Farming First: A Global Coalition for Sustainable Agricultural Development



Farming First coalition articulates, endorses and promotes practical, actionable programmes and activities to further sustainable agricultural development worldwide. Farming First shares best practices regarding the adoption by farmers of existing efficient services and technologies by making them more affordable, accessible and efficient in use.

“There will be 1.7 billion more people on the planet by 2030… Only farmers can grow the food we all need to survive” (FarmingFirst video).

Agriculture today is about so much more than a farmer simply planting a seed, rearing a cow or catching a fish. It takes a whole ecosystem and a host of actors to work together to produce the food we need for a population of more than seven billion people” (Celebrating Science & Innovation in agriculture, FarmingFirst).

“A broad-based, knowledge-centred approach to agricultural development is needed. The approach starts with focusing on farmers and the tools and information they need to steward land, grow crops, bring in their harvest and then get it to market” (FarmingFirst Principles).

Farming First coalition - which represents farmers, scientists, business, engineers and development organizations -  was launched on the 23rd of April, 2009 to promote the cause of farmers in helping solve the world's most pressing development problems.

Farming First plan is a set of interlinked six principles:

1.        Safeguard natural resources

preserve ecosystem services and biodiversity; invest  in technologies and techniques; build the resilience of rural communities, etc.

2.        Share knowledge

create international programmes to share best practices; encourage the use of pilot projects and demonstration plots and develop “train the trainers” programmes; provide access to information through “schools on the air” improved media use, and mobile phones, etc.

3.        Build local access and capacity

invest in infrastructure-building; provide risk management tools to support farmers in managing weather and market variations, etc.

4.        Protect harvests

support efforts to enhance food quality and safety and to reduce waste along the food chain through to end-consumers, etc.

5.        Enable access to markets

build infrastructure that allows product to be stored safely and moved to market efficiently to reduce waste, etc.

6.        Prioritise research imperatives

invest in research and development; develop climate information services and early warning systems; promote partnerships between farmers and scientists, etc. 

which allow participation from groups across the agricultural supply chain, from farmers all the way to consumers.

In line with these principles, Farming First encourages stakeholders to pursue policies that achieve long-term global sustainability goals through proven techniques and specific actions.


At the FarmingFirst site interested individuals can browse through the following interactive sections:

Sustainable Agriculture


Rural Women

Food & Nutrition Security


Climate Change

Sustainable Development Goals


as well as register their support for returning agriculture to the centre of the international policy agenda.

Each section provides free access to related posts, videos (Farming First TV), Case studies, Infographics, Policy Papers and other online resources highlighting the pressing need for change and setting out the action needed to address the threat of a future food crisis.

Farming First’s 2015 campaign The Story of Agriculture and the Sustainable Development Goals was shortlisted for a Gold EMEA SABRE Award -  the largest and most prestigious international competition for communications and PR - under the ‘Associations’ category.  

(Click here to explore our interactive essay on why agriculture is the common thread in the SDGs).

The shortlist was selected from among almost 2,500 entries in this competition, which recognizes Superior Achievement in Branding, Reputation and Engagement. On May 25, 2016, "The Story of Agriculture and the Sustainable Development Goals" was announced among the winners at the SABRE Awards ceremony in Berlin.

On June 14-17, 2016, Farming First attended the Annual Forum of the Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture (GACSA), at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome. During the opening session, Farming First presented its latest animated video and series of case studies on climate-smart agriculture (CSA).

(Click here to watch ‘Climate-Smart Agriculture in Action’ video)

“Thus, Climate-Smart Agriculture practices should be considered on a spectrum rather than as universally applicable equally all around the world” (GACSA Forum: Making Agriculture “Climate-Smarter”).

Last but not least.

Farming First actively supports the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In particular, Farming First endorses the Zero Hunger Challenge (as the basis for proposed SDGs on Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture) and promotes two specific recommendations for the SDGs:

1.    SDG: Eradicate hunger and malnutrition, because it is possible to “end hunger, extreme poverty and the worst impacts of malnutrition and food security within a generation”;

2.    SDG: Adopt sustainable agricultural practices, which recognize and support a wide diversity of agricultural systems, farming practices, technologies and farmers, as well as balanced diets and which recognize that sustainable agricultural practices differ by landscapes so countries and farmers need flexibility and a variety of solutions (The Post-2015 Development Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals: Position by the Farming First Coalition).

Farming First invites you to explore the forecasts, estimates and trends shaping the SDGs.

Moreover, Farming First encourages media and other organizations to freely use the materials it produces as long as these are credited and linked back (when online) to Farming First.



Post scriptum.

“With the world population expected to reach nine billion by 2050, FAO projects that food and feed production will need to increase by 60 percent to meet the world’s food needs. The questions that arise are – Can we meet this growing demand? And can we meet this demand in a sustainable manner without harming our earth’s resources?

The answer is – Yes we can (Expert views, Farming First).


Farming First BLOG

Twitter @FarmingFirst

Learn more about:

Farming First’s set of 28 Case Studies from around the world

Agriculture Green Economy (comprised related Farming First’s Infographic)

The Female Face of Farming award winning infografic

Food & Nutrition Security Initiatives (global & regional)

Celebrating Science&Innovation in Agriculture (a story by Farming First & CGIAR)

Related contents on AIMS:

Implementing Climate-Smart Agriculture with CSA 101 online Guide

The Global Partnership on Sustainable Development Data

Find out more about:

Recent videos on Climate-Smart Agriculture practices in Africa (on the GASCA site)

Food And Agriculture. Key to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (FAO brochure, 2016)

Climate-Smart Agriculture (CGIAR & CCAFS online resource)

Guide to UNFCCC Negotiations on Agriculture (UNFCCC Toolkit)

Smart Food & Agriculture on the Climate Change Policy & Practice: IISD Reporting Services (a knowledgebase of UN and Intergovernmental Activities addressing Global Climate Change)

An upcoming COURSE on Climate-Smart Agriculture:

21 - 26 August 2016: Wageningen University organises a course on Climate-Smart Agriculture ''From fundamentals to application''