Stories tagged: Farming First

#IWD2017 – 17 Programs Helping Women Feed the World


Welcome to our new series “Supporter Spotlight”, where we showcase the fantastic work our supporters are doing to further sustainable agriculture worldwide. To celebrate International Women’s Day, we take a look at the programs levelling the planting field for female farmers.

1. We Farm: How single parent Clara increased her income

Clara discovered that her cow had a mineral deficiency that was making her bones weak. Through the mobile peer-to-peer advice network We Farm, Clara was advised that she should feed the cow with feeds rich with calcium and phosphorus. Another farmer also sent Clara an SMS with advice on how to grow hydroponic fodder which could help to substitute minerals in her cow feed, at a cheaper cost. Not only did she solve her problem but also learned a new skill in the process. Read more. Continue reading

2016 in Ag Hashtags!


As 2016 draws to a close, Farming First asks: what have been the major milestones for sustainable agriculture this year? And how has Farming First and its supporters engaged with them? Join us for a unique round up of the year – in ag #tags!

January: #LovePulses Celebrating the International Year of Pulses

On January 1st, the International Year of Pulses officially kicked off. From “Pulse Feasts” hosted across the world, to a global competition looking for the next generation of pulse-based products, the International Year of Pulses has shed a spotlight on this nutritious and sustainable superfood.

February: #Sci4Dev Celebrating Science & Innovation in Agriculture

In February, Farming First teamed up with CGIAR to tell 28 stories of how science and innovation is lifting smallholder farmers from poverty, to prosperity. The online case study collection demonstrated how investments in science can go beyond simply meeting food security needs, but contribute to broader interlinked goals such as natural resource management, improved nutrition and resilient rural livelihoods. Click the image to explore the stories.

Explore 28 ways science is transforming rural lives, co-produced with CGIAR

Explore 28 ways science is transforming rural lives, co-produced with CGIAR


March: #IWD2016 Hearing Women Farmers Speak on International Women’s Day

Ever since Farming First launched its “Female Face of Farming” infographic in 2012, we have championed rural women’s role in sustainable agriculture and global food security. This year, we compiled a round up our Farming First TV interviews with female farmers, and published a guest blog by the World Food Program’s Purchase for Progress team, which has been working with female pulse producers to diversify their income. Click the image to read our #IWD2016 newsletter.



April: #GCARD3Meeting the Young Agripreneurs at GCARD3

All through 2016, our eyes have been on the next generation of sustainable agriculture advocates. During the Third Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development, we profiled the young “agripreneurs” who had won a start-up grant for their innovative agriculture business ideas. From cultivating herbs for beauty products in Barbados to revolutionising dairy farming in India – the stories were both impressive and inspiring!


May: #WFOGA2016 Onsite at the WFO’s General Assembly

This year we joined hundreds of farmers from all over the world at the World Farmers’ Organisation’s annual General Assembly, which was held in Victoria Falls, Zambia. As well as blogging about the event, we captured interviews with the farmers on how they are coping with climate change, to feature in our “CSA in Action campaign”.

June: #FoodPrize16 Biofortification Pioneers Scoop World Food Prize

Our media partnership with the World Food Prize continued this year, and we had the pleasure of working with the Foundation to promote the 2016 winners of the World Food Prize to the press in June. Drs. Maria Andrade, Jan Low and Robert Mwanga of the International Potato Center, and Dr. Howarth Bouis of HarvestPlus were awarded the accolade for their work on biofortification, and in particular the vitamin-A rich orange flesh sweet potato. The news was covered all over the world and even featured in TIME magazine’s “25 best inventions of 2016”!


July: #WYSDEmpowering Youth in Agriculture

July 15th was World Youth Skills Day, and Farming First supporter YPARD partnered with the CGIAR Research Program on Drylands, to obtain youth perspectives on the realities, challenges and aspirations of life in drylands and opportunities for making a living from agriculture. For a full round up of their findings, visit the YPARD blog.


August: #WWWeekExploring water efficiencies in agriculture for World Water Week

Agriculture is the biggest user of freshwater on the planet – using up to 70% of global supplies. Many Farming First supporters are working to make water use in agriculture more efficient. Take a look at this study from Fintrac and partners, that has studied lessons learned from groups commercialising drip irrigation in smallholder markets. And check out this blog from iDE, that tells the story of plantain farmers in Honduras that have improved their incomes and productivity through the same innovation.

