New chairperson Ms. Shamika Mone represented INOFO at the 4th ALGOA Summit from April 24th to 26th, 2018 in Goesan County, Chungbuk Province, South Korea. Asian Local Governments on Organic Agriculture (ALGOA) is a unique initiative started by IFOAM Asia in 2015 to bring all Asian Local Governments working on Organic Agriculture together on one platform along with many civil society and farmer organisations. First platform, where Government officers, civil society organisations and Organic farmers are no more separate parties; but are friends, buddies or comrades working hand in hand for better healthy future by supporting organic agriculture. This year the focus of the summit was on “Family Farming and the Role of Local Governments in Organic Agriculture”
To understand the importance of this year’s focus on Family Farming let’s look at a brief background behind it. On December 20th, 2017, the United Nations General Assembly, in its 72nd Session, officially adopted a resolution for the “Decade of Family Farming 2019-2028”. The resolution allows for better public policies on Family Farming and offers a unique opportunity to contribute to the alleviation of hunger and poverty as well as to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The resolution was proposed in early October by a group of 14 countries led by Costa Rica, co-sponsored by 104 states and unanimously approved at the General Assembly plenary session.
The adoption of the IYFF+10/Decade of Family Farming 2019-2028, is the result of a long process which started in 2008 with the campaign for the Declaration of the International Year of Family Farming (IYFF-2014). The campaign was coordinated by the World Rural Forum as well as over 300 civil society organizations, governments, research centers, international organizations and cooperatives. It was also supported by international organizations such as FAO, IFAD, International Land Coalition (ILC), etc.
In lieu with such international developments, it is timely that ALGOA takes measures to recognize the role of family farming, small and marginal farmers in local organic agriculture development and bring forth relevant support policies from the local governments. ALGOA takes note that “the integrating concept of family farming includes forests, aquaculture, pastoralism and family fishing, as well as the fundamental role that women and young people play in family farming.” Local governments can play a big role in manifesting the objectives of the IYFF+10/Decade of Family Farming.
Purpose of this Summit was to understand and define the concept of family farming in organic agriculture in the Asian context and to develop policies/ guidelines by local governments to support family farming in organic agriculture. ALGOA now has grown to 91 members in 16 countries in Asia. The new members including INOFO have signed the “Membership of Commitment” in Goesan at this ALGOA Summit.