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Creating pathways out of poverty in rural areas: Managing weather risk with index insurance

August 2015
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP) have joined forces to reduce the vulnerability of poor rural people to extreme weather events that can be devastating to agricultural productivity. With support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, IFAD and WFP are working to improve the access of poor rural people in developing countries to index-based weather insurance. This type of insurance can help them cope better when extreme weather hits, and can open the door to other financial services, in particular credit.

Refinancing facilities: IFAD introduces an innovation in rural finance development

August 2015
IFAD uses highly concessional loans in an innovative way in the Republic of Macedonia, the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Moldova. Low-cost refinancing capital makes rural investments attractive and profitable for formal financial institutions and reduces rural poverty by stimulating economic growth. In the past seven years, IFAD has successfully used refinancing facilities in economies in transition to stimulate investments on farms and in rural processing companies. The facilities have refinanced projects for a total value of over US$50 million in the Republic of Moldova, the Republic of Macedonia and the Republic of Armenia, with an excellent recovery performance. Refinancing operations have proved to be a viable alternative to established modes of financing rural investments through lines of credit and microfinance. And they have encouraged financial institutions to expand their rural networks and start investing in agro-projects from their own funds.

What others say about IFAD

August 2015
Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General IFAD is unique in the very clear focus of its mandate, and this sharp focus that also gives IFAD great strength, your specialist knowledge of agriculture and rural development will be even more valuable in the years ahead. Speech to IFAD staff, Chief Executives Board for Coordination meeting, May 2014 Marisa Lago, Assistant Secretary for International Markets and Development, United States Department of Treasury By taking an innovative, community-based approach to investing in smallholder farmers - the most vulnerable members in rural societies – IFAD is an important partner in the global fight against poverty and hunger. I’ve witnessed first-hand the positive impact of IFAD’s work in providing technical training, facilitating access to microfinance, and strengthening farmers’ organizations in countries ranging from Uruguay to Tanzania to Morocco. The United States was a founding member of IFAD and proudly remains a strong supporter.

Addressing climate change in Latin America and the Caribbean

August 2015
Projections of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) indicate that, in the future, warming in Latin America could range from 1-4 degrees Celsius to 2-6 degrees Celsius, depending on the various climate scenarios. As land-use changes in Latin America have intensified the use of natural resources, land degradation and desertification have accelerated. The IPCC predicts that, by the 2050s, about 50 per cent of agricultural land in the region will be subject to desertification, and in some areas salinization. From the Amazon rainforest and the high mountains of the Andes to the coral reefs of the Caribbean and the coastal waters of the Gulf of Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean is host to unique ecosystems and biodiversity of global importance. Despite the region’s relatively small contribution to global warming, its natural environments and resource-dependent economies are threatened by the impact of climate change, and poor and marginalized rural communities are at greatest risk.

Addressing climate change in Asia and the Pacific

August 2015
The average temperature in the Asia and Pacific region could rise by some 0.5 to 2 degrees Celsius by 2030 and between 1 and 7 degrees Celsius by 2070. Annual rainfall is also expected to increase in several parts of Asia while arid and semi-arid areas would become drier. The areas predicted to get more annual rainfall would nonetheless suffer decreased water availability as the rainfall would be concentrated during the rainy season in fewer incidences of highintensity rainfall – with massive run-off and floods expected to be the result. Rising sea levels will affect a significant number of countries in the region, with small atoll Pacific Island countries, Bangladesh, the Maldives and Viet Nam particularly hard hit. In the past 50 years, Viet Nam has experienced a 50-centimetre sea-level rise, as recorded in the Hon Dau station. It is expected that a 30-centimetre increase will be experienced in the Mekong Delta by 2050, and this increase, coupled with salinity intrusion, will lead to the loss of some 420,000 hectares of arable land. The projected sea-level rise is likely to result in significant losses of coastal ecosystems. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes with high confidence (about an 8 out of 10 chance of an event happening) that 1 million people along the coasts of South and South-East Asia will be at risk from flooding.

Addressing climate change in Near East, North Africa and Europe

August 2015
The Near East and North Africa region is one of the world's driest and most water-scarce regions. In many areas in the region, demand for water already outstrips supply. Although the region contributes relatively little to greenhouse gas emissions, it will be among those hardest hit by climate change. Climate experts predict that, in future, the climate will become hotter, drier and more variable. Over the next 15 to 20 years, average temperatures are estimated to rise by at least 2 degrees Celsius, and possibly up to 4 degrees Celsius. Higher temperatures and reduced precipitation will increase the occurrence of drought, as is already evident in the western part of North Africa. Densely populated low-lying coastal areas in Egypt, Kuwait, Libya, Qatar, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates are particularly at risk from rising sea levels and saltwater intrusion into agricultural land.

Fulfilling the promise of African agriculture

August 2015
Agriculture plays a significant role in Africa, accounting for about 30 per cent of GDP south of the Sahara, as well as a significant proportion of export value. Not surprisingly, in most African countries, 60 per cent or more of employees work in agriculture. Yet this barely scrapes the surface of Africa’s promise. Only 6 per cent of cultivated land is irrigated in Africa, compared with 37 per cent in Asia, for example. Africa also has the largest share of uncultivated land with rain-fed crop potential in the world. In addition, African farmers use substantially less fertilizer per hectare than counterparts in East Asia and the Pacific.

Improving nutrition through agriculture

August 2015
Improving the livelihoods of the rural poor is at the heart of IFAD’s work, and maximizing agriculture’s contribution to improving nutrition is an essential part of that mission. Of course, other sectors have roles to play, but good nutrition begins with food and agriculture.

