IYFF-Ph Unveils 2014 Goals

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06052014 dar web news 2 pix 1Agrarian Reform Secretary Virgilio de los Reyes disclosed the International Year of Family Farming’s (IYFF) goals in the Philippines during the flag-raising ceremony at the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) grounds in Quezon City.

With the theme “Ang Family Farming ay Buhay,” the IYFF-Philippines seeks to highlight the importance of farming families in food security and to become a tool to stimulate active policies for development of farming families, indigenous farming families, cooperatives and fishing families.

In his speech, De los Reyes shared the Philippine government’s initiatives in addressing the concerns and supporting the long-term goals of farmers, particularly the agrarian reform beneficiaries through access to credit, farm investment insurance and agricultural technology extension.

He said the government is also highlighting family-run farms as models of successful farming rather than the usual large tracts of lands that are “managed more like a factory.”

06052014 dar web news 2 pix 2“Family farms tend to make use of every inch of their land. They need to make it produce to make the family, as much as possible, self-sufficient and also to create a surplus for the market,” De los Reyes said.

The IYFF-Philippines also invited civil society groups in campaigning for the goals of the IYFF. The groups currently involved are the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Pambansang Kilusan ng mga Samahang Magsasaka (PAKISAMA), Philippine and Asian Partnership for the Development of Human Resource in Rural Areas (PhilDHRRA and AsiaDHRRA), Asian NGO Coalition for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ANGOC) and Asian Farmers Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA).

“These civil society groups will greatly help us in drumbeating the issues concerning farming families and small-scale food producers,” added De los Reyes.

“The IYFF is important to [us at] DAR because aside from our mandate of distributing lands to farmers, we are also tasked to provide agrarian justice to oppressed farmer-beneficiaries and to provide support services to boost farm families’ income. We want to be able to help our farmers achieve justice and the IYFF will help pave the way for policies and laws that are pro-farmers,” said De los Reyes.

The DAR is co-convenor with the Department of Agriculture in the celebration of the IYFF in the Philippines.