Crops

Feeding the world through sustainable agriculture

Smallholder farmers are the main producers of food globally and provide 60 to 80 per cent of the food produced in developing countries. As the world’s population grows, these farmers are under growing pressure to enhance their productivity and ensure food security, especially for the rural poor.

Yet numerous factors make farming increasingly difficult for them. These include climate variability and change, water scarcity and land degradation and high levels of post-harvest food losses.

Improving the soil, managing pests

Access to diverse agricultural technologies is key to ensuring smallholder farmers can continue to feed the world.

IFAD-supported projects help farmers to increase yields through enhanced soil and pest management, fertilizer use, access to better quality seeds, and other improved agricultural practices.

Our projects improve farmers’ access to input and output markets, as well as to rural financial services that will allow them to invest in their farms.

They also enhance the institutional capacities of farmer organizations to meet the needs of their members, while ensuring natural resources are managed properly and growth is sustainable.

Growing more food and developing new opportunities

Our approach to agriculture is context-specific. We strive to create opportunities for farmers at various levels with different assets, and for both women and men farmers.

We also support the growing number of rural youth, who frequently find themselves squeezed out of farming and are looking for alternative income sources.

In depth

In depth

Food loss reduction

Food loss has negative impacts on the livelihoods, nutrition and food security of millions of smallholder farmers. 

Spotlight

Spotlight

Fighting Climate Change in South Asia – Episode 36

From chefs in India to fisheries in Maldives, we examine how the relationship between agriculture and climate change is affecting South Asia. We also reflect on 75 years of independence in India and Pakistan and learn about IFAD’s work in Bhutan and Maldives, and so much more in this bumper episode.

Projects

Projects

Brazil

Rural Sustainable Development Project in the Semi-arid Region of Bahia

Nepal

High-Value Agriculture Project in Hill and Mountain Areas

Indonesia

South Sumatera Smallholder Tree Crops Development Project

Stories and news

Stories and news

Hungry caterpillars threaten Kenya's crops. Can plants provide a natural pest control solution?

September 2022 - BLOG
Kenyan farmers and their crops face a tiny but destructive threat: the fall armyworm. With climate change causing more infestations, push-pull technologies are a sustainable and affordable way of naturally controlling pest numbers. Find out how this simple but effective technology works.

Fighting Climate Change in South Asia – Episode 36

September 2022 - PODCAST
From chefs in India to fisheries in Maldives, we examine how the relationship between agriculture and climate change is affecting South Asia. We also reflect on 75 years of independence in India and Pakistan and learn about IFAD’s work in Bhutan and Maldives, and so much more in this bumper episode.

Against the backdrop of conflict and COVID-19, IFAD is helping farmers grow in Yemen

June 2022 - STORY
Years of conflict in Yemen have taken their toll – and among all of the devastation that’s been wrought, the country’s agricultural sector is one of the hardest hit. Now, an IFAD-supported initiative is helping Yemeni farmers get back on their feet.

The thin green line that’s holding back the Sahara desert

May 2022 - STORY
The Great Green Wall was envisioned as a line of trees stretching across Africa to protect against desertification. Today, it is a mosaic of farms, forests, and wilderness, where sustainable agriculture is the norm and rural-dwellers thrive.

Related publications

Related publications

What can smallholder farmers grow in a warmer world? Climate change and future crop suitability in East and Southern Africa

October 2021
With funding from ASAP2, eight Climate Risk Analysis reports were produced by the University of Cape Town, covering Angola, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Stock-take report on agroecology in IFAD operations: An integrated approach to sustainable food systems

September 2021
This report presents the results of IFAD’s stock-take on agroecology.

How to do note: Promote neglected and underutilized species for domestic markets

March 2021
This How to Do Note is part of a series of five Notes that accompany the NUS Operational Framework.