In order to highlight the crucial role that family and smallholder farmers play in eradicating hunger and poverty, ensuring food security and nutrition, enhancing livelihoods, achieving sustainable development, and fostering resilience, particularly in rural areas, the United Nations designated 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming.
Agricultural, forestry, fisheries, pastoral, and aquaculture output that is managed and run by a family and primarily dependent on family labor, including labor provided by both men and women, is referred to as family farming, according to the FAO. Family farming and smallholder farming are the most common types of agriculture in the food production sector, both in developing and industrialized nations.
The majority of agriculture, in both rich and developing nations, is done by families. In the world, there are more than 500 million family farms. Family farmers include peasants, indigenous peoples, traditional communities, fishermen, mountain farmers, pastoralists, and many other groups that represent every location and biome in the globe. Family farmers range from smallholder to medium-scale farmers. They maintain traditional food products while operating varied agricultural systems, which benefits both a healthy diet and the preservation of agro-biodiversity worldwide. Family farmers create both agricultural and non-agricultural jobs because they are integrated into regional networks and local cultures. They spend the majority of their income in local and regional marketplaces. If policy conditions encourage family farmers in this direction, all the aforementioned traits indicate that they have a special ability to progress toward more productive and sustainable food systems.
In order to increase public support for IYFF 2014, the UN and the World Rural Forum collaborated with numerous governments, corporations, and farmer organizations around the world. Print, broadcast, and online media, as well as social media, were used to create excitement about the year's celebration events and activities.