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Cultivating Hope: UN stamps issued to celebrate the International Year of Family Farming

On 14 August, in light of the 2014 International Year of Family Farming, the United Nations Postal Administration issued six stamps to promote the theme of family farming.

Source: FAO

The Cultivating Hope series of stamps captures the diversity of family farming activities, the wide-range of regions where this type of farming is practised and most importantly, the roles of the men and women at the centre of these activities.

The stamps depict different modes of family farming including livestock and aquaculture farming, as well as stages in the harvesting process. Regions represented include Asia, Europe and Africa among others.

The importance of families is evident in the series. For example, the 1.60-franc stamp for use from the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland depicts a family of four on their farm which also includes fields, livestock and a barn. The presence of wind turbines in the background emphasises the links between family farming and sustainable development in the face of climate change.

A farming couple and a bull on terrace farm in Asia are portrayed on the €1.70 stamp for use from the Vienna International Centre (VIC) in Austria while the €0.62 stamp shows an Indian family carrying bundles of harvested straw and grain.

The role of family farmers in food production is also central to the series. A cornucopia of produce that families bring to local markets is shown on the 49¢ stamp. The links between family farming and global food security and nutrition are also represented in this image of family farmers from diverse regions holding hands while safeguarding the produce.

The 1.30-franc denomination depicts the complex functions that women have in family farming activities. The stamp shows African women harvesting produce but also highlights their duties as mothers and caregivers by depicting their children.


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