ILC Asia Vows to Support Family Farmers for Rebuilding Agriculture
Members of ILC Asia have called on governments across the region to respond to these needs through policies and programmes under their National Action Plans that will strengthen sustainable family farming and to support inclusive multi-stakeholder approaches in policy-making.
Food systems have been heavily affected with disruptions in the food supply chains and markets. Unable to market most of their products because of the COVID-19 pandemic, family farmers had little to no income. They have poor access to affordable farm inputs, support services and access to credit. Their right to land has been likewise threatened with the loss of income and stagnation of tenure security programmes”, said Saurlin Siagian, Asia Regional Coordinator, International Land Coalition (ILC), based in Indonesia. ILC Asia in its statement has committed to produce and develop action plans with its members and other stakeholders to secure land rights and achieve more sustainable, resilient and diversified food systems.
The COVID-19 crisis has brought more focus on the existential role of smallholder farmers, women farmers, indigenous communities, pastoralists and local food systems for a country’s survival. ILC Asia and its members have called on governments in the region to: Family farmers need secure land rights and access to land, forests, waters, and pasture lands; We need responsible and sustainable agricultural investments that protect land rights, preserve traditional Indigenous culture, knowledge and practices and that are equally beneficial to the national context and to local communities; Ancestral lands and commons should be protected and the rights of Indigenous communities recognized and respected; Women’s rights and work in food systems and at home should be strongly recognized and valued; The youth should be supported to thrive in agriculture and be given employment opportunities in farming.
The 2020 Asia Land Forum (ALF), organised virtually by the ILC Asia from 6 to 8 October, was attended by about 200 participants from 54 member organisations in 13 countries.
Over the past three days, ILC Asia members have voiced out the struggles of smallholder farmers, indigenous communities, and women farmers among others, in mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Members have called on governments across the region to respond to these needs through policies and programmes under their National Action Plans that will strengthen sustainable family farming and to support inclusive multi-stakeholder approaches in policy-making.
The ALF is an annual event that brings together ILC members in the region and other stakeholders ranging from grassroots organisations, activists, local and international NGOs to government agencies from the region. It aims to develop a common ground of the political, economic, environmental and social linkages among land governance, food security, poverty and democracy. This year’s theme was on the role of family farmers in securing our food systems. With this declaration and action plan produced, ILC Asia brings these demands to global discussions and platforms with the hopes of strengthening its movement and building regional solidarity among grassroots organisations and other stakeholders.