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Agriculture's Contribution to the SDGs and Women's Participation in Agriculture

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Agriculture's Contribution to the SDGs and Women's Participation in Agriculture

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New York City, United States
6 Mar 2018
Duration of event:
1 Days
Programme Area:
Environment, Local Development
Specific Target Audience:
No Fee
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The international community and, in particular, the entire UN system is engaged in bringing to fruition the 2030 Agenda that was adopted in September, 2015 as the transformative blueprint for sustainable development in all countries during the 15-year period of 2016-2030. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that are at the heart of the Agenda are all inextricably linked and demand the attention of all stakeholders if they are to be achieved within the set timeframe.

Since the world food crisis of 2007/2008, agriculture has been back on the international policy agenda, taking centre stage at strategic meetings such as the G8 in L’Aquila Food Security Initiative in 2009 and has, since 2012, been a recurrent item on the agenda of the G20 Agricultural Ministerial Meeting. It was also in 2009 that the modus operandi of the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) was modified so as to include the active participation of the private sector and civil society in the Committee’s discussions and decision-making processes, acknowledging a role for all stakeholders in ensuring food security and nutrition.

Throughout the process of developing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the International Agri-Food Network (IAFN) was engaged in the negotiations, and as a partner in the Global Business Alliance, it has placed a priority on the 5 P’s: People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnership.

The SDGs place People-centred approaches at the core of the development aspirations of the UN. Accordingly, agriculture programmes are needed that are ‘farmer-centred and knowledge-based’ so that the full potential of farmers, both men and women can be harnessed. Farmers need access to land, water, knowledge, inputs, and credit to grow a crop and they need functioning markets to sell their products. Agriculture begins with primary producers and touches every person on the planet.

The 2030 Agenda presents an excellent opportunity for the private sector to demonstrate the central role it plays in the eradication of hunger which is encapsulated in Goal 2 - End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. The importance of strong partnerships between sectors and the multilateral systems and the significant role that famers play in global food security should be highlighted and underscored.

The 62nd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW 62) will take place from 12-23 March, 2018 with the priority theme of Challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls. This theme speaks to the essence of Goal 5 - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.   With the growing evidence of the feminization of agriculture it is crucial that awareness is raised and support increased for the critical role women and girls have played and continue to play in the achievement of Goal 1- End poverty in all its forms everywhere; and Goal 2-End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. CSW 62 presents an ideal opportunity for such awareness raising efforts.

In 2012, CSW 56 treated the priority theme of “The empowerment of rural women and their role in poverty and hunger eradication, development and current challenges”. The Commission was not able, however, to formulate any Agreed Conclusions which prompted the issuance of a Chair’s Summary which stated in part, “Rural women are recognized as, inter alia, leaders, decision-makers, producers, workers, entrepreneurs and caregivers. Their contributions to local and national economies, agriculture, including farming, pastoralism, fishing, and forestry, and household livelihoods must be fully acknowledged and appropriately valued since they are prerequisites for their empowerment as well as for inclusive and sustainable economic growth and development. Investing in rural women and girls accelerates progress toward eradicating poverty and hunger, improving health outcomes, and achieving the internationally agreed development goals….” 

The overriding objective of the training would be to raise awareness of the pivotal role played by agriculture as a sector and by farmers, especially women farmers, as individuals in the quest for sustainable development. The upcoming CSW 62 and its focus on rural women makes this initiative even more timely and relevant to ongoing efforts to achieve the SDGs, and in particular Goal 2 and Goal 5. Sustainable agriculture and farmers must be central to policy decisions that affect food security and nutrition.

Toward this end the, training module will explore the six principles that undergird sustainable agriculture ( and speak to the policy imperatives that could operationalize:

  1. Safeguard natural resources
  2. Share knowledge
  3. Build local access and capacity
  4. Protect harvests
  5. Enable access to markets
  6. Prioritise research imperatives

The target participants will be:

  • Member State representatives, particularly experts in the Second and Third Committees
  • UN staff dealing with relevant matters
  • CSO and NGO representatives dealing with relevant matters
  • Business and farmer representatives dealing with relevant matters

Please be advised: United Nations ground passes will not be provided for this event

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