NFU members recognize the International Year of Family Farming

Farm Forum

SANTA FE, N.M. – National Farmers Union (NFU) members kicked off the organization’s annual policy debate with a special order of business celebrating 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming, as recognized by the United Nations.

“The International Year of Family Farming recognizes the important contributions that family farming can make to improving food security and eradicating poverty around the world. Family farming is the predominant form of agriculture in both developing and developed countries,” the special order states.

Globally, 870 million people are suffering from chronic undernourishment and a disproportionate number of them are farmers. Forty-five percent of the global population makes its living directly from farming, and the majority of the world’s farmers are women that produce up to 80 percent of the world’s food. In the United States, family farms still constitute 96 percent of all farms. The agriculture sector contributes more than $130 billion to the U.S. economy, employs approximately 14 percent of the total workforce and accounts for nearly 5 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product.

The special order recognizes “the importance of raising the profile of family farming by focusing the world’s attention on its significant role in alleviating hunger and poverty, providing food security and nutrition, improving livelihoods, managing natural resources, protecting the environment and achieving sustainable development in rural areas.”

NFU urges the U.S. Congress and the administration to do its part in officially recognizing the International Year of Family Farming and to celebrate family farming’s important role in various ways throughout the year. It also encourages countries, national organizations and states to undertake activities in support of the year.