The second seminar of the first seminar block of the Transitional Agriculture Project on April 01, 2021 was addressed specifically to the youth representatives of the Farmers' Organizations (FOs), highlighting information and communication technology (ICT) specially related to media in the field of marketing and agricultural trade from the youth perspective.
At the beginning of the seminar, youth representatives presented ICTs such as specific apps, digital marketplaces and social media used within their farmer organization or by their members. Afterwards, participants engaged in group work to exchange ideas about the opportunities and challenges emerging through media in agricultural trade. Although agricultural products can be marketed more rapidly and effectively through e-commerce, the lack of technical infrastructure is still an obstacle. The youth representatives' exchanges highlighted the importance of interaction among young people. "It is great to include young farmers in this discussion as they are the future farmers of our world! The exchanges lead to be experienced", commented one participant.
At the last seminar of the first seminar block 2021 on April 18, the participants dealt extensively with the role of farmer organizations, how they can support their members in the field of agricultural trade. The first part of the third seminar was moderated by Arianna Giuliodori, Secretary General of the World Farmers‘ Organisation (WFO), while the second part was taken over by the moderator Dr. Maria-Gerster Bentaya. Each farmer organization presented at the beginning their success stories and also their challenges in the context of regional and global agricultural trade. Following the presentations, Doaa Abdel-Motaal, Head of the Agriculture and Commodities Division of the World Trade Organization (WTO), picked up on the challenges, mentioned by the FOs during their presentation and explained the role of the WTO in this context.
In the subsequent country group work, the FOs worked out how they intend to use the knowledge acquired in the first seminar block to better position themselves in the future with regard to agricultural trade. In the future, the FOs would like to intensify their lobbying activities, support their members in certain services such as accounting, try to liberalize trade, and gain a better understanding of regional and global agricultural policy so that they can advise and support their members accordingly. In addition, the FOs worked out the support which they would require from the WTO and WFO in achieving their defined goals. The expectations of the FOs towards the WTO include the promotion of fair trade as well as support for the purchase and sale of agricultural products. At the same time, participants expressed their desire to learn more about the WTO's activities, programs, and also agricultural trade agreements, as well as to offer a platform for sharing success stories such as those of the Asian agricultural market and market-related information.
The next digital seminar block will be held between June and July 2021 on "Family Farming and the United Nations Decade for Family Farming 2019-2028 (UNDFF) from the perspective of women and young farmers". We are looking forward to further technical exchanges with national farmer organizations from Malawi, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Germany, Russia and Ghana.