In an address to delegates at the Eighth Global Conference of the World Rural Forum held in Spain, Pope Francis explained the pivotal role of family farming in advancing the sustainability of our planet.

The pontiff’s remarks, delivered via a message to the president of the World Rural Forum, spanned the dates of March 19 to 21. This gathering of minds focused on “Family Farming: Sustainability of Our Planet” aims to foster dialogue on reducing hunger and inequality while promoting environmental stewardship.

Pope Francis said that “family farmers are to be commended for the supportive way in which they work, as well as for the respectful and gentle way in which they cultivate the land.” He also emphasized the Vatican’s recognition of the integral part these farmers play in crafting more “inclusive, resilient and efficient” agrifood systems.

Pope Francis did not overlook the critical contributions of women and youth in agriculture, either. He acknowledged that “rural women represent a sure compass for their families, a firm foothold for the progress of the economy,” praising their indispensable role, particularly in developing countries. Regarding the youth, the pope championed their innovative spirit, saying “the real revolution in the future of food begins with training and empowering the new generations.”

Despite their significant efforts towards global food security, the pope noted the adversities family farmers face, saying they “continue to be hit by poverty and a lack of opportunity.” 

With his message, Pope Francis hopes to galvanize support and prayer for family farmers worldwide, calling for a collective effort towards eradicating hunger and ensuring the sustainability of our planet.

Photo credit: Wattana.Sinchai /
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