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International Year of Family Farming 2014

CTA is working together with FAO and the World Rural Forum to give greater visibility to the International Year of Family Farming (IYFF) in ACP countries through a variety of activities. And as 2014 is also the International Year of Small Islands States, an online dossier that presents the views of CTA experts on "Rejuvenating family farming" in the Caribbean and the Pacific has been created and is accessible through CTA website.

Did you know that more than 500 million family farms exist around the world? Family farming is one of the most predominant forms of agriculture worldwide, in both developing and developed countries. However, family farms are facing many challenges, especially in Pacific and Caribbean regions. Food security is a major concern due to the vulnerability and limited scale of agriculture, already facing uncertainty from climate change. For a very long time this part of the farming community has been considered of secondary importance.

The image of family farming must therefore be rebuilt. That is why CTA is drawing global attention to the significant role family farming plays in ensuring food security, fighting poverty and hunger, and enhancing suitable natural resource management. The Centre's vision is to contribute in transforming family farms into to viable businesses. "Our work on policies, inclusive value chains, ICTs and knowledge management is focused on helping family farmers become profitable and prosperous." stressed Michael Hailu, Director of CTA.

Family farming, rather than being a problem, offers solutions to global challenges. But the vital role that these farms play needs to be recognised and most still have to emerge from poverty. The CTA online dossier aims to enable policy makers and farmers' organizations from Pacific and Caribbean to learn more about CTA's work with its partners on access to credit, knowledge management practises, information and communication technologies (ICTs) and commercial value chain integration.

Through various "stories from the ground" showcasing best practices and lessons learnt, family farming model can be viable and it offers a real alternative to entrepreneurial agriculture, ensuring food security and providing employment to hundreds of millions of people.