Farming First Newsletter January 2014 Issue
We are now exactly one year away from the expiration of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). These goals were launched in 2000 to tackle some of the toughest challenges we face today, in particular halving poverty. 2014 will see the design and transition to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Farming First will continue working hard this year to ensure that hunger and malnutrition are eradicated in our lifetime.
Food and Farming in 2030
In an effort to inform these SDGs, Farming First launched a creative infographic in November, looking ahead to 2030, when the SDGs will be set to expire. Entitled “Food and Farming in 2030”, the fifteen original graphics show what the future of food and farming could look like, if we continue with a “business as usual” approach. Whilst some results show hope, with levels of hunger and poverty decreasing, other results are cause for concern. They show 9 out of 10 crop yield increases going down whilst prices rise, 1 billion extra people living in areas of water stress, and food demand increasing by 35%.

By demonstrating where the planet is heading, the infographic pinpoints exactly where interventions must be made, to ensure the security of our food supply and the sustainability of our planet by 2030. We hope this informative set of data will encourage policymakers to begin formulating the Sustainable Development Goals with the end results we want in mind.

To further this debate, Farming First held a High Level Luncheon at the United Nations in New York, followed by a Roundtable Discussion on “Eradicating Hunger and Malnutrition in our Lifetime”. Delegates discussed at length the five proposed goals relating to hunger, and offered recommendations on how each one could be made most effective. “With the current international attention on agriculture, all agri-food chain actors are in a unique position to demonstrate their global role and bring quantifiable positive contributions to food security and nutrition” stated Esin Mete, President of the International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA), in her opening speech. A report on this discussion will be made available soon.

Climate Change and Agriculture: COP19 in Warsaw
Despite disappointing progress for agriculture at the United Nations climate talks (COP19) earlier in November, Farming First was proud to support farmers present in Warsaw to voice their frustration, and outline once again the importance of agriculture in both adaption to and mitigation of climate change. Speaking to Farming First, Kenneth Katungisa from the Uganda National Farmers’ Federation commented:

“Agriculture is a key emitter of greenhouse gases, but it is also one of the most affected sectors so how can you have negotiations about climate change and sideline agriculture? It’s bizarre. Farmers are the majority. They interact with the environment on a daily basis. So they have the potential to change the environment, and the potential to destroy the environment. If I had the chance to talk to the guys in charge I would tell them to wake up, because I think they are missing the point.”

A range of media articles and video interviews produced by Farming First and supporters crystallize the debate – see the links on the right for more.

Farmer Roundtable at the World Food Prize
Building farmers’ resilience to cope with a changing climate was also the focus of the Farmer Roundtable Event co-hosted by Farming First at the World Food Prize in Des Moines, Iowa in October. Five farmers from four continents (Africa, Europe, Asia and South America) shared their thoughts on the on-farm impact of climate change and discussed how new agricultural technologies and farm management practices were helping to improve the resilience and reliability of their farms in the future.

Santiago del Solar, an Argentinian farmer, illustrated the need for new coping mechanisms by discussing recent rainfall on his farm over the past decade. “There’s no such thing as average rainfall,” he said, referring to the wide variation he is seeing from year to year. In response to such challenges, he uses notill agriculture, crop rotation, GM seeds, crop protection products and precision agriculture. No-till practices alone, helped him save 33% in fossil fuel use and reduce soil erosion by 70%.

The panel was chaired by Julie Borlaug, granddaughter of the late Dr. Norman Borlaug, who said in her opening remarks, “If there was any panel that my grandfather would be most interested to attend, this would be it.” Farming First also produced a video capturing the thoughts of all five farmers.
New Supporters
Farming First is delighted to welcome Farm Africa to its supporter base. Farm Africa is a charity that believes that Africa has the power to feed itself and that its smallholder farmers hold the key to lasting rural prosperity. They work directly with farmers to help them unleash their potential to feed Africa’s people. The organization operates across the east African countries of Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.
New Expert Guest Blogs
Farming First now features guest blogs each month, on a range of topics from climate smart agriculture to innovations changing the face of agriculture. Here are some of the latest published:

What Next for Climate Smart Agriculture?
Rachel Kyte By Rachel Kyte,
Vice President
of the World Bank

Enabling African Farmers to Feed the World
Bart IJntema By Bart IJntema, Senior Vice President of Rabobank International

Agribusinesses need to play a major role in the new sustainable development agenda
Achim Dobermann By Achim Dobermann, Deputy Director of the International Rice Research Institute

11 Innovations for African Smallholder Agriculture
Sir Gordon Conway By Professor Sir Gordon Conway, Director of Agriculture for Impact
Farming First TV
The Farming First TV cameras captured some expert interviews at the very first Global Landscape Forum, held alongside COP19 in Warsaw in November. Speakers outlined not only the importance of a landscape approach to ensure food security and environmental sustainability, but also summed up agriculture’s progress (or lack there of) at this years climate talks.

Making the Case for a Landscape Approach at COP19
With Rachel Kyte, Vice President of the World Bank

Landscapes for People, Food and Nature: Finding a Balance
With Sara Scherr, EcoAgriculture Partners

COP19: Disappointing Progress for Farmers
With Anette Friis, World Farmers Organisation

Making the Case for Agriculture at COP19
With Bruce Campbell, CGIAR Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security
Farming First in the News
Huffington Post Why Have Farmers Yet Again Been Forgotten at the U.N Climate Talks?
November 2013

Reuters Alertnet Why Aren’t Climate Negotiators Listening to 1.4 Billion Farmers?
November 2013

Global Food for Thought Putting Food and Farming on the Post-2015 Development Agenda
November 2013

Reuters Alertnet For Sustainable Growth, Count on Agriculture
November 2013
Farming First Twitter
Farming First has now reached a huge 23,000+ followers! The launch of our Post 2015 infographic “Food and Farming in 2030” saw our loyal followers tweeting our graphics over 1,000 times. Thank you for your continued support!
Upcoming events
Global Forum for Food and Agriculture
Berlin, 16th – 18th January 2014

Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture
Abu Dhabi, 3rd February 2014

Economist ‘Feeding the World’ Conference
London, 13th February 2014