The Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA), Pambansang Kilusan ng mga Samahang Magsasaka (PAKISAMA) and other farmer organizations in the Philippines supported by the ASEAN Farmers’ Organizations Support Program (AFOSP) – Medium Term Cooperation Programme with Farmers’ Organisations in Asia and the Pacific, Phase II (MTCP2) attended this year’s Knowledge and Learning Market that has the theme IFF+2: Engaging Development Partners Towards Sustainable Development of Smallholder/Family Farmers held at the Bureau of Soil and Water Management (BSWM) Convention Center of the Department of Agriculture (DA) in Quezon City, Philippines.
The KLMPE 2016 featured an interactive learning exhibit highlighting the various IFAD-funded projects and rural developments in the Philippines, where AFA, PAKISAMA and other AFOSP-MTCP2 FOs displayed their agricultural products and knowledge materials.
There were also product demonstrations such as the one on Sweet Potato Noodles and Pandesal Making by the CIP-FoodStart and Mushroom Production by the Organic Farmers of Macabud, Rizal. Farmer participants are very happy to take advantage of these opportunities to learn new product technologies that could help them find additional source of income.
In his opening remarks, IFAD County Programme Officer Jerry Pacturan, in behalf of the 2016 Knowledge and Learning Market and Policy Engagement (KLMPE) Technical Working Group, warmly welcomed the guests and participants from all over the country to the 2016 KLMPE celebration recognizing them as partners in development. With this year’s theme of “IYFF+2: Engaging development partners toward sustainable development of smallholder/family farmers,” he emphasized that over the last decade, the KLMPE has been “a platform for knowledge sharing and learning for civil society organizations, government and development partners, and a venue for policy engagement with government policy makers and program implementers.”
Frank Roy Ribo of the Kalipunan ng Maliliit na Magniniyog ng Pilippinas (KAMMPIL), representing the AFOSP-MTCP2 FOs and the farmers sector, gave the keynote address.
A stakeholder-based policy engagement , which aimed to promote good practices of family farmers, innovations and initiatives, draw out lessons for policy dialogue-lobby and program development, and to implement and popularize knowledge products on advocating family farmers’ innovation, was staged in the afternoon of the first day.
There were breakout sessions on the themes of (1) sustainable agriculture, food security and nutrition; (2) market empowerment; and (3) resource tenure. Inspiring experiences of successful smallholder farmers and advocates were championed during the policy sessions.
In the session on market empowerment for small holder farmers, successful farmer entrepreneurs shared their experiences in farming enterprises on coffee, coconut, pineapple and fisheries.
To have a grasp of the strategic actions and updates on IYFF+1, Raul Socrates Banzuela of PAKISAMA presented the Progress Updates of IYFF Action Agenda from the FOs/CSOs. He highlighted three (3) updates particularly: 1) active promotion and undertaking of climate-resilient agriculture; 2) enlargement of farmer’s power, and 3) strengthening capacity of agricultural cooperatives.
This was followed by another breakout session on ways forward which resulted in strategic directions for the next five years (2017-2022) with a more strengthened and collaborative support for smallholder/family farmers. Participants were grouped based on the sectors they belong to: farmer organizations, academes, civil service organizations, research institutions and the government.
AFA, PAKISAMA and AFOSP-MTCP2 FOs are members of the KLMPE technical working group. The AFA Secretary General synthesized day 1 and day 2 discussions, while the KM Officer contributed to social media reporting. PAKISAMA brought around 50 farmer participants to the event, while AFOSP-MTCP2 FO representatives took the lead in the breakout group on resource tenure.
The organizers for this year’s KLMPE include: IFAD, DAR, DA, AFA, AsiaDHRRA, AFOSP-MTCP2, PAKISAMA, PhilDHRRA, TRIAS Southeast Asia, and We Effect.