Sixth global meeting of the Farmers' Forum
15 - 16 February 2016
The sixth global consultation of the Farmers’ Forum marked its 10th anniversary. This not only provided the opportunity to assess the results of dialogue and partnership, but also to revisit the Forum's purpose and modalities considering IFAD's new Strategic Framework 2016 – 2025 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Participants included almost 100 farmers’ representatives, providing a voice to millions of small-scale farmers, pastoralists, livestock breeders and fisher people from around the world. Representatives from technical and financial partner institutions, and organizations that work with IFAD and farmers’ organizations also attended the meeting as observers.
The Forum was preceded by a special session on Pastoralists and Livestock Breeders, which produced a statement with recommendations to improve their partnership with IFAD.
Discussions on the evolution of the partnership between IFAD and farmers’ organizations centred around two reports: the Autonomous Assessment of the Farmers’ Forum Process by farmers’ organizations; and the Partnership in Progress report (2014 to 2015) by IFAD.
The Forum included working groups to discuss the current and future issues affecting the partnership between IFAD and farmers’ organizations. These included thematic working groups on smallholders and markets, climate change and agroecology, women and youth, and the future of the Farmers’ Forum. In addition, regional working groups focused on issues pertinent to their respective geographical areas.
Based on the discussions and contributions made during the Farmers’ Forum, participants agreed on changes to the consultation process. These included: updating the original 2005 Consensus document; decentralizing consultation to the regional level in addition to the global level and holding meetings every four years; and, strengthening governance with a more inclusive and effective Steering Committee.
Following the Farmers’ Forum, IFAD, farmers’ organizations and other partners organized over ten side events to present additional issues, report the progress of initiatives and to discuss pressing matters in greater depth.
On 19 February, a summary of the Final Statement of the Farmers’ Forum was presented by Elizabeth Mpofu, General Coordinator of the international peasant movement, La Via Campesina, to the thirty-ninth session of the IFAD Governing Council.