Zainal Arifin Fuad (Left) with FAO Director General Graziano Da Silva for two periods, 2012 to 2019.

Indonesia once again was privileged at the UN meeting at the UN headquarters, New York, United States. What is interesting, the privilege is given by a farmer from Madiun, East Java, Zainal Arifin Fuat who is also a global farmer representative in a forum entitled ‘The UN Decade for Family Farming”. Maybe not many know about the peasant who is the representative of farmers worldwide, but for farmers in Indonesia, this figure plays an important role in fighting for the fate of farmers in Indonesia.

Not an ordinary farmer, Zainal Arifin Fuat is a smart farmer who serves as Chair of the Department of Foreign Affairs at the Indonesian Farmers Union or SPI. Zainal Arifin Fuat is known as a farmer who actively fights for the welfare of farmworkers in Indonesia. Not only that, with his intelligence, Zainal Arifin Fuat often spawned brilliant ideas that helped agricultural conditions in Indonesia.

At the hearing, Zainal spoke about the importance of a more environmentally friendly agricultural system. “The agroecological farming system guides small farmers to sovereign farming, leaving dependence on chemical inputs that are not healthy, and certainly more environmentally friendly,” Zainal said in a written statement on Thursday (07/25/2019).

Zainal reminded that the UN Decade for Family Farming was in line with the United Nations Declaration on Peasant Rights, which was passed last year. The man who is also the Chairperson of the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Indonesian Peasant Union (SPI) requested that the United Nations be successful in achieving the target of sustainable development goals.

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“Recognition, fulfillment and protection of the rights of peasants and communities working in rural areas contained in the UN Declaration will be the basis of the norms and indicators of success for the implementation of the agenda of the UN Agricultural Family Decade,” he said.

He also spoke about land rights, rights to water, rights to seeds, rights of women farmers to be recognized and protected. According to him, the fulfillment of various rights is important as a solution to the challenges of the world food system today.

“These rights, enshrined in the agreement, guidelines, and most importantly in the UN Declaration I mentioned above, can empower family farmers and farmers throughout the world to reduce social conflict, food crisis, poverty, migration, nature, destruction the earth, to the climate crisis, and to attract and maintain so that more and more young people on agriculture and in rural areas are interested in becoming farmers again, “he explained.

At the end of his speech, Zainal invited all parties to work together so that problems related to agriculture in the world could be resolved. “Because we all realize, if we all don’t work, of course, the good intentions of the United Nations will not be successful,” he concluded.


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