Skip to Content
X
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

Cultivating resilient communities in rural Guinea-Bissau

Over a decade ago, in the region of Tombali, Arama Tudarame’s husband and local chief sought land around their village suitable for growing cashew trees. Then, as now, monoculture of the kidney-shaped nut dominated the country’s agricultural sector

Projects

Brazil

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

Nepal

High-Value Agriculture Project in Hill and Mountain Areas
Read More

Indonesia

South Sumatera Smallholder Tree Crops Development Project
Read More

Related news

Canada provides cad$50m for unique 5-year integrated resilience program by UN agencies

July 2017 - NEWS
The United Nations’ food and agriculture agencies are embarking on an unprecedented joint programme to work with vulnerable communities in three crisis-prone areas over five years to meet their immediate food needs and boost their resilience, while addressing the root causes of food insecurity.

Senior IFAD officials to promote development in earthquake-stricken rural region of Ecuador

July 2017 - NEWS
A year after a major earthquake left more than 20,000 rural people homeless, officials of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) will meet with ministers and other government officials to renew IFAD's commitment to supporting rural economic development and improvement of the lives of poor rural people. Périn Saint Ange, IFAD Associate Vice-President, arrives in Ecuador today with the message that alongside immediate disaster relief, long-term development is crucial to rebuilding lives.

IFAD to invest $33 million in smallholder agribusiness partnerships in Sri Lanka

June 2017 - NEWS

The International Fund for Agricultural Development and Government of Sri Lanka signed a financing agreement today that will help 57,500 poor rural households in Sri Lanka increase their incomes and food security by expanding livelihood and business opportunities in agriculture.

 

Related publications

Research Series Issue 40: Local-economy impacts of cash crop promotion

October 2019
This is the first study to quantify the general equilibrium impacts of introducing a new cash crop into a poor isolated economy, including impacts on environmentally sensitive fishing activities.

Harnessing smallholder potential for wheat production in Africa – reducing wheat import bills

August 2019
To reduce the amount of foreign currency spent on importing wheat, it is essential to use improved varieties and practices to increase Africa’s domestic production quickly.

Fighting poverty with bamboo

July 2019
For millions of poor people in East and Southern Africa, bamboo has huge potential to alleviate poverty, protect the environment and help achieve the SDGs.