September: #CSAinActionExplaining Climate Smart Agriculture during Climate Week

Back in June 2016, we partnered with the Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture to explain the concept and also showcase how it is being put into action by farmers worldwide. We sourced 28 stories from Farming First supporters and GACSA members, and produced an animated video that has now been viewed more than 5,000 times!


October: #IamAgInspiring a New Generation in Agricultural Careers

In October, we launched a unique campaign to show young people the range of exciting careers that are available in agriculture, beyond the farm! We had a series of youth bloggers telling us about their careers from finance to TV production, as well as 17 video interviews with experts, who told the stories behind their success. Hundreds of you told your stories online using the hashtag #IamAg and used our “I am Ag” badge on your Twitter and Facebook profiles. Farming First supporter Sir Gordon Conway wrote an opinion article for The Telegraph on getting young people into agriculture too. Catch up on the whole campaign here.


November: #CCawards Double Win for Farming First at CorpComms Awards

Our 2015 campaign “The Story of Agriculture and the Sustainable Development Goals” received two accolades at the CorpComms Awards in London in November. We won “best communication for a non-profit” and came highly commended in the “best international campaign” category. “The Story of Agriculture and the SDGs” was a year-long campaign that sought to ensure agriculture and sustainable farming issues were well represented in the text of Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Farming First supporters went on three missions to the United Nations in New York, to meet with and present to Post-2015 negotiators, as well as taking part in side events to demonstrate how agriculture can be considered “a common thread” throughout the SDGs. An interactive toolkit was also launched, to explain the impact that investing in agriculture can have on a range of goals beyond Goal Two to end hunger, such as health, economic growth, gender equality and combatting climate change. Visit the portal here.

December: #WorldSoilDay How improving our soils will improve food supplies

We can’t feed the world without feeding our soil first. This is the message we helped Farming First supporters convey on World Soil Day, 5th December. Leading soil scientist Patrick Heffer blogged for Farm Journal, and Chair of the International Fertilizer Association’s agriculture committee Kapil Mehan wrote for Business Fights Poverty on the latest breakthroughs that can reverse the trend of soil degradation across the world.

Did we miss an important ag #tag of 2016? Tweet us @FarmingFirst to share the important sustainable agriculture issues you’ve been promoting this year!

Farming First Celebrates Double Win at CorpComms Awards 2016


Farming First scooped the award for “Best Communications by a Not for Profit Organisation” at the Corporate Communications award ceremony in London last night. Our 2015 campaign “The Story of Agriculture and the Sustainable Development Goals” triumphed over stiff competition from ZSL London Zoo, Age UK and Scope. It also came highly commended in the “Best International Campaign” category, making it a double win for Farming First.

“The Story of Agriculture and Development Goals” was a year-long campaign that sought to ensure agriculture and sustainable farming issues were well represented in the text of Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Farming First supporters went on three missions to the United Nations in New York, to meet with and present to Post-2015 negotiators, as well as taking part in side events to demonstrate how agriculture can be considered “a common thread” throughout the SDGs. An interactive toolkit was also launched, to explain the impact that investing in agriculture can have on a range of goals beyond Goal Two to end hunger, such as health, economic growth, gender equality and combatting climate change.

When the SDGs came into force in September 2015, Farming First was delighted to see many of the key issues it has been advocating for during this process, such as food security, rural development, and innovation well represented in the final text. These topics now feature six, two and 13 times respectively throughout the document. The Farming First supporter delegation also encouraged inclusion of improved access for farmers to extension services and training, access to inputs and investment in research and in infrastructure which are now specifically mentioned under Goal 2.

Farming First’s call to recognise agriculture as a common thread thought the SDGs has been well heeded. Equal access to resources for women farmers is mentioned in goal five on gender equality, and post-harvest losses are mentioned as target 12.3 in the goal relating to sustainable consumption and production.


To celebrate the adoption of the SDGs, Farming First supporters submitted stories from farmers around the world that they work with, who shared their hopes for what the SDGs would achieve, and how they intended to implement them. You can read the full stories on our “SDGs and Me” page.

Farming First would like to thank all its supporters that contributed to this award-winning campaign!

Farming First’s “The Story of Agriculture & SDGs” Shortlisted for Industry Award

SDGs and Me   Farming First

Farming First’s 2015 campaign “The Story of Agriculture and the Sustainable Development Goals” has been shortlisted for a Gold EMEA SABRE Award under the “associations” category.

