Skip to Content
X

Increasing agricultural productivity and profitability

Poor rural people rarely control the conditions that determine their livelihoods. Geographically dispersed in remote rural areas, small producers lack the basic infrastructure — banks, roads, power supplies and Internet connectivity — needed to run a business. 

Most cannot produce a large enough volume of products to interest buyers, and, when they do, they are often hit with high transaction costs, making it difficult to earn a living and compete in markets.

Smallholder farmers often lack opportunities to negotiate better terms of trade for their agricultural products and to hold governmental and non-governmental organizations accountable for their role in rural development. Their powerlessness is closely linked to a lack of services, as well as the limited provision, and quality, of public goods.

However, effective rural institutions and organizations can help poor rural people overcome these barriers by:

  • increasing their productivity and profitability by giving them direct access to critically needed resources, services and markets;
  • reducing the price of inputs for farmers through larger collective purchases; and 
  • acting as a forum for exchanging knowledge and experience, as well as jointly-owned assets, such as equipment and machinery.

Organized groups and communities are more likely to have their voices heard and their demands met. When farmer organizations and cooperatives join forces at higher levels, they can influence policy dialogue and decisions that affect their ability to succeed. 

Strong rural institutions also promote social cohesion and stability, decreasing the adverse consequences of political and economic disenfranchisement.

Institutions as drivers of rural change

IFAD is dedicated to securing rural people’s access to productive resources and strengthening rural institutions and organizations. Functioning, inclusive institutions are key to rural transformation and to ensuring that our poverty reduction efforts are sustainable.

Organizations such as market associations and cooperatives help rural women and men negotiate better prices for their produce and access markets. These organizations also facilitate dialogue among smallholder farmers, governments, donors and the private sector. 

When rural voices are heard, it is more likely that pro-poor policies will be comprehensive, complementary, and well-placed to meet the diverse needs and realities of small producers in rural communities.

Training, financing and practical support

IFAD-supported projects provide training and financing to support a diverse array of organisations, including water users’ groups, agricultural producer and trade associations, and women and youth associations, among others.

Our activities strengthen rural institutions and develop their organizational capacity — at both the local and national level — so that rural people can overcome social, political and economic barriers, and seize wider opportunities.

For example, we partner with rural financial institutions, such as banks, micro-finance institutions and credit unions, to make it easier for marginalized groups such as indigenous peoples, youth, and women to access loans and credit for their farm and off-farm activities, including for longer-term investments. 

IFAD also provides resources to support communities with planning processes, with a particular focus on women. Community-driven development approaches rely on local committees to prioritize investment needs for rural development. It also helps ensure IFAD-supported activities reach as many people as possible.

We have also helped to produce a Toolkit, a Field Practitioner’s Guide, and a Good Practices Guide to support rural institutions and organizations increasing food security around the world.


Spotlight

Connecting remote rural communities with financial services

6 January 2017 - Remittance flows to and within Africa amounted to more than US$65 billion in 2016 and are expected to grow to US$80 billion by 2020. These flows represent a lifeline for more than 200 million people.

Projects

Project

Tonga

Tonga Rural Innovation Project
Read More
Project

India

Integrated Livelihoods Support Project
Read More
Project

Kenya

Programme for Rural Outreach of Financial Innovations and Technologies (PROFIT)
Read More

Related news

Migrants send home 51 per cent more money than a decade ago lifting millions out of poverty, says new report

juni 2017 - NEWS
The amount of money migrants send to their families in developing countries has risen by 51 per cent over the past decade - far greater than the 28 per cent increase in migration from these countries, according to a new report released by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) today.

Related publications

Scaling up the fight against rural poverty

oktober 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.

Mainstreaming Food Loss Reduction Initiatives for Smallholders in Food-Deficit Areas

juni 2015
For the first time, the three Rome-based agencies of the United Nations have joined forces to raise awareness on the importance of food losses and to stimulate change and action in member countries to reduce them.
LANGUAGES: English

Collaboration for strengthening resilience - Country case study - Kenya

juni 2014
In 2014, Kenya was newly classified as a lower-middle-income country, with financial services and infrastructure expected to drive growth of 5 to 6 percent annually over the next five years. At the same time, the country is still in protracted crisis, with recurrent natural disasters, conflict, severe drought and hunger affecting livelihoods. Overall, about 10 million Kenyans suffer from chronic food insecurity and poor nutrition. Recurring drought means that a larger number of people in a growing population are unable to meet their food needs. Good seasons between droughts are increasingly rare, making it difficult for households to recover from crisis to crisis. Severe land degradation, primarily caused by deforestation, unsuitable agricultural practices and flooding, has had a negative impact on agricultural production.
LANGUAGES: English

Contact us

For questions please contact Tom Mwangi Anyonge,

Lead Technical Specialist - Institutions and Organisations,

+39 0654592519 t.anyonge@ifad.org