Back in December, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution declaring 2014 the UN International Year of Family Farming.
As a proud Donegal social farmer designate – (Social Farming Across Borders SoFAB Pilot @Lairdhse06 and @leitrimdevco) – I too like my fellow So FAB pilot farmers understand the importance of small family farms as the foundation upon which agriculture has thrived over the centuries. Today in Europe family farming clearly exhibits certain distinct characteristics related to location, needs and priorities and historical and cultural farming circumstances that should be maintained and promoted. One such #innovation today taking shape across Europe’s family farms and fields is called -#SOCIALFARMING.
Here in Ireland today it’s transforming lives and I believe there’s something deeply intuitive about caring for the individual through the care of the land through the SoFAB Project.
As family farms look to survive and grow in the context of globalisation and a changing world #SOCIALFARMING I believe offers a diverse business model opportunity for us in Ireland. #Familyfarm enterprises (like #SOCIALFARMING) are essential to maintain the vitality of rural life and rural services in the Border region (and beyond). Family farms too also display greater resilience by demonstrating willingness and flexibility adapting their traditional businesses to high quality services and produce, engaging in mixed and off-farm activities and/or on farm diversification today.Win win here for all #SOCIALFARMING (family working farms) – not only complements the economic motivation of making this achievable opportunity viable but has social, community, cultural and ecological inherent too.
As the 2014 International Year of Family Farming (IYFF) aims to raise the profile of family farming and smallholder farming by focusing world attention on its significant role in eradicating hunger and poverty, providing food security and nutrition, managing natural resources, protecting the environment, improving livelihoods, and achieving sustainable development, in particular in rural areas let’s put #SOCIALFARMING on the map.
As the goal of the 2014 IYFF is to reposition family farming at the centre of agricultural, environmental and social policies in the national agendas by identifying gaps and opportunities to promote a shift towards a more equal and balanced development, why not let 2014 IYFF help to promote broad discussion and cooperation at the national, regional and global levels to increase awareness and understanding of the challenges faced by smallholders and help identify efficient ways to support family farmers through #SOCIALFARMING
Larry Masterson @blissberryfarm is proud to be part of #SOCIALFARMING SoFAB Project
Learn more from www.socialfarmingacrossborders.org
To learn more about the International Year of Family Farming (IYFF), visit the UN’s official IYFF website!