Hon’ble Agriculture and Forests Minister Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji attended the inaugural session of the ‘Asia Pacific Regional Conference on Role of Family Farming in the 21st Century- Achieving the Zero Hunger challenge’ held in Chennai, India from August 7-10, 2014. The regional conference organized by the M.S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) in collaboration with the FAO, IFAD, IDRC, WFP, UN Women and other national and international agencies, saw over 300 participants from across the Asia-Pacific Region. Ministers and Deputy Ministers of Agriculture from six countries were in attendance to share their insights amongst other keynote speakers like Professor M.S Swaminathan; Mr. KanayoNwanze, President of IFAD; Etharin Cousin, Executive Director, WFP; Mr. Hiroyuki Konuma, ADG, FAO Regional office for Asia and Pacific and many other dignitaries.
Addressing the gathering at the ministerial forum of the conference, Lyonpo highlighted the key role of family farming for ensuring food security, enhancing rural livelihood, environmental protection and in combating poverty. He mentioned that,these small holder farmers however continue to face many risks and challenges primarily due to lack of capacity to cope with extreme weather patterns and volatile global economic situation. Therefore, emphasizing the need to work together in translating our common goals into tangible actions at the global, regional and national levels, Lyonpo reiterated the need for global partnerships and called for greater investments and commitments from International Financial institutions to agriculture developments in developing countries.
The year 2014 has been declared as the International year of Family Farming (IYFF) by the UN General Assembly to raise the profile of family farming and small holder farming. Thus, the 4 day multi-stakeholder regional dialogue was organized to commemorate the IYFF with the following objectives:
- promoting awareness of the objective of the International year of family farming;
- share experiences and knowledge on family farming practice in the Asia-Pacific region;
- develop common understanding of family farming and its linkages with food and nutrition security, poverty reduction and sustainable development and
- identify appropriate polices and enabling environment for sustainable development of family farming.
Enroute to Chennai, the Hon’ble Minister also called on the Hon’ble Union Minister for Agriculture, the Hon’ble Union Minister for Ministry of Food Processing Industries and the EU and Japan Ambassadors in New Delhi.
– Reported by: Tashi Yangzom, Policy and Planning Division
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