By: Mary Carver, P.H.Ec.
The United Nations (UN) has declared 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming. The proclamation aims to increase awareness of the importance of family farming in addressing world issues such as poverty, food security and protection of the environment.
The goal of the declaration is to ‘reposition family farming at the centre of agricultural, environmental and social policies in national agendas.’ The UN hopes that it will spur discussion at local, national and international levels of governments. The decree includes both developing and developed countries, including Canada.
The UN defines family farming as ‘all family-based agricultural activities, and it is linked to several areas of rural development. Family farming is a means of organizing agricultural, forestry, fisheries, pastoral and aquaculture production which is managed and operated by a family and predominantly reliant on family labour, including both women’s and men’s.’