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Putting young people first

February 2011
Today’s generation of young people – defined by the United Nations as those aged 15 to 24 – is the largest in history. In the developing world as a whole, they make up on average 20 per cent of the population. Young people have power and persistence. In the right conditions, a substantial young generation offers countries a priceless resource for economic development and social progress. However, in the current climate and for differing reasons, many developed and developing countries are struggling to provide their young people with a future, either in cities or in rural areas.

Smallholders can feed the world

February 2011
On previously barren land in the Egyptian desert, Ahmad Abdelmunem Al-Far and his fellow farmers are showing how market-oriented agriculture can transform lives and move people out of poverty.

Scaling up the fight against rural poverty - An institutional review of IFAD’s approach

October 2010
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has for many years stressed innovation, knowledge and scaling up as essential ingredients of its strategy to combat rural poverty in developing countries. This institutional review of IFAD’s approach to scaling up is the fi rst of its kind: A team of development experts were funded by a small grant from IFAD to assess IFAD’s track record in scaling up successful interventions, its operational policies and processes, instruments, resources and incentives, and to provide recommendations to management for how to turn IFAD into a scaling-up institution. Beyond IFAD, this institutional scaling up review is a pilot exercise that can serve as an example for other development institutions.

Remittances and Financial Literacy

June 2010
In line with its mandate to expand the reach of financial services into rural areas, the Financing Facility for Remittances (FFR) is leading the way in testing models that bring migrants’ funds to recipient families quickly, safely, conveniently and at the lowest possible cost. However, the key to ensuring that remittances help families achieve financial independence lies in financial literacy.

Lightening the load - Labour saving technologies for rural women

June 2010
This publication looks back at three decades of experiences in introducing labour-saving technologies and practices to rural women and persisting gender discrimination in access and control. It also takes into account major developments in science, technology and innovation over the last several years and shows they can benefi t women.

Making the most of agricultural investment: A survey of business models that provide opportunities for smallholders

June 2010
Drawing on a literature review, this report examines a range of business models that can be used to structure agricultural investments in lower- and middle-income countries, and that provide an alternative to large-scale land acquisitions. A business model is the way in which a company structures its resources, partnerships and customer relationships in order to create and capture value – in other words, a business model is what enables a company to make money. Business models are considered as more inclusive if they involve close working partnerships with local landholders and operators, and if they share value among the partners.

IFAD's livestock position paper

April 2010
IFAD’s goal is that rural women and men in developing countries are empowered to achieve higher incomes and improved food security at the household level. In this way it will contribute to the achievement of Millennium Development Goal #1: “The eradication of extreme poverty”. (IFAD, Strategic Framework 2007-2010)

Learning by working together - Microprojects financed through the Indigenous Peoples Assistance Facility (IPAF)

April 2010
Since IFAD began operations in 1978, it has supported, as part of its mandate to reduce poverty, many rural development programmes in which indigenous peoples have played an important role as stakeholders.

Alternatives to land acquisitions: Agricultural investment and collaborative business models

March 2010
Recent years have witnessed a renewed interest in public and private-sector investment in agriculture. Concerns about longer-term food and energy security and expectations of increasing returns from agriculture underpin much recent agricultural investment. Some have welcomed this trend as a bearer of new livelihood opportunities in lower- and middle-income countries. Others have raised concerns about the possible social impacts, including loss of local rights to land, water and other natural resources; threats to local food security; and, more generally, the risk that large-scale investments may marginalise family farmers. The recent debates about “land grabbing” – the media characterisation of large-scale farmland acquisitions in lower- and middle-income countries – illustrate these trends and positions.

Gender and livestock: tools for design

February 2010
This Thematic Paper is part of a Toolkit for Project Design (Livestock Thematic Papers: Tools for Project Design) which reflects IFAD’s commitment to developing a sustainable livestock sector in which poor farmers and herders might have higher incomes, and better access to assets, services, technologies and markets. The paper indents to be a practical tool for development practitioners, project designers and policymakers to define appropriate livestock development interventions. It also provides recommendations on critical issues for rural development and also possible responses and actions to encourage the socio-economic empowerment of poor livestock keepers.

