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Change Africa from within
A severe food crisis currently threatens southern Sudan. In East Africa, where millions of people already are dependent on food aid, a sharp rise in the cost of staple crops looms. These are just the latest sources of concern in a turbulent period that began two years ago when food shortages hit many countries in Africa and Asia due to a worldwide spike in prices. Higher food prices meant that poor people, already struggling to meet basic human needs, were pushed deeper into poverty. On its heels came the global financial crisis, which also hit the poorest the hardest. Agriculture is the main employer, job creator and export in most developing countries. Historically, agriculture has driven economic performance in many countries, generating growth that has been shown to be at least twice as effective in reducing poverty as growth in other sectors. Investment in agricultural and rural development is therefore vital to food security and sustainable economic development.
IFAD's livestock position paper
IFAD’s goal is that rural women and men in developing countries are empowered to achieve higher incomes and improved food security at the household level. In this way it will contribute to the achievement of Millennium Development Goal #1: “The eradication of extreme poverty”. (IFAD, Strategic Framework 2007-2010)
Learning by working together - Microprojects financed through the Indigenous Peoples Assistance Facility (IPAF)
Since IFAD began operations in 1978, it has supported, as part of its mandate to reduce poverty, many rural development programmes in which indigenous peoples have played an important role as stakeholders.
Alternatives to land acquisitions: Agricultural investment and collaborative business models
Recent years have witnessed a renewed interest in public and private-sector investment in agriculture. Concerns about longer-term food and energy security and expectations of increasing returns from agriculture underpin much recent agricultural investment. Some have welcomed this trend as a bearer of new livelihood opportunities in lower- and middle-income countries. Others have raised concerns about the possible social impacts, including loss of local rights to land, water and other natural resources; threats to local food security; and, more generally, the risk that large-scale investments may marginalise family farmers. The recent debates about “land grabbing” – the media characterisation of large-scale farmland acquisitions in lower- and middle-income countries – illustrate these trends and positions.
IFAD Decision Tools for Rural Finance
The objective of IFAD Decision Tools for Rural Finance is to provide decision-making support for the IFAD country programme managers (CPMs), consultants, project staff and technical advisers who develop and implement rural finance projects. Built on the IFAD Rural Finance Policy (RFP) (IFAD 2009), as well as other good practice guides, this knowledge management tool is designed to help identify and answer the questions that arise in each rural finance project, provide background on key issues, define common terms, highlight risks and opportunities, and provide references for further investigation.
The potential for scale and sustainability in weather index insurance for agriculture and rural livelihoods
Risk is inherent in agriculture. Farmers face a variety of market and production risks that make their incomes unstable and unpredictable from year to year.
The difference we make, 2010
There are 1.4 billion extremely poor people in the world, living on less than US$1.25 a day. About 1 billion of these men, women and children live in the rural areas of developing countries. Nearly 2 billion rural people live on less than US$2 a day. Most are smallholder farmers and their families, who depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. Today, they must cope with rapid and unprecedented changes. Climate change, a growing world population, and volatile food and energy prices are pushing more people into extreme poverty and hunger. For the first time in human history, the number of hungry people has passed 1 billion. On top of this, tens of millions more people are expected to go hungry by 2020 as a result of climate change.Additional languages: Arabic, English, Spanish, French, Italian
Gender and livestock: tools for design
This Thematic Paper is part of a Toolkit for Project Design (Livestock Thematic Papers: Tools for Project Design) which reflects IFAD’s commitment to developing a sustainable livestock sector in which poor farmers and herders might have higher incomes, and better access to assets, services, technologies and markets. The paper indents to be a practical tool for development practitioners, project designers and policymakers to define appropriate livestock development interventions. It also provides recommendations on critical issues for rural development and also possible responses and actions to encourage the socio-economic empowerment of poor livestock keepers.
Promoting women's leadership in farmers' and rural producers' organizations
This paper presents the outcomes of the Special Session of the 2010 Farmers’ Forum, Promoting Women’s Leadership in Farmers’ Organizations and Rural Producers’ Organizations, that was convened on 12 and 13 February in conjunction with the Thirty-third Session of IFAD’s Governing Council. The session was co-organized by IFAD and the non-governmental organization Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture and Natural Resources (WOCAN). In plenary session and working groups, over 60 participants – including 35 women farmer representatives, members of the Farmers’ Forum Steering Committee, observers from NGOs and FAO, and many IFAD staff – had a rich discussion that generated important recommendations. IFAD will follow up on those recommendations not only as a matter of equity, given women’s enormous contribution to agriculture, but also because a stronger women’s voice and leadership in agriculture are essential to making smallholder agriculture more productive and sustainable.
