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Fragile states: working to build resilience

September 2011
Fragile states are home to nearly 30 per cent of the world’s poor people. Though measures of fragility vary, such countries typically lack some of the basic tools of nationbuilding: good governance, strong policies, skilled personnel, functional infrastructure and services, educated citizens, an active civil society and a competitive private sector. Civil and border conflict is an all-too frequent reality. Poor people living in rural areas of fragile states are particularly vulnerable as they have very limited means to cope with the situation created by fragility.
Additional languages: Arabic, English, French, Italian

IFAD and Togo

September 2011
The country’s challenge now is to create the conditions for economic growth – and the Government of Togo believes that the best way to achieve lasting growth is through increased production and productivity in the agriculture sector. For these reasons, after more than a decade out of the country, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is working closely with the Republic of Togo to put agricultural and rural development on track.

Smallholder conservation agriculture - Rationale for IFAD involvement and relevance to the East and Southern Africa region

September 2011
There is a growing need to investigate different crop production systems that prevent soil degradation while increasing productivity. Conservation agriculture (CA) offers a promising solution. Conservation agriculture is a climate resilient technology and management system that has demonstrable potential to secure sustained productivity and livelihood improvements for millions of climate-dependent farmers working in semi-arid areas around the world. Success stories are recorded for some countries in Asia, and in Australia and Brazil. However, for sub-Saharan Africa adoption of the technology has lagged behind these other countries, and concerns have been raised as to the suitability of the technology within the smallholder farming context.

Regreening the Sahel: Developing agriculture in the context of climate change in Burkina Faso

September 2011
The already vulnerable Sahel area is highly exposed to climate change impacts due to the strong dependence of its population on rainfed agriculture and livestock. Rainfall variability, land degradation and desertification are some of the key factors that are heavily impacting on local livelihoods. Droughts with varying degrees of severity occur in two out of every five years, making harvests of the major food and cash crops highly uncertain. The recurrent droughts of the 1970s and 1980s caused huge losses of agricultural production and livestock, the loss of human lives to hunger and malnutrition, and the massive displacement of people and shattered economies. Most climate models predict that the Sahel region will become even drier during this century.

The issue of land in Argentina

August 2011
The purpose of this paper is to identify the central issues around land tenure and management in Argentina, in light of the global changes in agriculture and rural territorial development. In addition, a series of policy options are put forward to address the most conflictridden situations, keeping in mind the goals of equity and development.

Higher and volatile food prices and poor rural people

June 2011
Food price trends have a major impact on food security, at both household and country levels. Many of the world’s poorest people spend more than half their income on food. Price hikes for cereals and other staples can force them to cut back on the quantity or quality of their food. This may result in food insecurity and malnutrition, with tragic implications in both the short and long term. Undernourishment increases disease and mortality, lowers productivity and can have severe lifelong effects, particularly for children. Price spikes can also limit the ability of poor households to meet important non-food expenses, such as education and health care. When they occur globally, price hikes can affect low-income, food importing countries, putting pressure on their limited financial resources. Higher food prices have a particularly negative impact on food security when prices spike suddenly or reach extremely high levels.
Additional languages: Arabic, English, Spanish, French, Italian

Climate change - Building smallholder resilience

June 2011
Smallholder farmers are the backbone of the rural economy – but they are bearing the brunt of climate change. Worldwide, there are 500 million smallholder farms supporting some 2 billion people. These farmers inhabit some of the most at-risk landscapes, including hillsides, deserts and floodplains. Climate change multiplies the threats facing smallholders, endangering the natural assets they depend on and accelerating environmental degradation.
Additional languages: Arabic, English, Spanish, French, Italian

Higher and volatile food prices and poor rural people

June 2011
Food price trends have a major impact on food security, at both household and country levels. Many of the world’s poorest people spend more than half their income on food. Price hikes for cereals and other staples can force them to cut back on the quantity or quality of their food. This may result in food insecurity and malnutrition, with tragic implications in both the short and long term. Undernourishment increases disease and mortality, lowers productivity and can have severe lifelong effects, particularly for children. Price spikes can also limit the ability of poor households to meet important non-food expenses, such as education and health care. When they occur globally, price hikes can affect low-income, food importing countries, putting pressure on their limited financial resources. Higher food prices have a particularly negative impact on food security when prices spike suddenly or reach extremely high levels.

IFAD and OIC Member States - Working together to eradicate poverty

May 2011
One of IFAD’s most significant partnerships is with the Member States of the OPEC and the OIC.1 These countries, spread over three geographic regions – the Near East and North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa and Asia – have been active partners and strong supporters of IFAD, both as contributing countries and as recipients of financing for development projects. IFAD also works in close partnership with many Arab and Islamic development institutions and funds in the financing, design, implementation and monitoring of its rural development projects. The long-term partnership between IFAD and OIC Member States and institutions has, in recent years, taken on greater significance than ever before. The challenges are greater than they were three decades ago when IFAD was first established. But the opportunities for making an even bigger impact on the lives of the poor rural people are well within our grasp.

