One hundred thirty (130) representatives of small food producers including farmers, fisherfolks, indigenous peoples, pastoralists, rural women, and youth, cooperatives, labor movements, consumers and NGOs from 20 countries worldwide met from March 10 to 11, 2012 for the CSO parallel consultation to the 31st FAO-Asia Pacific Regional Conference in Hanoi, Vietnam. They discussed the complex issues confronting food, agriculture and rural development in the face of intensifying economic, social and environmental crisis Asian region and the world.
Governments need to prioritize food security strategies and invest in their agricultural sectors to reduce poverty. Supporting smallholder farmers would not only enhance world food security, but would make a significant dent in poverty. Leaving them out of the equation will push many into greater poverty and hunger.
Ms. Bui Thi Xuan from Vietnam’s 3NT/VT16 reports from the conference venue.
CSOs from the Asian region gather in Hanoi, Vietnam on March 10-11, 2012 for the “CSO Meeting: Consolidating Efforts for Effective Engagement on Food and Agriculture Governance,” being held in conjunction with the 31st FAO-Asia Pacific Regional Conference on March 12-16, 2012.
Viet Nam Farmers Union (VNFU), a member of AFA, hosts the event.
The CSO Meeting brings together representatives of farmers, fisher folk, Indigenous Peoples, rural women, rural youth, cooperatives, NGOs and other civil society organizations, to discuss the priority issues that are affecting the food security of the region. Partners from governments, donor community, international and intergovernmental bodies are expected to join.
The CSO Meeting aims to provide the 31st FAO-APRC critical inputs from various CSO perspectives and positions on the priority issues they have identified through consultative processes over the last several years. They are anchored on field experience, giving voices to the concerns and aspirations of the marginalized rural peoples.
Among the objectives of the CSO Consultation are:
- To exchange situation of agriculture and food in the region and share experiences with a view to enhancing mutual understanding, solidarity, friendship, cooperation among the CSOs in South East Asia and South Asia for sustainable development of agriculture .
- To analyze the situation of agriculture and food in Asia and the Pacific region and to make recommendations at the same time working out proactive, active and constructive measures to cope with common challenges / problems.
- To facilitate the integration of the Civil Society Mechanism (CSM) in the FAO-CSO regional processes and promote other innovative CSO mechanisms in the region towards the strengthening of the role and participation of CSOs in the development processes at all levels.