An Ambitious Agenda for the XIX REAF

seminario subregional paneo

Thematic groups met on April 24 and 25 to prepare the XIX REAF that is to meet in May in Atlantida, a seaside resort 40 kilometers to the East of Montevideo.
The meeting included delegations from the civil society and government of Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, the latter of which is currently acting as REAF’s pro tempore presidency.

One of the groups worked on the regional program on gender, to be completed in July, when they are going to present a balance and the outcomes of this process, together with the impact and coverage of the program. They are also going to define the agenda for the themes to be treated next.

The group devoted to Youth initially focused on the programming and commissioning of the Third Regional Youth Course, to be held from May 21 through 27 at the Agustín Ferreiro Training Center, in Atlantida. The course will be attended by 45 to 50 young people from the Extended Mercosur; the activity will also include attendance to the first day of the REAF meeting, on May 27.

In addition, this group discussed the topics in the agenda that concern youth. There are several studies currently underway, including one on the youth’s access to land.

Other groups that met include Access to Land, Land Reform and Land Property Policies. Once again, there was a debate on the possibility of a regional program for the exchange between the land institutes of the countries in the bloc. This group will prepare an update on the phenomenon of the concentration of land in MERCOSUR, to be presented at the next meeting of REAF, together with a report on the progress made in this area.

The agenda of the facilitation and trade group that has been renewed puts on the table many topics, such as technology in family farming, or addition of value to the products. There is a study that has to do with the phytosanitary protocols in family farming in the countries, to detect potential gaps and how far each country may be from these protocols, and the current conditions in each country. Furthermore, they present the best practices adopted in terms of the manufacturing of some selected products.

The Risk Management and Climate Change Group worked in the development of the manual on good practices to face climate change in the field of family farming adopted and implemented by each country, to pool a compendium of the countries’ experiences and lessons learned, to be considered at the REAF.

The technical group on registry faces the challenge of showing and updating the information in the registries and preparing a document with an account of the experience to other delegations of the region, plus Ecuador and Bolivia that are demanding the implementation of registries in their countries.

In the framework of the XIX REAF there will be a meeting of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and another with the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP), gathered in the Council on Food and Nutritional Security (CONSAN). This is the CPLP’s second meeting of this type, and the objective is to further deepen the exchange of ideas and to collaborate putting together their technical group on family farming within CONSAN.

All these topics will be discussed and considered more in depth during the REAF, in a very ambitious agenda. Basically, it will have a guiding political axis that was established by Uruguay as the pro tempore presidency, i.e., associativism. There will be a specific panel on the countries’ practices in terms of associativism and cooperativism.

Finally, Uruguay’s REAF has underscored the significance of the International Year of Family Farming (IYFF) to be celebrated in 2014. The work in Uruguay was started in 2005, and it foresees more than one space for the celebration and preparation of the IYFF.

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