Enhancing Indigenous Youth and Women

Enhancing Indigenous Youth and Women Capacities to Protect and Promote Their Communities’ Food Heritage

IFAD is a long-standing partner of Slow Food and supports the creation and development of the Indigenous Peoples’ network and the establishment of biodiversity projects.

Our collaboration safeguards the rights of small-scale farmers, particularly Indigenous peoples and youth. 

Between 2023 and 2025, Slow Food and its Indigenous Peoples’ network will implement with IFAD a project across the Philippines, Indonesia and Kyrgyzstan, promoting the centrality of agroecological food systems and the invaluable knowledge of Indigenous peoples.

  • The Context

    The Covid-19 pandemic demonstrated the resilience and significance of Indigenous food systems in ensuring food security and sustainable income. And yet Indigenous peoples, who safeguard 80% of global biodiversity in biodiversity hotspots, face marginalization and threats to their traditional ways of life. A series of global meetings in 2021 emphasized the need to transform the food systems, calling for action from national governments and international organizations. From these emerged the partnership between IFAD and Slow Food as a platform from which to convert policy commitments into tangible results

    Our joint efforts have already yielded positive changes and scalable models for the transformation of our food systems. Slow Food advocates for an agroecological approach, which combines traditional knowledge, sustainable innovation, and diverse farming ecosystems to achieve equitable and sustainable outcomes. 

    Transforming food systems requires fundamental changes to benefit workers and consumers and ensure access to nutritious food and fair rewards for producers. The partnership between IFAD and Slow Food is therefore vital in promoting agroecological food systems and Indigenous knowledge, driving the transformation of our food systems.

  • Main Goals

    Our partnership with IFAD offers the opportunity to replicate our robust approach throughout other communities by focusing on regions and countries previously uninvolved in the project. By collaborating with Indigenous peoples and local communities, especially youth and women, we aim to achieve the following objectives:

    • Reinforce local value chains and food systems using the Slow Food Presidia model. This involves implementing certification mechanisms that enhance commercialization opportunities and promote the unique qualities of local food products.
    • Strengthen the capacities of local leaders, foster peaceful and inclusive societies and enhance resilience through training, exchanges and events. The project also provides seed funding opportunities to support the development of impactful local projects that address community needs.
    • Advocate for agroecology by sharing knowledge and evidence-based information. This includes highlighting the importance of agroecological practices in protecting biodiversity, ensuring social justice and addressing the urgent challenges posed by the climate crisis.

    Through these initiatives, Slow Food aims to empower Indigenous peoples, local communities, and marginalized groups, recognizing their crucial role in preserving cultural heritage, protecting biodiversity, and promoting sustainable and resilient food systems. By focusing on youth and women, Slow Food strives to ensure a more inclusive and equitable future for all.

  • The Partnership

    Slow Food and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) share a vision for transforming our food systems through the promotion of agroecology and the invaluable knowledge of Indigenous peoples.

     Recent years have seen our partnership blossom into a collaborative effort which advocates in favor of smallholder farmers, valuing their food systems while respecting and leveraging the value of their cultural identities. By focussing especially on Indigenous peoples and youth, our collaboration has contributed to the successful launch of innovative grassroots projects to enhance local value chains of traditional foods, and to the development of Indigenous Terra Madre (ITM) network, involving thousands of people from 86 countries.

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