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DECLARATION

Asia-Pacific Women Farmers Forum

We are women farmer leaders from 13 countries gathered here for the Asia Pacific
Women Farmers Forum, held October 4-6, 2017 in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. Here
we discussed about the initiatives we take to reduce poverty and hunger in our
families and communities, the challenges and obstacles we face as we perform our
roles in society development and the strategies and actions we want to implement to
fully achieve our potentials as key stakeholders in sustainable development.

We women farmers are the backbone of the rural economy are living examples of the
nexus between agriculture, food, health and nutrition, water and sanitation, as well
as energy, as the interconnections show in the work we do. We plant trees,
vegetables, fruits and raise animals for our food and our livestocks fodder. We bring
our products to the market. We fetch water, gather firewood, cook food, clean our
homes and surroundings, take care of the health of the family. We are the first
teachers, the first doctors, the first nurse, and from our wombs we give birth to new
babies. Meeting our needs and responding to the challenges we face is therefore a
development imperative.

Through our organizations, we have taken efforts to reduce hunger and poverty in
our communities and to cool the planet, transforming our farms from mono culture
to integrated, diversified organic farms, directly selling our sustainably-grown
produce to local markets and in many cases adding value to our products and
bringing them to bigger traders and even directly to consumers, building the
capacities of women leaders to be master trainors and provide extension services to
women farmers from the village level. We have engaged our governments in
enacting policies that will reduce inequalities of women in the farms, such as joint
titling of lands and meaningful involvement in water management.

And yet our work and contributions is still underrecognized, undervalued,


underpaid. We are most vulnerable during natural disasters. Our voices are seldom
heard at community, national and global levels. Opportunities to uplift our
conditions are inadequate to respond to the gross inequalities that we face. Without
proper incentives and opportunities, without an enabling environment, our
contributions to reducing hunger and poverty in the world will not be unleashed in
the scale of millions.

That is why we are asking our Governments to provide an enabling and favorable
environment to strengthen our contributions to sustainable development:
ensure womens rights to lands, waters, forests and seeds

provide incentives and support for integrated, diversified organic farming


and promotion of home gardens and climate resilient agriculture

provide incentives and support for cooperatives and enterprises that are
managed and owned by women farmers such as loans, credit at subsidized
rates

ensure that global trade policies and agreements do not undermine the
livelihoods of women farmers

Ensure the meaningful involvement of women farmers in agriculture

Provide IT related support so they can get information on market, weather,


technologies and other programs

Recognize women farmers through identity cards

Provide the necessary social and physical infrastructures (e.g. roads, bridges,
market buildings, storage facilities, health centers, training facilities, land for
demonstration farms, etc.)

We are asking our development partners to support the following:

Dedicate and allocate a reasonable amount for farmers organizations (e.g.


revolving fund, grants, concessional loans, etc.)

building our leadership and management capacities to run our own womens
spaces and /or lead alongside with our male counterparts in farmers
organizations

strengthen solidarity and knowledge sharing and capturing lessons learned


from our initiatives through various exchange visits, study tours, and
production and dissemination of knowledge materials and use of social
media

support the formation and strengthening of womens involvement in


enterprises and farmers cooperatives that add value to our priority products

provide project guidelines that underline affirmative action for women in


project design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation

Provide farmer-friendly project reporting formats


We will endeavor to do the following in our organizations at the country, sub
regional and regional level:

have affirmative action in our organizations (50% women participation in


mixed farmer organizations) leading to formation of womens wings and
committees while continuing the discourse

build leadership capacities of our women members so they can manage their
projects and enterprises

sensitize both men and women on gender dynamics and advocate for gender
equality at home and in the workplace

organize and consolidate our membership to have a strong and legitimate


voice in governance and advocacy processes

strengthen our efforts in promoting nutrition sensitive and climate resilient


agriculture

As an expression of commitment to reducing hunger and poverty and to


sustainable development, we have made a collage of the small but sure steps that we
can do to make this plan come true.