A delegation of Farming First supporters is currently in New York, meeting with negotiators involved in the Post-2015 Intergovernmental Negotiations taking place at United Nations Headquarters this week. These discussions will inform the new Sustainable Development Goals which will come into force in September.
Mildred Crawford of the Jamaican Network of Rural Women Producers and World Farmers Organization delivered the following statement at the Interactive Session of UN Post 2015 discussions on February 19th, 2015:
Food is the basis of all human activity. It fuels us. It nurtures us. As a farmer and a mother, it is poignant to observe the impact of food security. Indeed, food and nutritional security are the foundations of a decent life, a sound education and the reduction of poverty.
For this reason, your excellencies, we strongly believe the declaration of sustainable development goals should cite hunger as one of today’s challenges.
More than 1 billion people in the world live in absolute poverty. Over 800 million people do not have enough food in order to sustain life and work. The great majority of these people live in rural areas, and most of them are farmers. Children in rural areas are nearly twice as likely to be underweight as those in urban areas. Farmers constitute about one third of the world´s population, but half of the world´s hungry.
I represent the Farmers’ Major Group. I come from the Jamaican Network of Rural Women Producers, which is a national NGO that aims to address the inequalities that women farmers face in particular. It goes beyond facilitating women’s economic empowerment and focus on the myriad of challenges facing women as farming entrepreneurs and primary caregivers. We assist them with capacity building programs, health and micro finance. Many women farmers and do not have equitable access to land and credit around the world. Smallholders, especially women worldwide, are absent from the social safety net.
We believe firmly in the call for countries living up to their commitments as an underpinning of all social justice. This should include commitments to rural poor and women in the form of national policies, regional programmes, and ODA. We know agriculture has too long received too little of this attention. Investment in agriculture needs to grow from all actors.
We want to encourage an elimination of the gap between policy and implementation. The gap means important decisions do not have impact at a grassroots level. This declaration should reiterate implementation and inclusiveness to increase actions at the highest level with an opportunity for farmers input.
Farming must be appreciated as decent work and acknowledged for the pivotal role it plays in the achievement of food security, diverse nutritious diets, and in economic development. We are all – member states, NGOs and private sector, including farmers – capable of achieving together the world we want by 2030. Thank you.
On 20th February, Farming First and the Government of Canada will host a side event at UN Headquarters. H.E. Guillermo Rishcyhnski, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Canada will chair 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 will share their thoughts on ways to improve food security.