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ASAP Bolivia factsheet

September 2014
ASAP resources are complementing the first component (natural resource management, investment in assets and enterprise development) of ACCESOS. 

Linking matching grants with loans: Experiences and lessons learned from Ghana

September 2014
Matching grants (MGs) are used increasingly by multilateral and bilateral institutions, including the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Bank, to cofinance productive assets and investments. Although confined initially to investments with clear public good characteristics, their use has spread. They finance a broad array of assets and productivity-enhancing technologies for groups, companies and individuals, benefiting the private sector directly with clear private goods characteristics. MGs are used as a short-term financing instrument to promote diffusion of technologies and enable target groups to carry out productivity-enhancing investments, compensating for the limited availability and high costs of term finance. At times, MGs incorporate a “crowding in” mechanism to attract financiers by sharing the risks and increasing the effective collateral value of the asset being financed. They are also used to support innovations that, by their nature, are more risky and less likely to attract loan finance. Despite their appeal as a relatively simple instrument to address access to finance constraints in the short run, there are several risks, which can limit their effectiveness and impact. When poorly designed and poorly implemented, MGs can distort and crowd out private and public investments. 

A market approach to drip irrigation

August 2014

Between 2009 and 2012, the IFAD-supported Scaling up Micro-irrigation Systems (SCAMPIS) project developed a market approach for the dissemination of locally adapted drip irrigation kits. 

The approach identifies the technology that is best suited to the local context and appropriate for the most vulnerable rural inhabitants. It then builds a sustainable local supply chain for the irrigation equipment that makes the technology affordable and available, not just for the duration of the project but in the long term.

In just three years, the pilot project was able to dramatically change the lives of 30,000 farmers and their families (in total, around 150,000 poor rural people) on three continents.

IFADs approach in Small Island Developing States: A global response to island voices for food security

August 2014
This paper outlines IFAD’s strategic approach to enhancing food security and promoting sustainable smallholder agriculture development in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the context of exacerbated impacts of climate change and persistent challenges to market access. A renewed approach will provide an opportunity for increasing results and impacts from agriculture and fisheries, reducing the high transaction costs of project delivery in SIDS, adjusting to an ever-changing development environment and – most of all – avoiding the overlooking of SIDS’ persistent fragility and the risk that they are cut off from development assistance.

FAO-IFAD Using livelihood to map best investments in water

August 2014

In 2005, IFAD and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) formed a partnership to promote a better understanding of the links between rural poverty, livelihoods and water access.

Together they developed an approach to map information relating to poverty, livelihood activities and water availability across sub-Saharan Africa.

By correlating this information, they have been able to substantiate context-specific proposals for water investments.

Family farming in Latin America - A new comparative analysis

July 2014
The results of the studies highlighted the importance of agriculture as an economic activity to the reproduction of such units all over the continent, and showed that specialized family farmers are the largest group in relation to the total. Moreover, we verified the function of rural residency and the combination of activities and income sources as an important feature of all the countries studied.

Youth and agriculture: Key challenges and concrete solutions

July 2014
This publication shows how tailor-made educational programmes (such as the Junior Farmer Field and Life Schools approach) can provide rural youth with the skills and insights needed to engage in farming and adopt environmentally friendly production methods. 

Guidelines for Integrating Climate Change Adaptation into Fisheries and Aquaculture Projects

June 2014
These Guidelines are the result of an extensive process of consultation and a concerted effort that brought together different fisheries and
climate change experts in different moments in time. Substantive inputs were provided by a range of stakeholders, including smallholder
farmers, aquaculturists, academics, personnel from ministries of agriculture and environment, and development cooperation partners.

Participatory Impact Assessment and Learning Approach (PIALA) - Results and reflections from the impact evaluation of RTIMP in Viet Nam

June 2014
Improved Learning Initiative for the design of a Participatory Impact Assessment & Learning Approach (PIALA) in Viet Nam.

Serving Smallholder Farmers: Recent Developments in Digital Finance

June 2014
This Focus Note introduces some recent developments in this rapidly changing space. The featured case studies (i) identify traditional pain points in serving smallholder farmers (such as the cost and risk of making payments to farmers and delivering subsidized credit), (ii) discuss how DFS are being used to overcome these pain points, and (iii) highlight some initial obstacles and successes.

PARM Annual Report 2014

June 2014
The objective of this Annual Progress Report is to review the activities of the Platform for Agricultural Risk Management (PARM) during its first year of life or, more precisely, thirteen months since its launch in December 2013.

