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 Turkey, strawberry farms bring opportunities for rural youth
Youth who grew up in the Taurus Mountains of Turkey have traditionally moved to the big cities to pursue their careers. But recently, thanks to an IFAD-supported project, the region’s farmers have begun growing strawberries. Highland strawberries are proving quite popular, driving the growth of a new regional value chain – and bringing the region’s youth back to the countryside to take part.