finance & economy

United Nations Decade of Family Farming officially launched in Tunisia

October 31, 2021

(TAP) - The United Nations Decade of Family Farming (UNDFF) 2019-2028 was officially launched Friday in Tunis by Minister of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries Mahmoud Elyes Hamza.

Adopted on December 20, 2017 by the UN General Assembly, the UNDFF encourages all member states to develop and implement public policies for the development of family farming, which encompasses all family-based agricultural activities.

The UNDFF aims to eradicate hunger and poverty and improve food security, nutrition and livelihoods. It is also designed to optimise the management of natural resources, preserve the environment and promote sustainable development.

The Tunisian Union of Agriculture and Fisheries (French: UTAP) was designated by the UN General Assembly to take leadership in national mobilisation for the UNDFF.

A steering committee in charge of supporting UTAP in implementing this project was put in place, expert with UTAP Noureddine Nasr told a UNDFF launch workshop held on the fringes of the International Exhibition of Agriculture, Agricultural Machinery and Fisheries (SIAMAP).

This committee will bring together representatives of the various ministries concerned to ensure the follow-up of the development and validation of a national action plan, he added.

A national coalition of family farmers that brings together civil society organisations active in the promotion and defence of family farming will also be set up, he said, with a view to initiating a dialogue and promoting family farming-friendly policies.

Representative of the Food and Agriculture Organisation Abderahmane Makki said the organisation will support the implementation of the national plan to promote family farming.

'In Tunisia, 75% of farms extend over an area of less than 10 hectares and account for 30% of agricultural land capital,' said the Agriculture Minister. These figures, he said, illustrate the important role played by family farming in national food security.

Nevertheless, this type of agriculture is faced with challenges in relation mainly to poverty and social insecurity as welll as structural difficulties, such as the exclusion of small family farms from the agricultural system.

Coupled with this situation, UTAP President Abdelmajid Zar said, are issues related to the Lack of access to farming inputs, seeds and production equipment which accounts for the poor productivity by small family farmers. The latter represent, though, 80% of agricultural producers in Tunisia.

More than 90% of over 600 million farms are managed by individuals or families worldwide and heavily rely on family labour force, FAO figures show.

These farms extend over 70% to 80% of agricultural land and produce more than 80% of the world's food.

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