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Pope Francis calls for recognition of farmers as key contributors to societal progress 

Pope Francis expressed support and the Church’s solidarity with family farmers, highlighting their importance in societal development and the global food system during the 8th Global Conference of the World Rural Forum.

The conference, which runs March 19th to 21st in Spain, focuses on “Family Farming: Sustainability of our Planet” and aims at tackling hunger, reducing inequality, and promoting environmental care, according to a Vatican News report. 

“They are fundamental to making agrifood systems more inclusive, resilient and efficient,” the Pope wrote, noting, however, that many family farmers “continue to be affected by poverty and scarcity of opportunities”.

Pope Francis pointed out the significance of acknowledging their human, spiritual, and social dimensions and providing them with necessary technical support. 

He remarked on the unique position of family businesses as places where “people belong, the place where they feel understood and valued for their dignity”.

The pontiff lauded rural women as central figures in their families and economies, especially in developing countries where they are “real drivers of progress”. 

He also stressed the importance of engaging young people in agriculture, citing their capacity for innovation and their potential to challenge outdated thinking for the betterment of food production globally.

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