Communication & family farming

Photos courtesy of FAO

As part of the International Year of Family Farming, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization's Communication for Development Group (FAO ComDev) in collaboration with the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) organised the Forum on Communication for Development and Community Media for Family Farming (FCCM) in Rome, Italy, on 23-24 October 2014. IAMCR was invited to join the Advisory Group of the FCCM and nominated Elske van de Fliert, vice-chair of the Participatory Communication Research Section and Director of the Centre for Communication and Social Change at The University of Queensland, Australia, to represent the association.

The Forum hosted around 100 participants from farmer organizations, rural institutions, international agencies, governments, research organizations, development and human rights NGOs, academia, community media organizations and communication networks. Over the two days, the Forum facilitated a multi-stakeholder policy dialogue on the contribution of communication for development and community media to family farming and formulated priorities for rural communication policies. A final statement was issued, and presented at the Global Dialogue on Family Farming the week after the Forum, that contained a set of recommendations for enabling policy and institutional frameworks for rural communication services, support investments and partnership opportunities, and enhanced communication capacities of rural stakeholders.

The Forum also led to the identification of joint initiatives and a road map to promote rural communication policies and services, and established the Advisory Group as a permanent working group to strengthen Communication for Development networks and steer collaboration among relevant partners at the regional and global level. A future role for IAMCR, in particular, was identified in addressing the need to put Rural Communication back on the map within the association’s spheres. The group of IAMCR members who are also part of the FCCM Advisory group will organize a panel at the 2015 IAMCR conference to explore the opportunities for and scope of a new Working Group on Rural Communication within IAMCR.

This report was prepared by Elske van de Fliert, IAMCR's representative to the Forum and vice-chair of the Participatory Communication Research Section.

Download a PDF file with a short report of the forum's main results and follow-up actions and the Final Statement (English, French and Spanish) delivered to the Global Dialogue on Family Farming.