About Family Farming:

The 2014 International Year of Family Farming (IYFF) was successfully carried-out through worldwide engagement of UN agencies, governments, family farmers’ organizations, civil society, private sector, academia, research institutions and other actors who joined efforts and called for the development of an enabling policy environment to raise the profile of family farming worldwide. IYFF 2014 also resulted in the Family Farming Knowledge Platform, a comprehensive and interactive repository of policy, scientific, legal and statistical information on family farming that supports policy-making and exchange of experience at different levels.

Political commitment and positive collaboration among different stakeholders throughout IYFF resulted in the establishment of multi-actor platforms, including National Committees, for policy dialogue in several countries. These constitute an active legacy of the IYFF 2014. On 20 December 2017, after a campaign organized by civil society and supported by international organizations, governments and other stakeholders, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 2019-2028 as the UN Decade of Family Farming (UNDFF). The Decade will bring together the efforts of the international community on promoting conducive policies, programmes and initiatives to advance family farmers’ position to lead the economic, environmental and social transformational changes that affect rural areas and the entire planet.

The Decade will place women and men farmers and rural youth at the center of its strategy and action plan. This means that they will be agents of their own development, contributing to public policies, while knowledge and livelihoods of their communities will be recognized as  key  to agricultural development.


Family farming includes all family-based agricultural activities. It is an integral part of rural development. Family farming is agricultural, forestry, fisheries, pastoral and aquaculture production managed and operated by a family and is predominantly reliant on family labour, including both women’s and men’s.

Both in developing and developed countries, family farming is the predominant form of agriculture in the food production sector. Family farming also has an important socio-economic, environmental and cultural role.

At national level, there are a number of factors that contribute to family farming to make it successful, including: an enabling policy environment; access to markets; access to and control over land and natural resources; access to tailored technology, communication and extension services; access to finance; socio-economic inclusion and resilience; availability of specialized education among others.

Family farming, therefore, has an important socio-economic, environmental and cultural role.