcing the Farming First six key principles to achieving sustainable agriculture.

Gisbert Glaser (ICSU) on the SDGs for Nature
Science and technology will be central to developing the tools and technology necessary to grow more food without undermining our natural resource base.

In a recent paper in Nature, Farming First member Gisbert Glaser, senior science-policy advisor to the International Council for Science (ICSU), urged the UN to base the Sustainable Development Goals on scientific evidence. Glaser called on “the representatives of member states to put good scientific data at the heart of the process […] an understanding of climate change will be necessary to define measures across water, food and energy security”.

Glaser believes that science will play a key role in advising those in agriculture on what practical targets can be set and what everyone’s role will be across the value chain.

To read the full article click here.

The Economist – Feeding the World (Amsterdam)
In January Farming First continued its media partnership with The Economist: Feeding the World conference. We sent live tweets and blogs from the event and interviewed panellists on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, discussing the vital role that agriculture is set to play in finding sustainable solutions. Speaking about the Post-2015 agenda in an interview with Farming First, Amit Roy, President and CEO of the International Fertilizer Development Centre (IFDC) said:

“The challenge for us when adapting to climate change is taking the knowledge that is available and making sure those who need the information can put it into practice. My vision Post-2015 is to convert the subsistence farmer into a prosperous farmer.”

For more information about The Economist: Feeding the World, including exclusive industry experts’ views on the Sustainable Development Goals click here.

New Supporters
Farming First is pleased to welcome three new supporters: Africa Practice, Prorustica and One Acre Fund.

AfricaPractice offers political and business advice to some of the key public sector institutions and investors operating in Africa. They provide market research, strategy development and media communications advice to help businesses, and in return Africa, to grow.

Prorustica specialises in fostering growth in agricultural commodity markets through partnerships. Focusing on the development of agribusiness-focused public private partnerships, they assist farmers in becoming leading players in successful, commercially focused, value chains.

Prorustica and Africapractice recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to facilitate and foster agricultural partnerships in Africa.

One Acre Fund is a not-for-profit social enterprise that aims to dramatically increase farm incomes and empower the rural poor. The organisation is scaling a market-based fee-for-service model that provides farmers with seed and fertilizer, financing, training, and market facilitation.

Andrew Youn, founder of One Acre Fund says: “We believe that seed, fertilizer and training kickstart the economic engine for smallholder farmers to earn their way out of poverty. Farmers are the key to addressing global hunger and economic growth in the developing world.”

Farming First will work with the new members to amplify the organization’s messages and will engage with public and private sector stakeholders to strengthen their approach and collaboration.

We would like to remind all our members that you can support Farming First in our efforts by following us on Twitter (with 16,500 + followers), partnering with us in writing blogs and case studies, and alerting us of any events or reports on food security and sustainable agriculture that Farming First should highlight.
Post-2015 and the SDGs
Are you already engaged in the UN consultative process for Post-2015 and the SDGs? Three key websites for more information:

1. Information on the UN political process, including the Open Ended Working Group on the SDGs, which met for the first time in March: Sustainable Development

2. Country consultations on Post-2015 and the SDGs, going on now: Food Security and Nutrition

3. High Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda: The Post-2015 Development Agenda
Farming First TV
Farming First TV has expanded its extensive collection of video interviews with experts in the sector. These include:

Fieldprint Calculator: Helping Farmers Make Sustainable Choices
With Keith A. Wheeler, ZedX Inc, Technology Consultant to Field to Market

Giving Women Farmers a Voice
With Sue Carlson, World Farmers Organisation

Adaptation and Mitigation Strategies for Agriculture in a Changing Climate
With Robert Carlson, World Farmers Organisation

Pro-Poor Investment in Agriculture
With Kanayo F. Nwanze, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

Increasing Productivity to Achieve Food Security
With Amit Roy, International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC)

Empowering Smallholder Farmers with Sustainable Fertilizers
With Jason Aramburu, Re:Char

Engaging with Stakeholders to Empower Farmers
With Roel Snelder, Agri-ProFocus

Collaborative Solutions in Agriculture
With Dennis Rangi, Centre for Agricultural Bioscience International (CABI)
Farming First in the news
Recent Farming First coverage includes:

New Agriculturist
Seeking an end to malnutrition

Huffington Post
A Climate Solution Still on the Sidelines

AlertNet; IPS Blog
Farmers Need to Grow Climate Smart

Guardian Sustainable Business
Building Resilient Food Systems in a World of Climate Uncertainty

Huffington Post
On International Women’s Day, Celebrate and Empower the Female Face of Farming
Farming First Twitter Update
Farming First has reached over 16,500 followers on Twitter, thank you for all your support, Tweets and Re-Tweets!

On International Women’s Day we promoted the role of women in agriculture and the Female Face of Farming infographic, we reached over 800,000 people on Twitter with over 250 tweets and re-tweets.

Click here to follow Farming First on Twitter.
Upcoming and recent events
4th meeting of the UN High-level Panel of the Post-2015 Development Agenda
The focus will be on "Global Partnerships”
Bali, Indonesia, 25-27 March

FAO: High level Consultation on food security and Sustainable Development Goals
The results of the consultation in Madrid will help shape the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Madrid, 4 April

A full list of events can be found on the Farming First’s events calendar
European Excellence Award
Farming First is delighted to announce that The Female Face of Farming infographic won the ‘Best Association Award’ at the 2012 European Excellence Awards.

To see the award winning infographic, click here.