Family Farming on the global stage

Victorian Farmers Federation, Media Manager Tom Whitty

Written by Tom Whitty, Victorian Farmers Federation Media Manager 

COMMUNICATION is an asset and a tool that farmers can use to generate global change.  

This was the message at the United Nations proclaimed 2014 International Year of Family Farming global dialogue on communications in Rome, in October that the Victorian Farmers Federation, a member of National Farmer’ Federation (Australia), had the pleasure to attend on behalf of the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO). 

For the entire year, the role of the family farm has been front and centre of policy making across the globe.

Australia’s Federal Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, paid tribute to the role family farmers play in Australia saying this year’s theme- Family farming: feeding the world, caring for the earth– was the perfect opportunity to thank farmers across Australia.  

“Family farms are the cornerstone of Australian agriculture.  They’re the reason we’ve got food on our tables and clothes on our backs,” Minister Joyce said.

“The Forum on Communication for Development & Community Media for Family Farming (FCCM) was about exactly this.  It was geared on facilitating a dialogue for collaborative action and reviewing the way in which community media can be implemented to realistically and positively portray farmers.”

FCCM brought together a variety of rural stakeholders, including farmer organizations, rural institutions, development agencies, civil society, indigenous peoples, academia, community media, and communication networks.

“Family farmers in Australia are now well and truly on the international development agenda.  The year and the forum underlined the need to collectively move toward more inclusive and sustainable approaches and policies in the agricultural sector.”

This is why it is now more important than ever as farmers work to double food production by 2030 that we empower and enable farmers to engage in the public policy circle. 

Farmer organizations and peak bodies have a key role to play in this process.  Our role is to ensure that infrastructures and services are affordable to rural communities, particularly women and youth. 

Farmers no longer need to wait for the media to tell their story.  They are their own #agvocates

“It’s not just about the right to information, it’s about the right to inform,” Mr. Whitty said.

Read more about the FCCM  here

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