At Rio+20 in June 2012, the world’s governments agreed that a new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) should be created to replace the Millennium Development Goals(MDGs) when they come to an end in 2015.
The agricultural sector is well-placed to contribute to this new “post-2015 “ development agenda given its potential to contribute to increased food security, poverty alleviation and reduced child mortality through better nutrition, among others.
The SDGs emphasize 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.
Throughout the SDG process, Farming First will 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.
Farming First in New York
During the Post-2015 Intergovernmental Negotiations held between 17-20th February 2015 in New York, Farming First took a delegation of supporters, including farmers, scientists, businesses and NGOs, to communicate the importance of sustainable agriculture for the Sustainable Development Goals.
On 20th February, Farming First and the Government of Canada hosted a side event at UN Headquarters. H.E. Guillermo Rishcyhnski, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Canada chaired the debate entitled “Declaring Food and Agriculture Matters“, on agriculture’s role in eliminating hunger and poverty. Female farmers from Jamaica and Uganda, as well as representatives from the International Council of Science and One Acre Fund shared their thoughts on ways to improve food security.
Farming First’s 5 Key Messages for the Post-2015 Development Agenda
- Agriculture, food security and nutrition are central to realising the Post-2015 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. Investments in agriculture have no parallels in other sectors in terms of the potential to promote human development and sustainable economic growth.
- Farmers in the developing world can become as productive as those in the developed world —while supporting continuous gains in sustainability for all.
- It is imperative to re-commit to empower farmers via support to knowledge sharing and deliver accessible, quality extension in farm management and marketing.
- Agriculture requires supportive frameworks for investment in infrastructure and inclusive markets.
- A greater focus is necessary on working with farmers and other stakeholders across the value chain to address food waste and food loss.
Farming First’s Recommendations for the Sustainable Development Goals
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) should carry forward the commitments made under the Millennium Development Goals, while integrating into the global post-2015 development agenda for sustainable development.
Farming First endorses the Zero Hunger Challenge as the basis for proposed SDGs on Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture – emphasizing the needs of hungry people around the world, offering scope for more sustainable food systems that address both obesity and malnutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture.
The Farming First Coalition has two specific recommendations for the SDGs:
- SDG: Eradicate hunger and malnutrition, because it is possible to “end hunger, extreme poverty and the worst impacts of malnutrition and food security within a generation” (Madrid Consultation FAO-WFP, 4 April 2013).
- SDG: Adopt sustainable agricultural practices, which recognise and support a wide diversity of agricultural systems, farming practices, technologies and farmers, as well as balanced diets and which recognise that sustainable agricultural practices differ by landscapes so countries and farmers need flexibility and a variety of solutions.