Forests around the world still provide direct nutritional and medicinal benefits, fuelwood for food preparation and livelihoods from landscape-based production systems that support hundreds of millions of rural people. Sustainable landscapes where smallholder agriculture and forests are integrated not only benefit local livelihoods, but also the global climate, global food security, biodiversity and the retention of water and soil fertility.
Smallholders, family farmers, forest and farm producer organizations (FFPOs) and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) have an important role in the development of sustainable food systems that preserve natural environments. However forest and farm producers struggle to get recognition and political, technical and financial support for their role in contributing to global food security, national GDPs and the implementation of
Forests, Farmers and Agriculture, Sustainable Together (FFAST) is an alliance for action which seeks to provide country level solutions to ensure food security and strong livelihoods while maintaining forests and biodiversity, bringing stakeholders together across sectors and projects and institutionalizing the links between FFPOs and SMEs, relevant ministries, NGOs, CSOs, and financial service providers. Its first activities are located in Ghana, Kenya and Zambia where local partners are developing business cases that result in a basket of produce, thus maintaining higher biodiverse landscapes where agriculture is combined with trees and forests.
The FFAST-AAA partners at the global level include the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality of the Netherlands, the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida), the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Tropenbos International, Hivos, Entrepreneurial Development Bank of the Netherlands (FMO), and Rabobank.
FFAST’s vision is to contribute to a world that is free from hunger, rich in forests, and where sustainable food & forest management contributes to socio-economic, economic and environmental wellbeing.
FFAST aims to support forest and farm producer organizations (FFPOs) and their enterprises, through organizational, technical and business capacity building and providing access to finance, by bringing key public and private sector actors together, so that they can maintain and diversify sustainable forest-farm livelihoods that contribute to food security, resilient incomes, forest conservation and restoration, and climate mitigation and adaptation.
It strives to build alliances which work together globally and in countries and forge practical solutions and institutional mechanisms to address these vital challenges at scale – bridging the gap between resources and investments and the vast opportunities for sustainable solutions that reside in FFPOs and SMEs.
It seeks to support and re-direct the focus of major public and private sector investments in agriculture towards more sustainable land-use and production practices and create opportunities for new actors to contribute to maintaining forests, food systems and livelihoods together.
Ongoing since 2018