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IFAD and Italy - A partnership to eradicate rural poverty
IFAD is unique in being both an international financial institution and a specialized United Nations agency. It is also unique in mandate – the only institution exclusively dedicated to eradicating hunger and poverty in rural areas of developing countries. IFAD provides low-interest loans and grants to developing countries to finance innovative agricultural and rural development programmes and projects, and is among the top multilateral institutions working in agriculture in Africa. The decision to create IFAD was made in 1974, in the wake of the great droughts and famines that struck Africa and Asia in the preceding years. At the 1974 World Food Conference, world leaders agreed that “an international fund … should be established immediately to finance agricultural development projects”.Additional languages: English, Italian
South-South and triangular cooperation: changing lives through partnership
South-South and triangular cooperation has an enormous potential role in agriculture and rural development in developing countries, both in unlocking diverse experiences and lessons and in providing solutions to pressing development challenges. From the cases that follow, a number of common lessons emerge. First, it is important to create a space for interaction and cross-country learning. In the Scaling up Micro-Irrigation Systems project or with the household mentoring approach, for instance, workshops and ‘writeshops’ gathered people from diverse countries who could then share their own knowledge and experiences. In such spaces, participants could compare how a similar approach or technology required certain adaptations to better fit with local cultural, social and environmental contexts, offering important lessons for future scaling up. Sometimes individual champions can make a difference. In Madagascar, the project design for a public/private partnership improved drastically when an IFAD consultant with similar experience in another country became involved. In this case, it was also an ‘unexpected outcome’, as the innovation came from a replacement for the regular consultant, who had broken his foot …. So even through small staff changes, knowledge of a complementary innovation from another country can have a big impact.
The Biodiversity Advantage: Global benefits from smallholder actions
Biodiversity is about more than plants, animals, and micro-organisms and their ecosystems – the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD, 1992) recognizes that it is also very much about people and our need for food security, medicines, fresh air, shelter, and a clean and healthy environment. Biodiversity is also essential for the maintenance of ecosystem-based services, such as the provision of water and food for human, animal and plant life. When we make an effort to conserve biodiversity, we are helping to maintain critical global biological resources to meet our needs today as well as those of future generations. Biodiversity conservation is therefore central to achieving recent global commitments for sustainable development under “Agenda 2030”, adopted by the United Nations in 2015. The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) recognizes that losing biodiversity means losing opportunities for coping with future challenges, such as those posed by climate change and food insecurity.
The Economic Advantage: Assessing the value of climate-change actions in agriculture
This report is aimed at readers who seek to build economic evidence in support of the inclusion of actions on agriculture in climate change plans and programmes, particularly at the national level under the umbrella of nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to the December 2015 Paris Agreement, which aims to restrict a rise in global temperatures and manage risks. Agriculture is a sector especially sensitive to climate change. It also accounts for significant emissions and is, therefore, a priority for both adaptation and mitigation plans and actions at global, national and local levels.
Policy case study - Benin: Farmers’ organizations interview presidential candidates on agricultural development
In Benin, agriculture plays a central role in the national economy, contributing 32 per cent of GDP and employing a large part of the workforce. Despite significant productive potential and a diversified agricultural sector (crop production, livestock, non‑timber forest products, fisheries), the country relies heavily on imports of food products, which represent 25 per cent of the total value of imports.
Remittances at the Post Office in Africa - Serving the financial needs of migrants and their families in rural areas
This report focuses on African National Postal Operators (NPOs) as one of the several distribution channels for remittances and financial services.
Second African Conference on Remittances and Postal Networks
The Second African Conference on Remittances and Postal Networks was organized in the framework of the African Postal Financial Services Initiative (APFSI), and took place on 15-16 November 2016 in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire.
The Drylands Advantage: Protecting the environment, empowering people
Present in each continent and covering over 40 per cent of the earth, drylands generally refer to arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas, and are home to more than 2 billion people.
Case study: Tonga Agriculture Sector Plan (TASP)
Agriculture is the predominant economic activity in Tonga, contributing around 20 per cent of GDP. About 75 per cent of Tonga’s population lives in rural areas, and agriculture and fishing are the main sources of livelihoods. Fewer than 10 per cent of farmers are commercial producers and most of Tonga’s agriculture is thus still based on traditional/subsistence farming systems. The agriculture sector has been stagnant for a decade, with virtually no growth recorded between 2005 and 2012. Factors contributing to this situation include outmigration of the rural population, an ageing farmer population, declining export opportunities, and the increasing frequency and impact of climate change-related extreme weather events. Tonga’s export vulnerability lies in its reliance on very few commodities, such as squash, the exports of which have been falling since 2003. Rising production costs have contributed to a decline in export competitiveness, as has the difficulty in meeting quality and phytosanitary requirements for the principal markets of New Zealand and Australia.
Gender mainstreaming in IFAD10
IFAD has a well-established history of supporting gender equality and women’s empowerment. This commitment spans 25 years, from the 1992 paper, Strategies for the Economic Advancement of Poor Rural Women, to the 2003-2006 Plan of Action for Mainstreaming a Gender Perspective in IFAD’s Operations, the 2010 Corporate-level Evaluation of IFAD’s Performance with regard to Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment by the Independent Office of Evaluation, and finally the 2012 gender policy. In the new IFAD Strategic Framework 2016-2025, gender equality is identified as one of the five principles of engagement at the core of IFAD’s identity and values. IFAD complies with the United Nations commitments on gender mainstreaming, including the United Nations System-wide Action Plan (UN-SWAP) on gender equality and the empowerment of women.