Women and rural development

March 2011
When women are economically and socially empowered, they become a potent force for change. In rural areas of the developing world, women play a key role in running households and make major contributions to agricultural production. But the inequalities that exist between women and men make it difficult for women to fulfil their potential.
Additional languages: Arabic, English, Spanish, French, Italian

Full proceedings - Feeding future generations - Young rural people today – prosperous, productive farmers tomorrow

February 2011
The global population is projected to rise from its present level of 6.9 billion to 9.2 billion by 2050. An estimated 1 billion people already are going hungry, and young rural people are increasingly disillusioned about working in the agricultural sector, which in many countries is stagnant and unproductive. So the question must be asked: Who is going to feed this growing world population?

Managing weather risk for agricultural development and disaster risk reduction

January 2011
Nearly 1.4 billion people live on less than US$1.25 a day. Seventy per cent live in rural areas where they depend on agriculture, but where they are also at risk from recurrent natural disasters such as drought and flooding. Natural disasters have a devastating impact on the food security and overall social and economic development of poor rural households. According to data from Munich Re’s NatCatSERVICE, natural disasters account for losses, on average, of US$51 billion in developing countries every year. Unless well managed, weather risks in agriculture slow development and hinder poverty reduction, ultimately resulting in humanitarian crises. Poor farmers have few options for coping with significant losses, and in order to reduce their exposure to risk, they often forgo opportunities to increase their productivity.

Feeding future generations - Young rural people today – prosperous, productive farmers tomorrow - Concept note

December 2010
Young women and men who live in rural areas are the world’s future farmers, entrepreneurs and leaders. The challenges of meeting future food demand, developing vibrant rural centres and promoting broad-based economic growth in developing countries depend on them. These are compelling reasons to place rural young people and smallholder agriculture at the forefront of global strategies for food security, poverty reduction and income growth.

Enabling poor rural to overcome poverty in Viet Nam

October 2010
IFAD works for and with the poorest people in Viet Nam, including ethnic minorities, small-scale farmers and households headed by women. Strategies to reduce poverty and improve living conditions include building partnerships, strengthening institutional capacity and promoting participation. IFAD works with the government and other partners to empower poor rural people so they can have a role in decisionmaking. To do this, IFAD finances programmes and projects that focus on developing and testing innovative approaches to poverty reduction that can be replicated and scaled up by the government and other agencies. Interventions are area-based and multisectoral. They target regions where poverty reduction is a priority.

Desertification factsheet

August 2010
Desertification occurs when the tree and plant cover that binds the soil is removed. It occurs when trees and bushes are stripped away for fuelwood and timber, or to clear land for cultivation. It occurs when animals eat away grasses and erode topsoil with their hooves. It occurs when intensive farming depletes the nutrients in the soil. Wind and water erosion aggravate the damage, carrying away topsoil and leaving behind a highly infertile mix of dust and sand. It is the combination of these factors that transforms degraded land into desert.

IFAD, GEF Factsheet

June 2010
As a specialized United Nations agency dedicated to eradicating rural poverty in developing countries, IFAD supports programmes and projects with strong natural resource management components. In particular, efforts to combat deforestation, soil degradation and desertification are central to IFAD’s operations. All country strategic opportunities papers, which guide IFAD’s lending and grant activities in each country, give attention to an integrated approach to improving livelihoods through better access to natural resources and their sustainable management.

Comprehensive environment and climate change assessment in Viet Nam

June 2010
This report was prepared for informing IFAD‘s Country Strategic Opportunities Program (COSOP) 2012 – 2017 for Viet Nam. In preparation of this report a brainstorming workshop was held on 9 May 2011 in Hanoi bringing together key national research institutes working on climate change (CC) and environment related issues, ministries of agriculture and environment and bilateral and multilateral donors.

Change Africa from within

April 2010
A severe food crisis currently threatens southern Sudan. In East Africa, where millions of people already are dependent on food aid, a sharp rise in the cost of staple crops looms. These are just the latest sources of concern in a turbulent period that began two years ago when food shortages hit many countries in Africa and Asia due to a worldwide spike in prices. Higher food prices meant that poor people, already struggling to meet basic human needs, were pushed deeper into poverty. On its heels came the global financial crisis, which also hit the poorest the hardest. Agriculture is the main employer, job creator and export in most developing countries. Historically, agriculture has driven economic performance in many countries, generating growth that has been shown to be at least twice as effective in reducing poverty as growth in other sectors. Investment in agricultural and rural development is therefore vital to food security and sustainable economic development.

The difference we make, 2010

February 2010
There are 1.4 billion extremely poor people in the world, living on less than US$1.25 a day. About 1 billion of these men, women and children live in the rural areas of developing countries. Nearly 2 billion rural people live on less than US$2 a day. Most are smallholder farmers and their families, who depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. Today, they must cope with rapid and unprecedented changes. Climate change, a growing world population, and volatile food and energy prices are pushing more people into extreme poverty and hunger. For the first time in human history, the number of hungry people has passed 1 billion. On top of this, tens of millions more people are expected to go hungry by 2020 as a result of climate change.
Additional languages: Arabic, English, Spanish, French, Italian

Enabling poor rural people to overcome poverty in Syria

November 2009
Since 1982, IFAD has supported seven projects in Syria with loans totalling US$126.2 million for projects with a total value of US$474 million. The organization has also provided a number of grants, including technical assistance grants to support women’s empowerment. IFAD works in partnership with the government, other donors, NGOs, local institutions and civil society organizations. It finances initiatives which enable poor rural people in Syria’s agricultural settlement areas to improve their incomes and living conditions. IFAD is working towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals and its interventions endeavour to reduce poverty and promote gender equality and environmental sustainability.

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