The Time is Ripe – for Governments to Strengthen Sustainable and Food-Secure Farming






Front cover of "The Time is Ripe". Credit: QUNO

In November 2016, QUNO’s (Quaker United Nations Office) Food & Sustainability Programme hosted an expert consultation on the role of the public sector in supporting small-scale farmers and agricultural biodiversity.

One of the outputs of this consultation is the recently published a call to action paper entitled The Time is Ripe for Governments to Strengthen Sustainable and Food-Secure Farming (March, 2014). In that paper, the Small-Scale Farmers and Agrobiodiversity Dialogue to Action Group (DtA) calls upon the international community to mobilize resources for a more proactive role of the public sector in supporting small-scale farmers, their seed systems and the protection of agricultural biodiversity.

Some of the key affirmations of the call for action include:

  • Innovative activities of small scale farmers, including the ongoing development of agricultural biodiversity through their practices, such as agroecology, are in the public interest.
  • Governments are increasingly constrained in the policy actions they can take, by trade liberalization through the World Trade Organization and the proliferation of mega-regional free trade agreements.
  • Donor and policy approaches have become increasingly market-centric, thereby limiting the role of the public sector to support small-scale farmers.
  • Governments must engage in consultation with small-scale farmers to identify what they require in order to effectively engage in activities to support the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and to achieve secure livelihoods.

Read the full publication here.