The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) of the United Nations,   Civil Society Organizations (CSOs),  Departments of Agriculture (DA) and Agrarian Reform (DAR)  with the support of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) will conduct a Knowledge and Learning Market and Policy Engagement (KLM-PE) on the theme “Strengthening Resilient Family-Based Agricultural Enterprises” on November 24–25 at the Bureau of Soils and Water Management Convention Hall in Quezon City.

The two-day KLMPE seeks to share the experiences of models of family farming in the country and to identify policy recommendations to sustain and institutionalize the gains from the celebration of the 2014 International Year of Family Farming (IYFF).  Around 300 participants from government, farmers organizations, non government organizations and private sector will attend the event.

According to DA Secretary Proceso J. Alcala, the KLM-PE  will strengthen the CSO-private sector-government partnerships  aimed to proactively continue the advocacy on the development of family farming.

“Taking off and building on the outputs and outcomes of this KLM-PE , DA specifically wants to strengthen resiliency of family farming-based enterprises, which we see are  potential instruments to boost rural economy and foster inclusive growth,” Alcala said.

The KLM-PE aims to increase awareness on the value, income potential and benefits of family farming.  It will also urge policy makers to enact policies and implement programs that recognise the importance of family farming in reducing poverty and hunger, natural resource management, land tenure improvement, environmental protection, and achieving sustainable development, especially in rural areas. 

In particular, the KLM-PE will be a venue for the sharing of innovative and successful strategies  and  generation of policy issues on family farming for legislative and executive action

The activity will have two breakout sessions—first, on the presentation of cases on good practices and success stories on family farming; and second, on the dialogue on the policy briefs earlier submitted by the participating CSOs to the government.

The first session aims to draw out lessons from the stories presented and use these as inputs to the policy and program recommendations for the government while the second session aims to generate reactions from participants on the draft policy briefs. These will then be finalized for presentation to appropriate government agency for executive or legislative actions.

The thematic areas for the presentation of success stories and policy dialogue identified by the KLM-PE technical working group are asset reform, enterprise development, governance, climate resilience and young farmers.

Participating government and non-government organizations and farmers’ organization will showcase family farming knowledge and commodity products through interactive learning exhibits.

The organizing CSOs include PAKISAMA/AFA, Philippine Farmers Forum (PhilFaFo), PhilDHRRA/AsiaDHRRA, ANGOC, and AgriCord Philippine Synergy Group.

Philippe Audinet, senior technical advisor IFAD who is in Manila for the IYFF celebration said that IFAD will pursue the efforts of IYFF in the coming years by supporting a programme of strengthening farmer organisations in Asia and Pacific.

Alcala added that with this kind of engagement where CSOs and government converge and cooperate, sound policies and programs can be crafted, maximizing the impact on target stakeholders, in this instance, family farmers. (Jan P. Dacumos, DA-AFID)