International Year of Family Farming Launch Underscores Links to Sustainable Development

familyfarmingcampaign22 November 2013: Launching the 2014 International Year of Family Farming (IYFF-2014) on 22 November 2013, the UN and global partners highlighted the crucial role of family farming in meeting the Zero Hunger Challenge, which aims to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, promotes equitable, sustainable food systems and gives priority to family farming.

On the day, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, "the International Year of Family Farming 2014 recognizes the important contribution that small- and medium-scale farmers, fishing communities and pastoralists can make in the post-2015 development agenda." The IYFF-2014 will seek commitments from a wide variety of stakeholder groups, from government to private investors, to researchers and extension agents, as well as farmers' organizations, cooperatives and civil society.

Under the IYFF-2014, family farms are defined as those relying primarily on family members for labor and management. UN agencies recognize family farmers as among the most vulnerable populations globally. During IYFF-2014, efforts will be undertaken regionally to support awareness on the roles of family farms. The Civil Society Programme for the IYFF-2014 will be coordinated by the World Rural Forum with the support of the International Land Coalition (ILC).

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) will be the lead UN agency for the year. Special ambassadors for the year include Ibrahim Coulibaly, from Mali, President of the National Coordination of Peasant Organizations of Mali; Mirna Cunningham, from Nicaragua, former Chair of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues; and Gerd Sonnleitner, from Germany, President of the European Farmers Association.[UN Press Release] [FAO Press Release] [FAO Website on International Year of Family Farming] [World Rural Forum Website for IYFF-2014] [Zero Hunger Challenge Website]