Last October 19-21, 2018, the Asian Farmers Forum was held in Yogyakarta, Indonesia which coincided with the IFAD APR workshop. The Farmers’ Forum (FAFO) is a bottom-up process of consultation and dialogue between small farmers and rural producers’ organizations, IFAD and governments for rural development and poverty reduction.
The Asian Farmers Forum was part of the regional level FAFOs in order to ‘be closer’ to the farmers and to foster greater involvement of IFAD regional divisions and country programs in order to facilitate interactions between FOs, IFAD and the IFAD funded projects and programs. INOFO was invited to sit as part of the Technical Working Group and attended the first workshop last February 2018 for the Asian FAFO workshop. Succeeding meetings were held online to finalize the program and participants wherein 2 participants Philippines, one from India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Indonesia came to join the conference. INOFO participants were active in this endeavour by serving as facilitator, engaging in discussions and sharing with and among farmer organizations from the region.
With the objectives of understanding and appreciating the FaFO process at global, regional and country levels; learning from the work of IFAD and the dynamics of FO-IFAD engagement in Asia Pacific region and at the regional and country levels; and identifying areas of potential and stronger interaction and collaboration between FOs and IFAD; action plans were identified at country and regional level including mechanisms for coordination and complementation among FOs in the region to strengthen solidarity and support. A joint FO-IFAD statement stating support for regional and country level FAFO processes and action plans for stronge FO-IFAD partnerships and cooperation was also signed and presented to the participants. Participants were also able to visit TOMs Farm, an organic farm where the owners of which are members of the Indonesia Organic Alliance, a new member of INOFO in Indonesia.