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Today, after a three-year campaign that started in 2008 and a subsequent three years before realization, the United Nations General Assembly will announce 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming.

What does this mean exactly? The proclomation and celebration, according to the Family Farming Campaign website, "aims to become a tool to stimulate active policies for sustainable development of agricultural systems based farmer families, communal units, indigenous groups, cooperatives and fishing families." All the work done in preparation, and throughout 2014, will bear in mind that family farming can help put an end to poverty and hunger, especially if done with the environment and biodiversity in mind, the site says.

Basically, it's a year that stands to benefit the families that we work with every day. We will be watching the developments that come out of this closely because we believe, even with the world's ever-burgeoning population, that empowering smallholder farmers, especially women, to grow more food more sustainably is the best solution to ending hunger and poverty worldwide.
And the Family Farming Campaign is echoing what we've known for a long time: that family farming, "is the basis of the sustainable production of food, of the management of the environment and its biodiversity, a fountain of the important cultural dimensions of each people, a fundamental pillar in the integral development of nations."

So we appplaud the announcement and will be supporting the work from our corner in the development sector however we can. We'll also be following the progress throughout 2014, so be sure to check back here for updates and news about the International Year of the Family Farmer.

You can also help a family out of poverty by giving a gift of livestock and training today.  



Annie Bergman

Annie Bergman is a Global Communications Manager and helps plan, assign and develop content for the nonprofit’s website, magazine and blog. Bergman has interviewed survivors of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, beekeepers in Honduras, women’s groups in India and war widows in Kosovo, among many others in her six years at Heifer.