World Water Week 2015 - Water for Agricultural Development

August 2015
Water lies at the heart of sustainable development and is essential for economic growth, poverty reduction and environmental sustainability. It is the basis of human and environmental health, energy security, sustainable urbanization and the ability of rural women and men in developing countries to pursue productive activities. But one billion people still lack access to safe water and even more lack access to basic sanitation. Around three quarters of the world’s poorest and hungriest people live in rural areas, often forgotten and bypassed by economic growth and development programmes. The majority of rural people depend on agriculture for their livelihoods, but face numerous barriers in accessing services and securing vital resources, including water.

Policy case study East African Community - Supporting public hearings on the East African Community Cooperative Societies Bill

August 2015
Cooperatives play a significant role in the economies of the five countries of EAC. There are more than 30,000 registered cooperatives in the region and the movement employs – directly or indirectly – more than 15 million people. About half of these cooperatives are related to agriculture. Savings and credit cooperatives are also becoming increasingly popular in the region.

Policy case study Tajikistan - Exchange on good practices for public policy consultations

August 2015
Tajikistan is the poorest of the former Soviet republics, and 77 per cent of its population lives in rural areas. Rural livelihoods typically depend on subsistence farming, livestock and remittances, with livestock ownership being a key component in income generation and diversification. In poor and remote agroecological regions the production of angora (which is processed into mohair) and cashgora goats often represents the only source of livelihood, particularly for poorer households. However, since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the sector has been constrained by the absence of goat breeding programmes, the limited harvesting and processing skills of small producers, and the lack of access to high-value markets. These factors have had direct impacts on the incomes of poor rural households, and particularly women, in Tajikistan.

Policy case study Lao People’s Democratic Republic - Exchange on good practices for public policy consultations

August 2015
Despite strong and sustained economic growth over the past two decades, and a considerable reduction in national poverty rates, poverty in rural LaoPeople’s Democratic Republic (PDR) affects 30 per cent of the population. IFAD’s engagement in Lao PDR is guided by a country strategy that focuses on three primary goals: improved community-based access to, and management of, land and natural resources; improved access to advisory services and inputs for sustainable, adaptive and integrated farming systems; and improved access to markets for selected products.

Policy case study Mexico - Supporting design of a national programme as a policy solution for reducing rural poverty

August 2015
Mexico is an upper-middle-income country with numerous policy initiatives aimed at addressing poverty and improving the well-being of both rural andurban populations. However, the country suffers from low productivity, low levels of GDP growth, and persistent poverty. Poverty is especially high in rural regions: in 2012, as much as 61 per cent of the rural population was categorized as poor (compared with 45 per cent of the total population) after little change over the past two decades.

ASAP Kenya factsheet

August 2015
Overall the KCEP-CRAL project is divided into two objectives, which will be achieved through three technical components. The first project objective is to graduate smallholder farmers to commercially-oriented, climate-resilient agricultural practices through improvements in productivity, post-production management practices and market linkages for targeted value chains. The second objective is to empower local government and communities to sustainably manage their natural resources whilst building resilience to climate change.

ASAP Egypt factsheet

August 2015
The SAIL programme has several components: i) community and livelihood development, ii) agriculture development and diversification, and iii) rural financial services. The community development activities will focus on the ''new lands'' that have been settled by smallholder farmers. Community development associations will be strengthened so that they can allow for the inclusion of women and youth. The project will also provide buildings and financing for schools, health clinics, community centres and clean water infrastructure.

ASAP Niger factsheet

August 2015
Family Farming Development Programme (ProDAF) in Maradi, Tahoua and Zinder.

Indonesia: Policy study to add value to the project design process

August 2015
The Integrated Participatory Development and Management of Irrigation Project (IPDMIP) in Eastern and Western Indonesia is a major initiative supporting smallholder irrigated agriculture in that country. The project is expected to start in 2016, supporting smallholder farmers who depend on irrigation in up to 74 target districts in 16 provinces.

Introducing solar-powered pumping in the oases of Mauritania

July 2015
Under the Programme de Développement des Oasis (PDDO), the Government of Mauritania, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) have introduced and piloted solar-powered water pumping for agricultural use in the oases.

ASAP Morocco factsheet

July 2015
The first programme component will focus on three areas: plants/crops, animals and infrastructure.

Leveraging South-South and Triangular Cooperation to achieve results - Proceedings of the IFAD Roundtable Discussion

July 2015
On 7 July 2015, IFAD’s Strategy and Knowledge Department convened a roundtable discussion entitled “Leveraging South-South and Triangular Cooperation to Achieve Results”. The event benefited from contributions made by more than 50 participants, including both IFAD stakeholders (management, staff and Member State representatives) and participants representing IFAD grantees, sister institutions and partners, including: the African Development Bank, CIRAD, Embrapa, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the International Poverty Reduction Center in China, PROCASUR, the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation, the World Bank Group and the World Food Programme. The roundtable focused on four areas of discussion: (i) the evolving context – the ‘utility’, demand, supply, risks and opportunities – associated with delivering South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC) activities; (ii) incorporating technical assistance exchanges, study tours, learning routes and similar activities into countries’ development strategies; (iii) using grant mechanisms to facilitate the transfer of development solutions through SSTC; (iv) developing knowledge hubs and other models. A number of observations, experiences and good practices were shared over the course of the day, and much of the richness of the discussion has been recorded in the following pages of this report. The most salient messages are presented in the Conclusions section and are summarized briefly below.

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