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Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development

Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development


Description

The Asia region is home to four and a half billion (or 60% of the world’s peoples, with half of them living in the rural areas, mostly relying on agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and pastoralism for a living. The region has vast natural resources, having 30% of the world’s arable lands, and the most extensive forest and fishery resources in the world. It is also home to 80% of family farmers working on an average farm size of two hectares or less, and who produce 60% of the world’s food. Yet, while many countries in Asia have achieved remarkable progress and growth, this development has left behind at least 490 million Asian peoples, or 61% of the world’s poorest and hungriest, and most of them live in the rural areas, with the highest concentration in South Asia. The causes of poverty and hunger are complex, but throughout our consultations, our members decry their: (1) lack of access and control over natural, technological, education, health, infrastructure, information, production, financial, and market resources; (2) insignificant involvement in policy-making processes in agriculture and rural development; and, (3) degraded ecosystems and vulnerabilities in price and climate shocks that threaten their production, livelihoods, and incomes. The pervasive poverty in the rural areas has led to migration, aging of the farming population, and unattractiveness of agriculture to the youth. No farmer, no food, no future. In a world that aims to end poverty and hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture by 2030, investments in family farming agriculture and in sustainable rural development is a clear imperative. A key investment is in building and empowering the organizations of women, men, and young family farmers at local, national, regional, and international levels. These organizations, when strengthened and made accountable to their members, will be effective and efficient agent of social, political, cultural, and economic change for development in their communities and societies. Farmers’ organizations and especially agri-fishery-forestry cooperatives (1) consolidate the voices, the produce, and the material and non-material wealth (such as knowledge) of their members, (2) promote democratic, just, inclusive, and participatory processes and systems, and (3) promote self-reliance and a collective shaping of their members/communities’ destinies. As a result, investments in empowering farmers’ organizations are investments in getting committed, dynamic, active partners, unleashing the potentials of millions of family farmers in the work of ending poverty and hunger in the world.

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61-A Chico Street, Quirino 2-A, Quezon City, Philippines

http://asianfarmers.org/