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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

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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

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

May 2020 - NEWS
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Canada provides cad$50m for unique 5-year integrated resilience program by UN agencies

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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

Strengthening sorghum and millet value chains for food, nutritional and income security in arid and semi‑arid lands of Kenya and United Republic of Tanzania (SOMNI)

November 2020
Sorghum, finger millet and pearl millet are the most important staple foods for most households in the semi-arid tropics of East Africa since these crops grow in harsh environments where other crops do not grow well. 

Climate Risk Analyses in East and Southern Africa

November 2020
These Climate Risk Analyses assess the potential impacts of climate change on several crops and commodities in Lesotho, Mozambique and Uganda.  

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.