The Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) and the United Nations (UN) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on Thursday (Jul 18) announced the creation of a training center to promote sustainable family farming. Headquartered in São Tomé and Príncipe, the new facility will help promote the exchange of knowledge among technicians, farmer field school instructors and family farmers.
The joint project has investments estimated to add up to $400 thousand. One of its main goals will be to increase the participation of small producers and rural technicians in devising laws on agroecology and family farming.
The center will also foster capacity building in sustainable production, processing and storage technologies, as well as training for improved access to markets of added-value products such as cassava, coffee, cocoa, cashew, fish, meat, dairy products, and fruit and vegetables.
CPLP is composed of Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal, São Tomé and Príncipe, Equatorial Guinea, and Timor Leste, with a combined population of more than 285 million people.
“We will not change food systems with technology, but instead we need to make changes in laws and in research,” FAO Director-General Graziano da Silva said.
Graziano da Silva spoke at the opening ceremony of the “Relevant Territories for a Sustainable World,” in Portugal, where he argued for “opening a window in the Green Revolution cathedral, to plant the idea that a new and more sustainable and responsible production and consumption model is possible.”
Green Revolution is a phrase used in reference to strides in farming in mid-20th century, when the use of new technology, machinery, fertilizers, and pesticides brought remarkable gains in production, especially in developing countries.
The Green Revolution, Graziano added, “has reached its limits and it is time to put in place different models to tackle rising hunger and obesity.”
FAO and COPLP believe the well-being of smallholders and family farmers is fundamental for social cohesion, rural development, and ecosystem preservation.
Family farming and agroecology have a prominent role in the CPLP Regional Strategy for Food and Nutrition Security, adopted by its Heads of State and Government in 2012 to address the problem of hunger and malnutrition.
CPLP also countries had a fundamental role in the processes that led to the adoption of the UN Decade of Family Farming (2019–2028) and the UN Decade of Nutrition (2016–2025).
FAO has worked with the CPLP on numerous projects and programs, and has more initiatives in the works in the areas of dietary policies, agroecology and the promotion of Globally Important Agriculture Heritage Systems since 1999.