COS 1-1
Capacity building for a sustainable development

Monday, August 5, 2013: 1:30 PM
L100I, Minneapolis Convention Center
Jennifer E. Taylor, College of Agriculture and Food Sciences/Cooperative Extension, Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University, Tallahassee, FL

Generally, international agricultural research and extension development have sought out medium and large farmers thought more successful, innovative, and readily able to adopt technology and contribute to growth and development.   A recent USDA Census indicated that about 91% of all farms in the United States are small family farms.  Small farms represent over 90% of all farms in Florida.  Small farmers and resource poor farmers make up to 90% of the world’s farmers often they have not had equal access and participation in programs and training designed to assist large producers and agribusinesses. 

FAMU StateWide Small Farm Programs is an active participatory capacity building program created to assist and equip underserved farming populations and their families toward a thriving sustainable development.   The Program uses a participatory integrated systems approach to identify needs and provide relevant education, hands-on training and technical assistance in the areas of alternative agricultural production and management systems, alternative marketing strategies, and sustainable living, to enhance well-being and quality of life of underserved farm populations and their communities. 


FAMU StateWide Small Farm Program works with farmers and their surrounding communities to enable the capacity to thrive and change.  As a result there are growing numbers of local small farms and garden leaders producing food sustainably using agroecological organic farming methods, and providing their produce directly to the community through local markets and community-supported agriculture operations (CSAs).  Several small local community markets are affiliated with this sustainable development program.  Capacity building Workshops and Learning Farm Tours provide relevant education and training, encourage sustainable agroecological organic management strategies, awareness of local food resources, enable community food networks, and enhance the role of small farmers in their communities.  The small farm sustainable biofuels project serves as a capacity building model for the region.

The United Nations General Assembly endorsed a decision to accredit several organizations to the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. These accredited organizations were found to exhibit the necessary attributes of an organization demonstrating expertise in an area of sustainable development relevant to the UN Conference. FAMU Statewide Small Farm Programs was one of the organizations that received distinction and accreditation to participate in the global 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.