Philippines celebrates the International Year of Family Farming 2015
Following the success of the first Philippine celebration of the International Year of Family Farming (IYFF) through the Knowledge and Learning Market –Policy Engagement (KLM-PE) in 2014, Government, CSOs, farmers, and fisherfolks, led by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)-Philippines, once again commemorated this event, through the KLM-PE 2015 to continuously promote family and smallholder farming in ensuring food security and nutrition.
Themed, IYFF+1 Partnership for Food Security, Nutrition and Climate Resiliency: Increasing Farmers Market Power, the KLMPE-PE 2014 gathered 200 participants on 25-26 November 2015 at the Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) Convention Center, Quezon City to:
- Generate progress updates, review current challenges and opportunities on 2014 IYFF Declaration and commitments;
- Draw lessons from current models/innovations on climate-resilient agriculture, institutional purchase and farmers’ market, and agri-cooperatives;
- Agree on action points for 2016 that would advance capacity building and effective participation of family farmers in policy making and program implementation, monitoring and evaluation of current government programs that build farmers’ cooperatives, increase their market power and capacity to mitigate climate change.
Government agencies and CSOs presented updates of their work to the 2014 IYFF Declaration on asset reform, enterprise development, governance, climate change, and young farmers. CSOs, represented by the National Confederation of Small Farmers’ and Fishers’ Organizations (PAKISAMA) and Asian Partnership for the Development of Human Resources in Rural Asia (AsiaDHRRA), have reported their efforts on continuous lobbying of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (CARPER) Extension Law on completion of the land acquisition and distribution component, and on promoting new Administrative Order on municipal water delineation. CSOs have also provided support on the enactment of the National Land Use and Management Bill, the RA 10654 (“An Act to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing”) and the Coconut Farmers’ Trust Fund. The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) shared their interventions on agriculture and poverty alleviation including the development of 100 sugar block farms to improve farmers’ income, and the Agrarian Production Credit Program offering lower credit interest rates to farmers. The Department of Agriculture (DA), on the other hand, presented the establishment of 150 weather stations as a climate change adaptation mechanism for farmers. In terms of agricultural research, DA has allotted more than Php1 Billion funds in 2015. Other ongoing interventions include road improvement for transfer of goods, agriculture and agrofishery credit programs, farmer’ training, and improved trading centers.
There was also parallel side events on “Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Resiliency,” Enlarging Farmers Market Power,” and “Agri Cooperatives” where participants shared and recommended points on good practices on empowering family farmers.
The two-day event concluded with the Government and CSOs accepting the challenges and policy recommendations of the “2016 Philippines IYFF+1 Action Agenda” handed-over by farmer organization representatives. IFAD-Philippines, DAR, AsiaDHRRA, and PAKISAMA committed on stage to continuously and strongly support family farmers and uphold rural development.
 AgriCord, Asian NGO Coalition for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ANGOC), National Confederation of Small Farmers’ and Fishers’ Organizations (PAKISAMA), Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA), Asian Partnership for the Development of Human Resources in Rural Asia (AsiaDHRRA), Philippine Partnership for the Development of Human Resources in Rural Areas (PhilDHRRA), and We Effect.