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Feeding the world through sustainable agriculture

Smallholder farmers are the main producers of food globally and provide 60 to 80 per cent of the food produced in developing countries. As the world’s population grows, these farmers are under growing pressure to enhance their productivity and ensure food security, especially for the rural poor.

Yet numerous factors make farming increasingly difficult for them. These include climate variability and change, water scarcity and land degradation and high levels of post-harvest food losses.

Improving the soil, managing pests

Access to diverse agricultural technologies is key to ensuring smallholder farmers can continue to feed the world.

IFAD-supported projects help farmers to increase yields through enhanced soil and pest management, fertilizer use, access to better quality seeds, and other improved agricultural practices.

Our projects improve farmers’ access to input and output markets, as well as to rural financial services that will allow them to invest in their farms.

They also enhance the institutional capacities of farmer organizations to meet the needs of their members, while ensuring natural resources are managed properly and growth is sustainable.

Growing more food and developing new opportunities

Our approach to agriculture is context-specific. We strive to create opportunities for farmers at various levels with different assets, and for both women and men farmers.

We also support the growing number of rural youth, who frequently find themselves squeezed out of farming and are looking for alternative income sources.

In depth

Food loss reduction

Food loss has negative impacts on the livelihoods, nutrition and food security of millions of smallholder farmers. 

Spotlight

Seeds to riches: The story of a 29-year-old millionaire

Sumaka Japhet is a young rice seed cultivator and agricultural entrepreneur. We had heard of his success and local fame as a millionaire – and during one of our field visits, we travelled a long and bumpy road to meet him.
Tags: CROPS

Projects

Brazil

Rural Sustainable Development Project in the Semi-arid Region of Bahia
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Nepal

High-Value Agriculture Project in Hill and Mountain Areas
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Indonesia

South Sumatera Smallholder Tree Crops Development Project
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Related news

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Related publications

Scaling sustainable land management: A collection of SLM technologies and approaches in Northern Uganda and beyond

August 2020
This collection of data on sustainable land management (SLM) technologies and approaches includes relevant information on different SLM practices, their implementation details, and their ecological and socio-economic benefits and disadvantages.

Food security in the context of climate change: from knowledge to action

December 2018
Since 2006, IFAD and the European Union have partnered to invest over EUR 230 million in agricultural research programmes carried out through the CGIAR system. 

Sorghum in East and Central Africa: more than food

December 2018
Since 2006, IFAD and the European Union have partnered to invest over EUR 230 million in agricultural research programmes carried out through the CGIAR system.