Gender and desertification: Making ends meet in drylands
Desertification is the process of land degradation that affects dryland areas and is caused by poverty, unsustainable land management and climate change. Drylands lose their productive capacity in a spiral of destruction that twins increased land degradation with increased poverty and food insecurity. Drought and desertification threaten the livelihoods of more than 1.2 billion people in 110 countries. The problem is particularly acute in sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia Desertification is the process of land degradation that affects dryland areas and is caused by poverty, unsustainable land management and climate change. Drylands lose their productive capacity in a spiral of destruction that twins increased land degradation with increased poverty and food insecurity. Drought and desertification threaten the livelihoods of more than 1.2 billion people in 110 countries. The problem is particularly acute in sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia.
Gender and desertification: Expanding roles for women to restore drylands
In addition to caring for their families, women across the developing world spend considerable proportions of their time and energy using and preserving land for the production of food and fuel and to generate income for their families and communities. These activities include crop production, growing fruits and vegetables, raising small livestock, tending trees, processing products for food and markets, and managing and collecting water and fuel. Women are usually responsible for the plots in which food crops are grown, while men are responsible for the plots on which cash crops are grown. The latter account for a major part of the threat of soil nutrient depletion and desertification.
Annual report on investigative and anti-corruption activities 2009
The Investigation Section of the Office of Audit and Oversight (OA/IS) has a mandate to investigate alleged irregular practices, namely (i) fraud and corruption, in relation to entities, contractors and non-staff individuals applying for or participating in an IFAD-financed project or headquartersrelated contract; and (ii) staff misconduct, pursuant to the adoption by the Executive Board in December 2005 of the IFAD Policy on Preventing Fraud and Corruption in its Activities and Operations (EB 2005/85/R.5/Rev.1). Implementation of this policy, along with the establishment of a Sanctions Committee, has aligned IFAD with best practices in this area of other United Nations agencies and the main multilateral financial institutions. Twenty-seven new allegations were received in 2009, compared with 30 in 2008. Fifty-nine per cent were external, mostly involving bidding irregularities and procurement-related fraud. Emphasis has been placed on promoting awareness of the anticorruption policy at every stage of the project cycle, thus putting the anticorruption message in the foreground.
Enabling poor rural people to overcome poverty in Syria
Since 1982, IFAD has supported seven projects in Syria with loans totalling US$126.2 million for projects with a total value of US$474 million. The organization has also provided a number of grants, including technical assistance grants to support women’s empowerment. IFAD works in partnership with the government, other donors, NGOs, local institutions and civil society organizations. It finances initiatives which enable poor rural people in Syria’s agricultural settlement areas to improve their incomes and living conditions. IFAD is working towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals and its interventions endeavour to reduce poverty and promote gender equality and environmental sustainability.
Sending Money Home to Africa Remittance markets, enabling environment and prospects
This report is based on the results of a study commissioned by IFAD and carried out by Manuel Orozco of the Inter-American Dialogue.Additional languages: Arabic, English, Spanish, French, Portuguese
Remittances: sending money home
Factsheet illustrating how IFAD is exploring more innovative ways of working with remittances.
Eritrea - Catchments and landscape management project
The project will reverse the decline in productivity of Eritrea’s soil resources; restore vegetative cover and habitat diversity in areas of degraded rangelands, forests and woodlands; and increase biodiversity within crop, livestock and forest production landscapes.
Ethiopia Community-based integrated natural resources management in Lake Tana watershed
Ethiopia is one of the world’s poorest countries, with an annual per capita income of only US$174. Nearly half of the population lives under the poverty line, and more than 12 million people are chronically or periodically food insecure. Agriculture generates approximately 50 per cent of the GDP and 90 per cent of export earnings. Despite its importance, agricultural performance has improved little over the past 50 years and food security has deteriorated. Low agricultural productivity and chronic food insecurity are direct results of the ongoing degradation of natural resources in the Ethiopian highlands.
Niger - Agricultural and rural rehabilitation and development initiative
The GEF-funded Agricultural and Rural Rehabilitation and Development Initiative, which will complement the ongoing IFAD-financed Agricultural and Rural Rehabilitation and Development Initiative Project (ARRDI), will similarly focus on southern Niger’s Maradi region – home to 20 per cent of the nation’s population – targeting poor and extremely poor communities vulnerable to environmental risk, with special emphasis on women and youth.
Community-driven development decision tools for rural development programmes
This Decision Tools document is the final outcome of five years of studies, debates and workshop discussions. These Tools will prove useful to Governments, development practitioners and field technical staff that are financing, designing or implementing CDD projects for rural poverty reduction.
Food prices: Smallholders can be part of the solution
Recent price volatility on international markets is putting pressure on global food security. For the 2 billion people who live and work on small farms in developing countries, life has become more precarious. But with the right investments, policies and development programmes in place, smallholder farmers have a huge potential to increase food production, improving their lives and contributing to greater food security for all.