The Panamanian Ministry of Agricultural Development presented today a National Family Agriculture Plan to promote a model of sustainable development for food security in the country, which has the support of the United Nations Organization for Food and Agriculture (FAO).
The Plan was created by the National Family Agriculture Dialogue Committee of Panama (Conadaf) and the technical assistance of FAO, through the Mesoamerica without Hunger program and the support of the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation (Amexcid).
The initiative defines actions to promote the development of family farming, such as access to credit and financing with adequate interest rates; the strengthening of technical assistance and permanent rural extension services; and the boost to participatory research with producers.
It includes the promotion of the associative family farming to facilitate access to services and the trade of their products, allowing the increase of their income, with priority given to women, young people, indigenous peoples and people of African descent, informed the office of the FAO in Panama.
The FAO subregional coordinator for Mesoamerica and representative in Panama, Tito Díaz, said that this Plan "highlights strengthening family agriculture as a key sector for sustainable development and with equity from a comprehensive and multidimensional approach, and with contributions of all the provincial, district and collective land committees and institutions of the Panamanian agricultural sector".
During the presentation, Panamanian Minister of Agricultural Development Eduardo Carles highlighted the technical support of FAO throughout the development process and opportunities to promote the sector.
"The next step is to formalize family farming to increase its access to markets and to take advantage of the potential in Panama and the world; the more formality, more investment and more opportunities are presented," said Carles.
Besides the National Family Agriculture Plan, the Conadaf, with the support of FAO, submitted Carles a social seal proposal to identify and make visible the products of Panamanian family farming.
The Conadaf integrates more than 200 organizations of family producers in the country that have as productive activities agriculture, livestock, arttisan fishing, handicrafts, agrotourism, among others.
To promote the Plan, the Conadaf agreed a round of consultations with each of the provincial and county committees of family agriculture, to define specific actions, under each strategic line, for the National Family Agriculture Plan.
The consultations took place from May 28 to June 14, with the participation of 349 family farmers and 167 representatives of entities of the national agricultural sector and the technical assistance of the FAO within the framework of the Mesoamerica without Hunger program.
This Plan contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), particularly Objectives 1 and 2 for the eradication of poverty and hunger by 2030.