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The third global meeting of the Farmers' Forum will place on 15 and 16 February 2010 in conjunction with the Thirty-third session of IFAD's Governing Council. The Forum will bring together more 70 farmers' leaders from around the world, representing millions of smallholders and rural producers from all over the world who will interact with IFAD staff and selected partners. The Forum will be opened by the President of IFAD, Kanayo Nwanze.

The forum will use social reporting, which is an emerging philosophy which mixes journalism, facilitation and social media. It goes beyond posting agendas, papers, presentations and speeches on corporate websites. It is based on collaboration and live reporting from events by involving those "not in the room" to follow and contribute to the event. Social reporting uses a variety of techniques and tools such as story-telling, interviews, videos, photography, blogs, twitter, podcasts, posting documents to slideshare to tell the story.

The social reporter team will report live from the various sessions, allowing colleagues who cannot attend to participate virtually. You can start posing your questions using Twitter (send your questions to @ifadnews) or post a comment on this introductory blogpost.

What is the Farmers' Forum?
The Farmers’ Forum process was born in 2005. It is an on-going, bottom-up process of consultation and dialogue between small farmers’ and rural producers’ organizations (FOs), IFAD and governments, focused on rural development and poverty reduction. The Forum is rooted in concrete partnership and collaboration at the countryand regional levels. The Forum meets every two years for a global consultation, in conjunction with the Governing Council of IFAD.

The 2010 edition will be focusing more on operational matters. To that end, two sessions will be organised by IFAD operational divisions:

  • the first one Monday afternoon on operational collaboration between IFAD and farmers’ organisations at country and regional levels;
  • the second one Tuesday morning on the themes of (a) food security in a context of growing competition on access to land, (b) roles of farmers’ organisations in empowering small farmers in value chains, and (c) differentiated policies and investment programmes in support of smallholder agriculture.