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Sign on to the letter about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and agriculture

To the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) and all governments in the world

More support for small-scale agroecological and other forms of sustainable agriculture is the key to reach many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The organizations which have signed on to this letter urge all governments,  the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), other UN- and financial institutions to increase the support  for agroecology and other forms of sustainable agriculture for small-scale farmers,  and to underline the importance of  such support to be able to reach several of the SDGs. 

Increased support to small-scale sustainable farming is a key to reach:
SDG 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere.
SDG 2:  End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.
SDG 5:  Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
SDG 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
SDG 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

The World Bank World Development Report 2008, Agriculture for Development, states that “…GDP growth originating in agriculture is at least twice as effective in reducing poverty as GDP growth originating outside agriculture… For China, aggregate growth originating in agriculture is estimated to have been 3.5 times more effective in reducing poverty than growth outside agriculture – and for Latin-America 2.7 times more.”  
FAO also states the importance and efficiency of investments in agriculture: “Agriculture plays a vital role for economic growth and sustainable development. The evidence suggests that agriculture gross domestic product (GDP) growth in developing countries is on average 2.9 times more effective in reducing poverty relative to non-agriculture GDP growth…” 

Support for small-scale sustainable agriculture is also a key to eradicate hunger, create jobs, improve the situation of women, to reduce climate change, and to make agriculture sustainable. Despite this, support for sustainable agriculture in developing countries has a low priority both in most developing countries and in development support from the OECD countries. 
In 2003, Heads of State and Government of the members of the African Union (AU) agreed on the Maputo Declaration to adopt sound policies for agricultural and rural development, and committed themselves to allocating at least 10% of national budgetary resources for their implementation within five years.  However, ten years later, only nine countries had reached to goal of 10%.  45 countries had not. In 2014, the members of the African Union re-committed to the 10% in the Malabo Declaration.  
Support for agriculture is also low in the Official Development Assistance (ODA) from the OECD countries; only about 7,5% of the total ODA goes to agriculture.

The High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition, in its report Investing in Smallholder Agriculture for Food Security (2013), stated that “Public investments in and for agriculture have fallen considerably since the 1980s. It is now widely recognized that agriculture has been neglected at both the national and international levels. Many agricultural banks (mostly linked to, and supported by, the state) have disappeared, and extension services, applied research and investment in infrastructure projects have declined since the mid-1980s.” 

The small-scale farmers are the most important investors in their own farms,  but they do not have sufficient access to the finances they need. Less than a quarter of the financial needs of small-scale farmers in developing countries are met, leaving an annual financing gap of more than US$ 150 billion according to Blending4AG    – an initiative by CTA Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation which is a joint international institution of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and the European Union (EU).  

A paradigm shift from industrial agriculture to diversified agroecological systems 

In The state of Food and Agriculture (2016), FAO underline the need for “a profound transformation of food and agriculture systems worldwide.”  The report from the International panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES) has some of the same message, and it points out a way forward. One of the key messages in the report is:

What is required is a fundamentally different model of agriculture based on diversifying farms and farming landscapes, replacing chemical inputs, optimizing biodiversity and stimulating interactions between different species, as part of holistic strategies to build long-term fertility, healthy agro-ecosystems and secure livelihoods, i.e. ‘diversified agroecological systems’.”  

We, the organizations that have signed on to this letter, agree on the need for a paradigm shift from industrial agriculture to diversified agroecological systems. Such a shift combined with drastically increase of the support to small-scale agroecological and other forms of sustainable agriculture are necessary to reach many of the SDGs. We ask the governments in all countries to spend at least 10% of the national budgets for support of sustainable agriculture, primarily for small-scale farmers. 
June/July 2017
To sign on the letter, please write us at secretariat@moreandbetter.org 
The letter is available in EnglishSpanish and French

Signatory Organizations (updated on 12 October, 2017)

