EU hosts events to mark international year of family farming

A series of events related to family farming will be organised in many European Union member states in the next year.

It follows a decision by the UN General Assembly to declare 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming. Led by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, it has the objective of raising the profile of family farming.

It will do so from the perspective of effectively combating poverty and hunger, providing food security, searching for a rural development based on the respect for environment and biodiversity and improving livelihoods.

The worldwide celebration aims to stimulate active policies for sustainable development of agricultural systems-based farmer families, communal units, indigenous groups, co-operatives and fishing families.

The European Commission has already announced it will hold a conference in Brussels on November 29 in preparation for 2014 “Family farming: A dialogue towards more sustainable and resilient farming in Europe and the world” which is the theme of the gathering.

The Commission said that the importance of family farming within the EU cannot be overstated.

A majority of the EU’s 12 million farms are family owned, having been passed down from one generation to another.

The conference will allow participants to look at the role of family farming, key challenges and priorities for the future, as well the best means of supporting family farms.

Admission will be invitation only, but it will be possible to follow the work of the conference via web streaming.

The Commission said that the outcome of the discussions will contribute to the FAO European Regional conference scheduled in 2014 in Bucharest (Romania) as well as to other events related to family farming to be held next year.

All citizens, organisations and public authorities in the EU and beyond who are interested in the topic of family farming are welcome to contribute to this consultation, which will continue until October 11.

This consultation will also contribute towards the European conference in Brussels on Nov 29.

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