Small holder farmers are crucial to ensure food security and nutrition: Javier Sanchez at CFS

Javier Sanchez, from COAG/ECVC, Spain is among the speakers representing La Via Campesina at the CFS negotiations on Connecting Small Holders to Markets, being held in Rome on the 8th and 9th of June 2016. He is joined by Ramona Duminiciou from Eco Ruralis/ECVC, Roumania and Angel Strappazon from CLOC-VC, Argentina. Full text of his interventions are as follows;

Javier Sanchez, from COAG/ECVC Spain spoke on 8 June 2016:- Speaking on the proposals for the document to be endorsed by the CFS he said,

Smallholders  supply 70% of overall food production, and yet at the same time many smallholders themselves still suffer from food insecurity and malnutrition.  Smallholders engage in many interrelated markets, but also face challenges in securing market access and eliciting benefits to support healthy livelihoods. They have an essential role to play in ensuring food security and nutrition today and tomorrow.

These recommendations aim at helping to ensure reliable and remunerative outlets for their production. Addressing their specific constraints and maximizing their opportunities will support countries’ efforts to advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by providing benefits to the food security and nutrition of smallholders, and to achieving  the right to food for all. These recommendations draw on the outcomes of the CFS High-Level Forum on Connecting Smallholders to Markets held in June 2015, are based on existing evidence and aim to encourage good practices. The recommendations are intended to contribute to meeting the mandate of the Committee to strive for a world free from hunger where countries implement the Voluntary Guidelines for the Progressive Realization of the Right to Adequate Food in the Context of National Food Security. They do not restate recommendations and guidance previously provided in other CFS products .

Javier Sanchez also intervened on 9 June 2016: He summarized the political recommendations to be adopted for ensuring the smallholders’ access to markets as follows;

The policy recommendations that will be adopted during the negotiations should be useful for small holders. The emphasis on the importance of public policies has narrowed and blurred in the debate, so we want to reiterate its central role in improving access of farmers to markets. Our recommendations aim to address the key challenges and opportunities for improving smallholder access to markets outlined above. They are primarily addressed to governments but many of the recommended actions can be undertaken and advocated by other stakeholders with the participation of smallholders and their organizations.  We also propose that monitoring and follow up mechanisms are established for the implementation of these recommendations . 

In the last weeks the working group members based in Rome and the CSM secretariat held meetings with the Chair, the CFS secretariat, and many CFS participants: Egypt, Argentina, France, Norway, EU, Germany, Sweden, Cote d’Ivoire, Brazil, India, Philippines, Argentina, Iceland, Ecuador, Hungary, Switzerland, Norway, IFAD and FAO. 

For a brief and clear description of the “Connecting Smallholders to Markets” process from the beginning please see the relevant page on the CSM web site: