International Forum on Beijing World Agricultural Systems Press Release n. 2

1.5 billion is the number of small farmers in the world

4.5 billion is the number of people in the world that these peasants considered on the threshold of poverty feed their agricultural production

Less than 3% of the water consumed for the agricultural production of rich countries is the amount used by these peasants

These are some of the information that has been released during the work of the Beijing FAO Forum. 150 Experts Representatives 120 countries discussed the importance of traditional farming systems and how to preserve them. All-world study cases have been discussed. Particular importance has been given to the problem of water. It is clear from the reports of the interveners that in the tradition the Community’s use of water and land has always been fundamental. Water is common in all societies. It is considered to be the subject of public administration in the first code known to date, that of Hammurabi, dating back to 3750 years ago. It was public for the ancient Romans, and Islamic civilization based its great diffusion on the community management of laws and pledges. Among the Masai in Kenya and Tanzania, land is also common and this system preserves them from the difficulties that can intervene for seasonal and environmental adversities. Among pre-Columbian peoples each year the soil particles were assigned to individual families, thus ensuring direct ownership of small properties. Pietro Laureano, president of the International Institute of Traditional Techniques, notes that these traditional principles that have supported the development in the history of great civilizations are still more and more current in the face of the challenges of food and agriculture shortages and still feed today 70% of humanity : Water and small farms should be considered as common heritage of all humanity.

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