Crops

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

In depth

Food loss reduction

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

Spotlight

Spotlight

The Gilani Umoja Youth Group reaps their rewards

The Gilani Umoja Youth Group was founded in 2017 as a way to create jobs for local youth and ensure a steady supply of cereals and other staple crops. Despite some struggles at first, their business is now a source of livelihoods for themselves and others in their community.

Projects

Projects

Brazil

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

Nepal

High-Value Agriculture Project in Hill and Mountain Areas

Indonesia

South Sumatera Smallholder Tree Crops Development Project

Related news

Related news

El FIDA centrará su actividad en México en promover la inclusión económica activa de la población rural más pobre y vulnerable

May 2020 - NEWS
El Fondo Internacional de Desarrollo Agrícola (FIDA), el organismo especializado de las Naciones Unidas para el desarrollo rural, ha validado su estrategia de actuación hasta 2025 en México. En ella se fija como principal objetivo promover la inclusión económica activa de la población rural para luchar contra la pobreza.

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.

Related publications

Related publications

What can smallholder farmers grow in a warmer world? Climate change and future crop suitability in East and Southern Africa

October 2021
With funding from ASAP2, eight Climate Risk Analysis reports were produced by the University of Cape Town, covering Angola, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.    

Stock-take report on agroecology in IFAD operations: An integrated approach to sustainable food systems

September 2021
This report presents the results of IFAD’s stock-take on agroecology.

How to do note: Promote neglected and underutilized species for domestic markets

March 2021
This How to Do Note is part of a series of five Notes that accompany the NUS Operational Framework.