Evelyn Nguleka is the president of the World Farmers’ Organisation. Dr. Nguleka was born in Zambia in 1970, she is part of the million small farmers who, with their daily work, are the real foundations of agriculture worldwide. She has a degree in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Lusaka. Thanks to her profession as farmer and her specialization in Veterinary, she was able to be a reference point for the local farmers who, in a country like Zambia, have considerable difficulties to treat diseases that affect their livestock. Before joining the WFO presidency, she was the first woman president of Zambia Agricultural Organization and the Zambia National Farmers’ Union (ZNFU).


The beginning of farming represented a turning point in human history that changed the course
of our civilizations, and shaped our sedentary settlements as opposed to continuous nomadic behaviors.
Today, the agricultural sector is the major user of water while farmers bear the great responsibility of “feeding the planet”.
An increased production of food is to come at a time when climate volatility, more frequent
extreme weather events and temperature changes increasingly threaten the viability of agriculture and rural infrastructure throughout the world.
Obsolete infrastructures dramatically affect the availability of water for consumption as well as for agricultural production.
Farmers, especially women farmers, interact daily with the environment, so they are key drivers in the development of sustainable agricultural practices that provide food and renewable materials for their families, communities and markets, allowing for livelihoods and having a positive effect in the whole society.
More effective access to meteorological information could allow farmers to align agricultural
activities to the changing climate and build resilience to it.
In order to meet the needs of a growing world population, it is critical that farmers have access to
secure land tenure, productive resources, inputs, markets, finance and collaterals. This includes
crops insurance, energy, infrastructure, land, labour, research and development, education and
training. These investments will enable farmers to implement innovative techniques and adopt the
latest technologies to improve the sustainability of their operations.
Furthermore, farmers and their communities play an important role for instance in the protection
of environment and its biodiversity, farmers have indeed a very close relationship with nature
and its cycles and have a natural attitude to respect the diversity in nature, as well as, in fostering
innovation in agriculture or building resilient solutions to the climate change. They do that with
dedication and passion, from one generation on to the other, with the same love for their land and their farm.
Solutions to increased need of food production can certainly be found in technological innovations,
but we should also treasure other practices that are in harmony with the environment and take into account the rhythms of nature. Food systems and social policies need to be addressed in a way that they better take account of
climate change and the efficient use of natural resources.
What can be done to support farmers and their work? First and foremost, governments must take
action and give the highest priority to ensuring that the world’s farmers can provide food security
in a sustainable manner, and contribute to the eradication of rural poverty and hunger. Further,
farmers need to obtain a better understanding of the challenging macro environment they have
to work in, now and in the future, and how they can cope with this environment and even make
a benefit out of it to ensure food production in the long-term. With the right knowledge, capacity
building and technical assistance, farmers can not only adapt to environmental challenges and
especially climate change, but also contribute to its long-term mitigation, simultaneously ensuring global food security.
We need to build and support a new culture of respect to our natural resources, we need to
promote multi-stakeholder dialogue at global level, real solutions


Marco Paolini

Author, Theatre Director
and Actor

Tony Allan

Emeritus Professor,
King’s College London

Antonio Cianciullo

Author and
Environmental Journalist

Vandana Shiva

Author and
Environmental Activist

© UNESCO 2016

WWAP Secretariat - Programme Office for Global Water Assessment
Division of Water Sciences, UNESCO - Villa La Colombella, Perugia - Italy - Tel: +39 075 59 11 01 - Email: wwap@unesco.org