The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) have joined forces to foster inclusive and sustainable family farming as the central cornerstone for a vibrant, productive and profitable agriculture across the Near East and North Africa (NENA).
The initiative was announced recently, during the e-launch of the UN Decade of Family Farming (UNDFF) in the NENA region. The event brought together government ministries, farmers’ organisations, civil society, research institutions and international organisations to define priorities and implement a regional action plan for this decade.
“Family farms worldwide have immense potential to become core players and to support developmental strategies aimed at increasing food security, making food systems sustainable and managing natural resources,” said IFAD’s Regional Director for the Near East, North Africa, Central Asia and Europe Division, Dina Saleh said.
“Family farming is viewed as an optimal model, effectively helping to restore environmental degradation and sustain natural resources. For generations, farmers have looked after the farms they inherited from their ancestors with great care and with the desire to pass on the responsibility, and we are strongly committed to supporting them.”
“Taking into consideration the specific characteristics of the NENA region and its unique challenges, it is of paramount importance to introduce a new generation of enabling policy environment and technical interventions tailored to the region, with focus on the socio-economic inclusion of youth and women, to promote agri-food systems transformation, while putting family farming at the center,” FAO Deputy Regional Representative for the Near East and North Africa, Serge Nakouzi said.