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The Forum is a bottom-up process of consultation and dialogue between small farmers' and rural producers' organizations, IFAD and governments, focused on rural development and poverty reduction, rooted in concrete partnership and collaboration at the country and regional levels.

Farmers' Forum21 February 2012: At the Fourth Meeting of the Farmers’ Forum, representatives of smallholders, family farmers, pastoralists and fishers focused on the links between poverty reduction and food insecurity and improving sustainable agricultural development.

The meeting, which was held from 20-21 February 2012 in Rome, Italy, highlighted that farmers in developing countries are the first to feel the impacts of climate change and degradation of natural resources. Participants therefore agreed on the need to jointly address the global challenges of food insecurity and climate change, and underlined that the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has an important role of ensuring that the needs of smallholder farmers, pastoralists and fishers are included on the international agenda.

Underscoring the vulnerability of smallholders in developing countries to climate change, Kanayo Nwanze, IFAD President, highlighted the central role of partnerships to IFAD’s rural development goals. Jean-Philippe Audinet, who leads IFAD’s work with the Farmers’ Forum, noted that climate change solutions require technological, policy and behavioral responses and stressed that farmers’ organizations play an important role in representing smallholders in policy development. The event was held alongside IFAD’s 35th Governing Council meeting, held from 18-21 February 2012. [Meeting Website] [Fourth Farmers’ Forum Press Release]

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