Collaboration for strengthening resilience - Country case study - Kenya

June 2014
In 2014, Kenya was newly classified as a lower-middle-income country, with financial services and infrastructure expected to drive growth of 5 to 6 percent annually over the next five years. At the same time, the country is still in protracted crisis, with recurrent natural disasters, conflict, severe drought and hunger affecting livelihoods. Overall, about 10 million Kenyans suffer from chronic food insecurity and poor nutrition. Recurring drought means that a larger number of people in a growing population are unable to meet their food needs. Good seasons between droughts are increasingly rare, making it difficult for households to recover from crisis to crisis. Severe land degradation, primarily caused by deforestation, unsuitable agricultural practices and flooding, has had a negative impact on agricultural production.

Transforming rural areas in Asia and the Pacific

June 2014
Among the world’s developing regions, Asia and the Pacific region has witnessed the deepest and fastest structural transformation. The Green Revolution that began in the 1960s spurred the rapid spread of improved varieties of cereal crops, accompanied by public investments in and policy support to the agricultural sector. As a result, productivity of wheat and rice increased dramatically, stimulating economic growth and reducing rural poverty. In the following decades, and especially since 2000, the structural transformation further accelerated, leading to a declined share of the sector in both output and GDP and, to a lesser extent, in the total employment. Facilitated by a conducive institutional and policy environment, the process brought about a more diversified, market-oriented and high-value agricultural production; the expansion of food processing, agribusiness, food retailing and exports; and increased domestic and international competitiveness of agriculture – albeit with country and subregional differences. Nevertheless, poverty, deprivation and hunger remain widespread. Two thirds of the world’s poor and hungry people live in the region, mostly in rural environments. Income inequality has been rising fast in a number of countries, especially between urban and rural areas, with adverse effects on poverty reduction and increased risk of social conflict and political instability. Moreover, the countries and subregions are at different stages of the structural transformation process. In most developing economies, labour productivity in agriculture is still low and the shift of the agricultural workforce to other sectors is yet to take place. Therefore, agriculture remains a critical livelihood option and the largest employer sector for most rural people. 

IFAD Annual Report 2013

June 2014
Read about IFAD's results and impact in the 2013 Annual Report. The Report also tells the stories of the rural women and men we invest in – their challenges and their successes. It covers our work to keep the needs of rural communities at the top of the international development agenda, because 76 per cent of the world's poorest people live in rural areas. And it provides the facts and figures that the Fund regularly shares with its Members States and partners.

Reforming IFAD, transforming lives

June 2014
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has undergone a transformation in recent years, adapting itself to an environment more complex and challenging than at any other point in its history: persistent hunger and food insecurity; rising and more volatile food prices; floods, droughts and the ever-more apparent effects of climate change; increasing competition for land; global financial crisis; and a growing human population that has surpassed 7 billion.

The IFAD-GEF Advantage: Partnering for a sustainable world

May 2014

In 2001, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council approved the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) as an executing agency under its policy of expanded opportunities for executing agencies. 

The Multidimensional Poverty Assessment Tool (MPAT) User's guide

March 2014

MPAT was originally developed in China and India. In China, iterative testing was conducted in 2008 in order to refine and improve the draft Household and Village Surveys. After five rounds of testing in China and India, the project team felt that the surveys and indicators were sufficiently developed to warrant a large-scale pilot in both countries.

In China, the pilot was conducted in the context of an ongoing IFAD-supported project in Gansu Province in China’s arid north. The data from the pilots in China and India (see also Box 2 and Box 3) were then shared with the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre so they could conduct an independent evaluation of MPAT. Results from a pilot village in China are presented, together with a photo of farmers planting seeds below.

The Gender Advantage: Women on the front line of climate change

March 2014

This publication illustrates IFAD’s experience in closing the gender gap and mobilizing the ‘gender advantage’ in climate change adaptation through ten case studies from across the world. 

New Directions for Smallholder Agriculture

March 2014
This book examines the growing divergence between subsistence and business oriented small farms, and discusses how this divergence has been impacted by population growth, trends in farm size distribution, urbanization, off-farm income diversification, and the globalization of agricultural value chains.

IFAD post-2015 overview document: A rural transformation agenda

March 2014

This overview document represents a synthesis of 4 policy briefs produced by IFAD, complemented by joint work with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) in the area of food security, nutrition and sustainable agriculture in the post-2015 agenda. 

IFAD’s work in the post-2015 debate is inspired by its unique mandate to invest in poor rural people to enable them to overcome poverty and to transform their lives.

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