“Together, we can conduct research and come up with concrete evidence to promote family farming for the future,” said Esther Penunia, General Secretary of the Asian Farmers’ Association (AFA), U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Special Ambassador for the 2014 International Year of Family Farming (IYFF) for Asia and the Pacific and member of the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) Steering Committee.
The AFA is an alliance of national farmers’ organizations that is currently operating in 12 countries throughout Asia. AFA’s work includes the four A’s, explained Penunia: ask, analyze, advocate, and act. By building partnerships with NGOs, nonprofits, and governments, AFA aims to promote family farmers, especially women and youth.
“The right investments can help lift millions of women and men farmers from poverty, attract youth into farming, and unleash their potential to contribute to the country’s food security and people’s nutritional well-being,” said Penunia.
Penunia emphasized securing small farmers’ access to productive resources, building the capacities of smallholder farmers, increasing the number of farmers’ networks, engaging governments, and increasing agricultural productivity to support the health of people and the planet.
“With the right policies and programs in place, solutions can be found,” concluded Penunia.