United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Major Group: Farmers

Mister Chairman,
Day by day farmers deal with the deterioration of natural resources due to land degradation, floods,
droughts, desertification and other phenomena caused by climate change. Smallholder farmers
cannot break out of the poverty cycle without fertile soil, healthy animals and the right tools for
sustainable land management. These conditions of natural resource deterioration and biodiversity
impoverishment endanger farmers? livelihoods.
One of the biggest challenges for sustainable agriculture is the adoption of a farming approach that
encompasses environmental sustainability, animal welfare and food security and includes improved
yields, better farmer incomes, lower costs of production, and reduced waste, with optimal inputs of
water and fertilizers.
Sustainable growth of production by optimising use of land, water and other input requires more
scientifically planned agriculture and animal husbandry and transfer of technologies to do this
humanely, efficiently and economically.
The most conspicuous issue is of water ? where surface as well as ground water has been over
exploited making lands arid and cattle production unsustainable.
Farmers need infrastructure and tools to save their crops, protect their animals and harvest more
efficiently by storing products in secure storages and process effectively for better keeping qualities
and preserving nutrition.
Subsidies that encourage sustainable and local farming systems can ensure that proper signals are
sent to producers and consumers to make sustainable choices, and help to address the true cost of
production including environmental, animal welfare and natural resource consumption costs.
Investment in agriculture are inevitable and aspects of agriculture such as animal husbandry, fishery,
land and water management has to go high up on national budgets and international financing
In many developing countries, sustainable practices are difficult to implement due to the lack of
financial resources, infrastructure and services. This represents a major constraint on the
competitiveness and profitability of the agriculture sector. Training, education and extension
programs are essential to transfer information from the scientific community. May I request the
national governments, regional authorities and financing agencies give adequate attention and
resources for building these capacities?