Promoting women's leadership in farmers' and rural producers' organizations

February 2010
This paper presents the outcomes of the Special Session of the 2010 Farmers’ Forum, Promoting Women’s Leadership in Farmers’ Organizations and Rural Producers’ Organizations, that was convened on 12 and 13 February in conjunction with the Thirty-third Session of IFAD’s Governing Council. The session was co-organized by IFAD and the non-governmental organization Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture and Natural Resources (WOCAN). In plenary session and working groups, over 60 participants – including 35 women farmer representatives, members of the Farmers’ Forum Steering Committee, observers from NGOs and FAO, and many IFAD staff – had a rich discussion that generated important recommendations. IFAD will follow up on those recommendations not only as a matter of equity, given women’s enormous contribution to agriculture, but also because a stronger women’s voice and leadership in agriculture are essential to making smallholder agriculture more productive and sustainable.

Gender and desertification: Expanding roles for women to restore drylands

January 2010
In addition to caring for their families, women across the developing world spend considerable proportions of their time and energy using and preserving land for the production of food and fuel and to generate income for their families and communities. These activities include crop production, growing fruits and vegetables, raising small livestock, tending trees, processing products for food and markets, and managing and collecting water and fuel. Women are usually responsible for the plots in which food crops are grown, while men are responsible for the plots on which cash crops are grown. The latter account for a major part of the threat of soil nutrient depletion and desertification.

Gender and desertification: Making ends meet in drylands

January 2010
Desertification is the process of land degradation that affects dryland areas and is caused by poverty, unsustainable land management and climate change. Drylands lose their productive capacity in a spiral of destruction that twins increased land degradation with increased poverty and food insecurity. Drought and desertification threaten the livelihoods of more than 1.2 billion people in 110 countries. The problem is particularly acute in sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia Desertification is the process of land degradation that affects dryland areas and is caused by poverty, unsustainable land management and climate change. Drylands lose their productive capacity in a spiral of destruction that twins increased land degradation with increased poverty and food insecurity. Drought and desertification threaten the livelihoods of more than 1.2 billion people in 110 countries. The problem is particularly acute in sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia.

Sending Money Home to Africa Remittance markets, enabling environment and prospects

November 2009
This report is based on the results of a study commissioned by IFAD and carried out by Manuel Orozco of the Inter-American Dialogue.
Additional languages: Arabic, English, Spanish, French, Portuguese

Remittances: sending money home

October 2009
Factsheet illustrating how IFAD is exploring more innovative ways of working with remittances.

Food prices: Smallholders can be part of the solution

July 2009
Recent price volatility on international markets is putting pressure on global food security. For the 2 billion people who live and work on small farms in developing countries, life has become more precarious. But with the right investments, policies and development programmes in place, smallholder farmers have a huge potential to increase food production, improving their lives and contributing to greater food security for all.

Land grab or development opportunity? Agricultural investment and international land deals in Africa

June 2009
Over the past 12 months, large-scale acquisitions of farmland in Africa, Latin America, Central Asia and Southeast Asia have made headlines in a flurry of media reports across the world. Lands that only a short time ago seemed of little outside interest are now being sought by international investors to the tune of hundreds of thousands of hectares. And while a failed attempt to lease 1.3 million ha in Madagascar has attracted much media attention, deals reported in the international press constitute the tip of the iceberg. This is rightly a hot issue because land is so central to identity, livelihoods and food security.

IFAD and the League of Arab States

January 2009
Poverty poses a constant threat to economic growth, trade reform, private sector development, knowledge, governance and gender equality. Poverty among the 22 members of the League of Arab States (LAS) is primarily a rural phenomenon. A quarter of the region’s population, or about 80 million people, live below national poverty lines. Between 60 and 70 percent of these poor people live in rural areas. One of the most pressing challenges in the region is the high rate of unemployment, particularly among young people. Official unemployment rates average 13 per cent, and in some countries the jobless rate among young people is twice as high.

IFAD in the MERCOSUR area

December 2008
Working to enable poor rural people to overcome poverty, IFAD operates in the MERCOSUR countries at two levels: • at the subregional level, within the institutional framework of MERCOSUR, it promotes a platform for dialogue between governments and smallholder farmers’ associations, with the aim of increasing public investment in family farming • at the national level, it provides funding and technical assistance to governments for the implementation of rural development programmes and projects that translate into action the agreements reached at subregional level.

Custodians of culture and biodiversity: Indigenous peoples take charge of their challenges and opportunities

November 2008
The objective of this study was to provide an overall and a country analysis of the needs of indigenous peoples and the solutions they propose to tackle rural poverty.

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