Land grab or development opportunity? Agricultural investment and international land deals in Africa
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
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
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
From subsistence farming to profit: the benefits of agro-wells in Sri Lanka
Large, well-constructed ‘agro-wells’ are making farming profitable for farmers living in dry areas of Sri Lanka. Farmers in the dry areas of the district of Matale benefited from the Regional Economic Advancement Project (REAP) from 1999 to 2007.
REAP was mostly funded by a loan of US$11.7 million from IFAD to the Government of Sri Lanka. The project had a total budget of US$14.5 million,
and benefited some 30,000 households.
A major activity of REAP’s subcomponent on soil conservation and water management was assistance to the poorest farmers to enable them to
construct agro-wells for irrigation purposes. This activity was started in 2001.
Sending Money Home - Worldwide Remittance Flows to Developing and Transition Countries
Irriguer pour mieux cultiver : la réussite du Haut Bassin du Mandrare. L’expérience de 12 années d’intervention du PHBM (1996-2008)
Le potentiel irrigable du Haut Bassin du Mandrare est connu depuis très longtemps.
La zone du Haut Bassin du Mandrare divisée en six sous-bassins versants qui alimentent le Mandrare bénéficie d’une bonne pluviométrie (normalement comprise entre 800 et 1100 mm) par rapport aux autres zones de l’extrême Sud de Madagascar.
Les sols des vallées sont fertiles et se prêtent à la riziculture irriguée, activité agricole pratiquée par 60 % des habitants de la zone.
IFAD in the Near East and North Africa region
IFAD’s work in the region is guided by the organization’s Strategic Framework, its four thematic priorities for the region and by individual country strategic opportunities papers (COSOPs), reflecting governments’ own priorities in rural development and prepared in consultation with governments, donors and other partners.
The thematic priorities encompass:
(i) a new focus on managing land and water resources for poverty reduction, including the key role of empowerment of community-based resource management groups;
(ii) achieving a breakthrough in rural microfinance by building partnerships with leading organizations in this area and collaborating with commercial banks and major regional financial institutions;
(iii) tackling rural unemployment by using the results of ongoing action research to identify effective, targeted interventions and; (iv) linking smallholder farmers and the rural poor with international markets by assisting NENA countries in developing export markets for non-traditional products and by working with existing private sector or NGO initiatives in this area.
IFAD’s experience in the region has shown that, with the right support, local people can sustainably manage the natural resources on which their livelihoods depend.
The rural poor - Survival or a better life?
especially those in areas that are biophysically marginal or socio-economically marginalized. Sustainable rural development depends on successfully addressing the
twin challenges of poverty and environmental degradation. There are 1.2 billion people living in extreme poverty, and of these, 900 million live in rural areas where they depend directly or indirectly on agriculture to survive. The paper gives a brief overview of rural development in the context of the Millennium Development Goals and AGENDA 21, which call for concerted action to address the problems of the rural poor and the limitations of their natural resource base.