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Published on 09/02/2015

Closure Of The International Year Of Family Farming

The International Year Of Family Farming (IYFF) came to a close with the organisation of a brainstorming and forward thinking seminar at the Agriculture, Food and Forestry Ministry on 26 January. Henri Rouillé d’Orfeuil, former Chairman of Coordination SUDwho the French government had tasked with coordinating the IYFF, handed in his report to Annick Girardin, the Minister for Development Assistance, and to Bertrand Hervieu, representing the Agriculture, Food and Forestry Minister, Stéphane Le Foll.
During this seminar the Lyon Manifesto, born of the Civil Societies for Peasant Agriculture Forum held on 17 and 18 December, was presented by Frédéric Apollin, Director General of AVSF and Claude Cellier (of the Confédération Paysanne) in the name of the Coordination SUD and Confédération Paysanne organisations. The latter remind us that if the IYFF will have been a terrific opportunity to reintroduce family farming and peasant agriculture to the heart of public debate, and will have enabled it to be called to mind that these are much more than a simple model of agricultural economy, much remains to be done to achieve greater family farming policy coherence and consistency. Moreover, these organisations undertake to continue to capitalise, share and disseminate these innovations in favour of family farming and peasant agriculture, to debate on these innovations with any players/operators striving to boost family farming and stand together – whether in France or internationally – and collaborate in ambitious action research programmes. During the debate which followed one of the afternoon’s round tables, Laurent Levard, GRET’s agriculture and farming specialist, again brought up the subject of the necessary coherence/consistency of policies backed up by the example of the dairy sector in West Africa, which could be weakened by both the new Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and the changing European agricultural/farming policies and production model (end of quotas, productivity race), at the very moment when the development of dairy farming constitutes a major challenge from several viewpoints (peasant family income and capitalisation, soil fertility, nutrition), in a region where peasant agriculture is very vulnerable.
For further information on GRET’s mobilisation during the International Year Of Family Farming and look up its positions
See the press release from Coordination SUD and the Confédération Paysanne
Read the Lyon Manifesto from the Civil Societies for Peasant Agriculture Forum