1. More and Better Network, Cameroun/International  
2. Food Tank, USA / Global 
3. Centre for Agroecology Water and Resilience at Coventry University, UK 
4. Kenya Small Scale Farmers Forum (KESSFF), Kenya 
5. Support for Women in Agriculture and Environment (SWAGEN) Uganda
6. La Fédération Nationale pour l'Agriculture Biologique (FENAB), Sénégal 
7. L'Association Sénégalaise pour la Promotion de l'Agriculture Biologique (ASPAB) 
8. IFOAM Organic International
9. Ecosystem Based  Adaptation for Food Security Assembly, Nigeria ( EBAFOSA) 
10. Manavodaya, Institute of Participatory Development, India
11. Voice of Wilderness Developmental Organization, Ethiopia 
12. Church Aid Inc. Church Aid, Liberia 
13. North East Chilli Producers Association, Uganda 
14. Institute for Food and Development Policy/Food First, USA / Global 
15. Maendeleo Endelevu Action Program (MEAP)
16. S-PTA (Agroecology and Family Farming), Brazil  
17. ANA (National Agroecological Network), Brazil 
18. Local Matters, USA 
19. Pesticide Action Network, International
20. Asian Farmers Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA). 
21. School and Colleges Permaculture Programme (SCOPE) Kenya
22. Le Centre d'Actions pour la Sécurité Alimentaire et le Développement Durable (CASAD) Bénin
23. SIANI, Swedish International Agricultural Network Initiative  
24. North East Chilli Producers Association (NECPA) LTD , Uganda
25. Société coopérative multifonctionnelle Alternatives de Développement Pour la Vie sur Terre, Mali 
26. NGO SOL, Alternative agroecologiques et solidaires 
27. ActionAid International
28. Kikandwa Environmental Association, Uganda
29. Asociación de Instituciones de Promoción y Educación, AIPE, red de ONG, Bolivia
30. USC Canada 
31.   The Oakland Institute, USA 
32.   Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), USA / Global
33.   National Association of Dehkan Farms, (NADF), Republic of Tajikistan
34.   Femmes Foret Développement, République Centrafricaine
35.   SEATINI, Uganda
36.   The Norwegian Farmers and Smallholders' Union, Norway
37.   The Royal Norwegian Society for Development (Norges Vel) 
38.   Association Agro Ecologie et Élevage, Gabon 
39. Platform RELLDDI, Gabon et Burundi
40. ONG Gabon Environement, Gabon
41.   South Asian Network for Social & Agricultural Development (SANSAD), India 
42.   Africa Development Interchange Network (ADIN), Cameroon
43.   ACTUAR - Associação para a Cooperação e o Desenvolvimento, Portugal 
44.   Federation of Entrepreneurs, Ghana 
45.   International Movement of Catholic Agricultural and Rural Youth (MIJARC)
46.   International Federation of Rural Adult Catholic Movements (FIMARC) 
47.   Community Relief and Development Action (COREDA) Cameroon 
48. URGENCI, The International Network for Community Supported Agriculture
49.   Center for Environmental Education and Development (CEED), Nigeria 
50. Groundswell International
51. SPIRE, Norway 
52. Nomadic Livestock Keepers' Development Fund (NLKDF), Kyrgyz Republic
53. Kyrgyz Sheep Breeder's Association (KSBA), Kyrgyz Republic
54.   Southeast Asia Regional Initiatives for Community Empowerment (SEARICE) 
55.   Pastoralist Welfare  Organization (PWO), Ethiopia
56.   International Tree Foundation 
57.   Association « Tamneere », Burkina Faso
58. Réseau Algérien des Associations de la pêche artisanale
59. Food Rights Alliance, Uganda
60. Asia-Pacific Network for Food Sovereignty (APNFS) 
61. Kenya National Fisherfolk Association
62. International women’s leage for peace and freedom (IKFF),the Norwegian  section of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)
63. Centre for Community Regeneration and Development (CCREAD-Cameroon)
64. Future In Our Hands Development Fund, Sri Lanka 
65. Movement for Land and Agricultural Reform (MONLAR), Sri Lanka 
66. COPAGEN, West Africa
67. Pakistan NGOs Forum  
68. Terram Pacis, Norway
69. Caritas Norway 
70.   Bancris International Rural Development, Abuja
71. PRDC, India
72. Sisters of Charity Federation, NY, USA 
73. Sensitization Centre, Accra, Ghana
74. WFF - World Fish workers & Fish harvesters, Belize/Central America 
75. Green Movement of Sri Lanka Inc.
76. Navoda Farmer Organization - Sri Lanka 
77. Nandimithra Women Farmer Organization- Sri Lanka
78. Green Life Sri Lanka
79. Centre for Environment and Agrarian Affairs -Sri Lanka
80. Ruhunu Greeners Society -Sri Lanka
81. Sakthi Farmer's Organization -Sri Lanka
82. Hambantota District Milk    Producers Co-operative Society -Sri Lanka
83. Wellassa Development Foundation -Sri Lanka
84. Kinigama Vegetable and Fruit production Organization -Sri Lanka
85. Biodiversity Research and Training Institute (BRIT) -Sri Lanka
86. People’s Secretariat on Climate Change –Sri Lanka
87. ST. Sebestian Fisheries Society –Sri Lanka
88. Uchchamuni Velankanni Matha Rural Fisheries Organization – Sri Lanka
89. Holy Cross Fishermen’s Co-operative Society –Sri Lanka
90. Partnership for Global Justice
91. RIOADD, Togo
92. COVOID - Community Volunteer Inititiave for Development, Uganda
93. Coordination SUD, France
94. Amis des Etrangers au Togo (ADET)
95. Nebbi District NGO-Forum (NDNGOF) 
96. Dignity Pasifika, Suva Fiji  
97. Association for promotion of sustainable development, Hisar, India
98.  IDS – Instituto Democracia e Sustentabilidade, Brazil 
99. Corporación Actuemos, Santiago del Chile
101. Uganda Coalition for Sustainable Development, Kampala (Uganda)
102. Smile for Relief and Development (SORD), Yemen
103. Raise Your Voice  Saint Lucia Inc
104. Gestos, Brazil 
105. IEDD, Burkina
106. Quaker Earthcare Witness
107. Youth For Environment, Education and Development Foundation (YFEED Foundation), Nepal  
108. Plateforme Régionale des Organisations Paysannes D'Afrique Centrale (PROPAC)
109. Centre for Transformation of the Underprivileged (CETRUP) 
110. CNOP-CAM, Cameroun
111. Caritas Zambia 
112. Oikos - Organic Norway 
113. Greenpeace International
114. Inter Pares
115. RDC Social Board, NY
116. Sisters of Divine Compassion, NY
117. CERAI,  Centre for Rural Studies and International Agriculture, Spain 
118. RAVONIARISOA Hanatanirina Lilia
119. Biovision, Switzerland
120. Union paysanne, Québec (Canada) 
121. Global Forest Coalition 
122. Sociedad Española de Agricultura Ecológica (SEAE) 
123. Ecologistas en Acción Palencia
124. Associació Salut i Agroecologia- ASiA 
125. Ecologistes en Acción de Catalunya 
126. Southeast Asia Regional Initiatives for Community Empowerment (SEARICE)
127. Fundaexpresion, Colombia 
128. Vigilance OGM , Québec, Canada
129. Agriculture, Climate Change, Education , Research and development Services. Inc.(ACCERDS).Liberia
130. Sustainable Harvest International