The shortlist was selected from among more than 2,400 entries in this year’s competition, which recognizes Superior Achievement in Branding, Reputation and Engagement. The campaigns were evaluated by a jury of more than 40 industry leaders.

Main Image

Click here to explore our interactive essay on why agriculture is the common thread in the SDGs










Farming First’s campaign to showcase agriculture’s central role to many of the SDGs, beyond goal two of ending hunger, comprised of the interactive essay “The Story of Agriculture and the Sustainable Development Goals“, an expert blog series and a series of in-person advocacy tours with negotiators involved in the Post-2015 Intergovernmental Negotiations at the United Nations in New York. Agriculture was well-represented in the final outcome document, thanks to the had work of Farming First advocates and colleagues involved in this process.

The winner will be announced at the SABRE Awards ceremony in Berlin on 25th May 2016.


Farming First & CGIAR Side Event at EU Development Days 2016

Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 10.18.13

15th June 2016, 4pm – 5.15pm

Room D5, Tour & Taxis

Brussels, Belgium

Join Farming First and CGIAR at our interactive session “Meeting the Sustainable Development Goals with Science” at the EU Development Days!

Our distinguished panel – moderated by BBC science & environment journalist Mark Kinver – will tell stories of science changing farmers’ lives Pecha Kucha style. Discussing 20 images for just 20 seconds each, our speakers will stimulate debate on how science can be harnessed to achieve many of the interlinked Sustainable Development Goals, including ending hunger, combatting climate change and empowering women.


Our Panel

Frank Rijsberman, CEO, CGIAR ConsortiumRijsberman2colorcropped

CGIAR is the largest agri-food research partnership in the world, made-up of 15 research centers with 10,000 staff in over 70 countries. Dr. Rijsberman leads the implementation of CGIAR’s vision through a portfolio of impact focused research programs dedicated to increasing food and nutrition security, reducing rural poverty, and protecting the environment.

I.Rae photoIsabella Rae, Head of Policy & Research, Self Help Africa

Dr. Rae has been working in the NGO sector for the past eight years, prior to which she worked with FAO, Bioversity International and WFP. She has experience in the design, elaboration and management of technical assistance projects, with particular emphasis on Central and Western Africa. She has published in areas of women rights, food security and governance, and the right to food.

Sona Ebai CroppedSona Ebai, Chief of Party, World Cocoa Foundation

Sona Ebai has spent the last 25 years in integrated rural regional development. Through his role at the World Cocoa Foundation/African Cocoa Initiative (WCF/ACI), he has been instrumental in fostering effective public and private sector models to support sustainable productivity and improved food security on diversified cocoa farms in West and Central Africa.

Kampmann, Willi - 3Willi Kampmann, Head of International Affairs, German Farmers’ Association (DBV)

Willi Kampmanm has worked with the German Farmers’ Association for 35 years and has headed the Brussels office since 2000, concentrating on European and international agricultural policy. He was responsible for creating the House of German Agriculture and Food Industry, together with  seven other German agricultural associations.

Our Moderator

160420 MKV colourMark Kinver, BBC Science & Environment Reporter

Mark Kinver has been reporting on science and environment issues for BBC News for ten years. As moderator for this event, Mark will help our panelists delve deeper into the issues raised, and let you have your say on the topics.



The European Development Days (EDD) are Europe’s leading forum on development and international cooperation. Organised by the European Commission, the forum brings the development community together each year to share ideas and experiences in ways that inspire new partnerships and innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.

Farming First’s 15 Heroes of 2015

FF Heroes

2015 is drawing to a close – and what better way to celebrate this milestone year for development, than by highlighting the work of some of Farming First’s most hardworking supporters and partners! Take a tour through our activities this past year and help us celebrate some of our heroes.

SONY DSC1. Mark Rosegrant at The Economist Feeding the World Conference

We kicked off the year at The Economist’s Feeding the World conference in Amsterdam, where we acted as their media partner for the fourth consecutive year. Mark Rosegrant, Director of the Environment and Production Technology Division of the International Food Policy Research Institute, spoke the rewards of technology and showcased some future solutions. He summarised findings from a report released last year that tested the effectiveness of 11 technologies under climate change scenarios. Watch his interview with Farming First TV to find out more, and click here to read our summary blog of The Economist event. Continue reading