On the second day afternoon there were parallel sessions continent wise in the UN Decade of Family Farming launching event. INOFO (Intercontinental Network of Organic Farmers Organisations) was represented in Asia and Africa sessions. INOFO President (2017 -2020) – Ms. Shamika Mone, (OFAI, India) was in the Asia session along with 4 other panelists while Mr. Daniel Wanjama, INOFO Convenor from Kenya representing the SEED Savers Network was in Africa session with 7 other panelists. The rapp up session summaring the all parallel sessions can be found on the following webcasts : http://www.fao.org/webcast/home/en/item/4985/icode/
Some major points we put included:
Even if we have majority of family farmers and youth in our continents in the south, majority of hungry also live in Asia Pacific, Africa and LA.
In asia, we had so called successful green revolution in 1960 to 1980s doubling agriculture productivity especially in Rice but has also brought about un-sustainable agrosystems, we have lost our biodiversity like in India 85% of traditional rice seeds, 90% of traditional cattle breeds, it has degraded our soils and ecosystems, made us dependent on chemical fertilisers, inputs, subsidies and trans-national companies and have put us in hands of big traders and companies.
Its high time we understand the importance of traditional knowledge with the family farmers and their skill of keeping and conserving traditional seeds on their farms for generations together. And organic farmers be considered as multiversities of knowledge and not just the benefices receiving information from Govt universities. Gave egs of how Green Revolution and how some acts in India reduced the biodiversity in all facets while efforts of the local community and organic small family farmers and seed keepers have played a pivotal role in maintaining the natural resources around them.
Some of the major issues discussed in the African regional group included seed laws, food sovereignty and their impact on biodiversity. Concerns were raised on lack of access to market by family farmers including the important role women and youth play in family farming.