AFA President Shimpei Murakami gives opening remarks focusing on the need for sustainable and inclusive development. (Photo: Asian Farmers AFA) 

Hanoi (VNA) – The 7th General Assembly of the Asian Farmers’ Association (AFA) for Sustainable Rural Development, hosted by the Vietnam Farmers’ Union (VNFU), opened in Hanoi on August 5.

The event acts as a knowledge exchange forum on farmers’ organisations (FO) engagement in public agri-investment programmes to help eradicate poverty and hunger by 2030.

Addressing the event, AFA President Shimpei Murakami briefed attendees on the association’s history, noting that the AFA, founded in 2002, is a regional alliance of 17 national federations and organisations of small-scale women and men farmers and producers from 13 countries in Asia, including Vietnam.

In an effort to ensure rights and interests of Asian farmers, the association works to promote sustainable agricultural policies and practices, promote agriculture among the young, promote fair and just treatment of small-scale women and men farmers, and promote food sovereignty measures, the president said.

It also strives to enhance farmer-to-farmer market exchanges and push for provisions on access to farm resources and rural development, and protection of small-scale women and men farmers’ rights in Asian inter-governmental bodies, he added.

For his part, VNFU President Lai Xuan Mon said the union has worked closely with AFA members to together achieve common goals in sustainable agricultural and rural development and protection of farmers’ rights and interests.

Vietnam has officially become a member of AFA this year after acting as an observer for 14 years, he said, adding that the membership would provide the country plenty of opportunities for the development of its agriculture and farmers.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Vu Van Tam said the AFA shares common goals with Vietnam’s agricultural development strategies in the long term and as an AFA member, Vietnam’s farmers will be able to make their voice heard.-VNA