Farmlands, or agricultural landscapes, captures the interest of a number of researchers based at the Department of Human Geography, Stockholm University. On this blog we share information about research findings, activities, events and comments related to our work.

Our interest in farmlands has three roots: farming, landscape and society.
Farming as a practice, including farmers knowledge and labour investments
Landscape as society-nature relations, congealed history, and as space and place
Society as a short form for institutions, gender relations, political economy and scientific relevance

Most Welcome to FarmLandS!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

2014 International Year of Family Farming

Last week in NYC the International Year of Family Farming was officially inaugurated. The first and most important aim of this international year promoted by FAO on this website is to 
"Support the development of policies conducive to sustainable family farming by encouraging governments to establish the enabling environment (conducive policies, adequate legislation, participatory planning for a policy dialogue, investments) for the sustainable development of family farming." 

Several events will be organized during the course of 2014, but most of them will be taking place at FAO in Rome and not in the countries where policy makers should be held accountable. In the face of landgrabbing and a call for a new green revolution, the promotion of this year is nevertheless something to react positively about. 

Based on my experience working for the EU at the UN and battling agaist the International Yr of Quinoa, which finally took place in 2013, it is though quite evident that these international years are not very effective in setting the agenda on the topics they are promoting. Will the International Yr of Family Farming be any different? Looking at the list of related publications you come across a poutporri of ideas related to subsistence farming (e.g. supply chain management, market connection, organic production...)which do not necessarily promote family farming in a cohesive way.   

Looking at the website from my geographic feminist perspective I do not see any reference to women subsistence farmers, who are actually the majority of food producers in family farming, especially in Africa. This lack of mention to women is worrying particularly after I have listened to this truthful portray of a Ugandan woman farmer´s day

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