In January, the United Nations announced that its General Assembly recently passed a resolution declaring 2019-2028 the Decade of Family Farming.

This resolution follows the success of the 2014 UN Year of Family Farming, which “raised the profile of the role of family farming, pastoralism, and smallholder farming in contributing to the achievement of food security and improved nutrition.”

To quote the resolution, the Decade of Family Farming will build on recognizing that “many countries have made significant progress in developing public policies in favor of family farming, including the formation of national committees for family farming, and making financial inclusion policies for smallholder farmers, such as small-scale credit loans, and recognizing the role that family farms play in improving nutrition and ensuring global food security, eradicating poverty, ending hunger, conserving biodiversity, achieving environmental sustainability and helping to address migration.”

The World Food Bank could not be more supportive of this resolution and the UN’s recognition of what is ultimately the backbone of our work: The conviction that global food security starts first and foremost with small holder, family farms. Family Farmers provide over 80% of the food consumed in large parts of the developing world, but they are limited by volatile commodity markets that have devastating effects on both farmers and consumers.

WFB is currently primed to change this, by bringing together constituents from across sectors to create systemic change to the way our food systems are governed by stabilizing commodities markets and providing links to those markets for family farmers.

One way we are doing this is by leveraging advancements in the latest food drying and storage technologies that allow us to achieve shelf-lifes for food commodities and meals of up to 20 years. Using these technologies, we can reduce post-harvest loss issues associated with shorter shelf-lifes and open the door for innovative new food applications that will help family farmers scale their businesses and become key participants in the movement to solve food insecurity and end global hunger.

Currently, we are collaborating with government officials, financial institutions, technology companies, private businesses, and family farmers across East Africa to create a new global food system.


Photo via European Commission DG ECHO via Flickr.