FAO IFAD - Complementarity and cooperation
At a time when world attention is seized with the crises of migration and forced displacement, conflict, environmental degradation and climate change, FAO and IFAD are keenly aware that development must treat the underlying causes of desperation, inequality, and unsustainable ways of living on the planet. FAO and IFAD have a shared vision, backed by technical expertise, which looks to the structural, longer-term causes of the scourges the world now aims to eradicate. Together and independently, our practices are geared toward providing sustainable solutions to food insecurity and lasting exits from the poverty trap. Together we are reaching marginalized and forgotten people who have too often been overlooked in development efforts.
Sharing a vision, achieving results: Partnership between the Netherlands and the International Fund for Agricultural Development
Sharing a vision: Partnership between the Netherlands and the International Fund for Agricultural Development A joint goal: Investing in rural people, contributing to global development Rural areas of poor countries are facing both new and continuing challenges. Among these are the world’s burgeoning population, volatile food prices, environmental degradation, climate change, diversion of farmland, declining public financing and inefficient production and trade chains. Food security and rural development, therefore, are among the top priorities of the Dutch development agenda and central to IFAD’s mandate. Over the coming decades, market oriented smallholder agriculture will be crucial to fulfilling the growing demand for food and related goods and services. It will also be fundamental to raising incomes of poor people, 70 per cent of whom live in rural areas, and protecting the environment. A shared desire to support smallholder farmers in creating this future is at the heart of the partnership between the Netherlands and IFAD.
IFAD post-2015 implementation brief 4 - Investing in Rural People
The importance of the rural sector for sustainable development is well recognized in the debate on the post-2015 agenda, particularly in connection with sustainable agriculture, food security and nutrition, corresponding to the second proposed Sustainable Development Goal (SDG2) drafted by the Open Working Group (OWG) this past summer. Both agriculture and more broadly rural development are, however, important also for many other SDGs related to poverty eradication, reduction of inequalities, inclusive growth, protection of ecosystems, combating of climate change and others.
IFAD post-2015 implementation brief 3 - Policy engagement, research and knowledge for inclusive and sustainable rural transformation
In September 2015, members of the United Nations will sign up to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These – together with their targets and indicators – will guide global and national efforts to achieve sustainable development for the next 15 years. Governments will then be expected to draw on the SDGs to define national implementation strategies and effective monitoring systems, and to align public expenditures and streamline government institutions to support such strategies.
Why inclusive rural transformation is vital to address large-scale migration and forced displacement
The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) will host a high-level meeting (HLM) on 19 September 2016 to agree on a number of global commitments to address large-scale movements of refugees and migrants.
IFAD post-2015 implementation brief 2 - Scaling up results for impact on inclusive and sustainable rural transformation
Free-standing development projects cannot, by themselves, eradicate poverty at scale. This realization is very relevant to the debate on the implementation of a universal post-2015 agenda that aims for the eradication of poverty – including rural poverty, which is the specific focus of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
IFAD post-2015 implementation brief 1 - Promoting partnerships for inclusive and sustainable rural transformation
There is broad agreement that partnerships – both global and within countries – will be critical to achieving the post-2015 agenda. They are needed to mobilize new resources – financial and non-financial – and to find synergies among different sources of finance. They are critical to galvanize actions aligned with the new goals and targets, and to ensure that all actors work towards the same objectives. However, identifying and building partnerships that can bring the greatest value added to different parts of the post-2015 agenda is not easy. Moreover, partnerships can also bring risks and challenges.
Policy case study: Viet Nam – Review of experience of the National Target Program for new rural development
Since the introduction of a comprehensive set of economic reforms known as Đôi Mói (renovation) in 1986, Viet Nam’s economy has sustained strong economic growth. Over the last 20 years, GDP growth has averaged 7.2 per cent per annum, resulting in rapid poverty reduction.
IFAD in Tajikistan: The virtues of village organizations
IFAD and the Government of Tajikistan have been investing in building the capacities of village organizations and pasture users unions to participate in and influence processes that are important for the livelihoods of their members. The results have been very positive, as the stories contained here show. Local communities have been empowered in managing local natural resources on which they depend. The community-driven development approach is a very effective way to identify priorities (such as roads, irrigation, drinking water, electricity supply, and low-cost storage and marketing facilities) in rural communities, and has been able to provide the needed investments to improve rural livelihoods. Activities also targeted the needs of female beneficiaries, not only producing significant economic benefits but also strengthening the position of women in communities. The participation of beneficiaries in all phases of the projects was a key ingredient in ensuring that there would be ownership, commitment and long-term impact. Members of village organizations were involved in setting priorities and decision-making from the outset. Linking community development to training and strengthening local project partners helped to ensure sustainability, so that these communities will continue to thrive in the future.
Agenda 2030: Why it matters for IFAD
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), now known also as Global Goals, give an inspiring vision of what the world could look like in 2030. This is a vision of a world without poverty and hunger, a world of inclusive growth, environmental sustainability and social justice. IFAD’s own vision of inclusive and sustainable rural transformation fits closely with the ambitions of Agenda 2030. Indeed, the Agenda recognizes the importance of IFAD’s mandate and the validity of its approach. Going forward, IFAD will be expected by its donors and partners to give a clear, demonstrable contribution to realizing the Global Goals. Moreover, the implementation of the goals will bring new opportunities for IFAD to expand the impact of its activities. IFAD’s new Strategic Framework (2016-2025) affirms Agenda 2030 as the basis for its work for the next decade. The purpose of this note is to unpack Agenda 2030 and to show how IFAD will be a part of making its vision a reality