Toolkit: Engaging with farmers’ organizations for more effective smallholder development

December 2016
​Smallholder farmers use different strategies to improve their market presence and to capture more value added in the agricultural sector. These strategies include the creation of cooperatives and other farmers’ organizations (FOs).

Research Series Issue 7 - Measuring IFAD's Impact

December 2016

This paper examines the impact of IFAD-supported projects so as to learn lessons for future projects. It analyses the different methods used by IFAD to measure a project's impact, finds that IFAD is improving the well-being of rural people, and recommends that impact assessments be built into future projects from their inception.

The Biodiversity Advantage: Global benefits from smallholder actions

November 2016
​Biodiversity is about more than plants, animals, and micro-organisms and their ecosystems – the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD, 1992) recognizes that it is also very much about people and our need for food security, medicines, fresh air, shelter, and a clean and healthy environment. Biodiversity is also essential for the maintenance of ecosystem-based services, such as the provision of water and food for human, animal and plant life. When we make an effort to conserve biodiversity, we are helping to maintain critical global biological resources to meet our needs today as well as those of future generations. Biodiversity conservation is therefore central to achieving recent global commitments for sustainable development under “Agenda 2030”, adopted by the United Nations in 2015. The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) recognizes that losing biodiversity means losing opportunities for coping with future challenges, such as those posed by climate change and food insecurity. 

The Economic Advantage: Assessing the value of climate-change actions in agriculture

November 2016
​This report is aimed at readers who seek to build economic evidence in support of the inclusion of actions on agriculture in climate change plans and programmes, particularly at the national level under the umbrella of nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to the December 2015 Paris Agreement, which aims to restrict a rise in global temperatures and manage risks. Agriculture is a sector especially sensitive to climate change. It also accounts for significant emissions and is, therefore, a priority for both adaptation and mitigation plans and actions at global, national and local levels. 

The Drylands Advantage: Protecting the environment, empowering people

November 2016

Present in each continent and covering over 40 per cent of the earth, drylands generally refer to arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas, and are home to more than 2 billion people.

Research Series Issue 6 - Why food and nutrition security matters for inclusive structural and rural transformation

September 2016

This paper challenges current thinking on the connection between rural transformation and food security & nutrition. It advocates that improving rural and structural transformation has a positive cyclical effect upon communities by improving food availability, access, supplies and utilization which in turn improves the health and education of communities. 

Using evidence from across the developing world, the paper creates a policy agenda to maximise potential for smallholder farming to transform local economies.

Toolkit: Formalising community-based microfinance institutions

September 2016
Microfinance institutions (MFI) take various forms these days, among them: projects, credit union or village banking networks, savings and credit cooperatives and mutual institutions, associations, capital companies, etc.

Research Series Issue 5 - Rural-urban linkages and food systems in sub-Saharan Africa

July 2016

This paper examines the role of rural-urban linkages in fostering inclusive and sustainable food systems and how these contribute to rural transformation and,  more broadly, to sustainable and inclusive development. Focusing on sub-Saharan Africa, the paper analyses the interdependencies between rural and urban areas and points to the key roles played by rural-based populations and producers, particularly smallholders, in promoting inclusive, mutually beneficial and sustainable urbanization. 

The Adaptation Advantage: the economic benefits of preparing small-scale farmers for climate change

June 2016

It is now beyond a reasonable doubt that the earth’s changing climate is a result of human actions.

The expanding total volume of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere is precipitating higher global surface temperatures and sea level rise.

The effects of human-induced climate change threaten the very existence of numerous species across the planet, including our own.

Research Series Issue 4 - The effects of smallholder agricultural involvement on household food consumption and dietary diversity: Evidence from Malawi

May 2016
This paper investigates how household agricultural involvement affects food consumption and dietary diversity in rural Malawi. It analyses the relationship between on-farm income shares and the caloric consumption levels and shares across food groups. It finds that while food consumption and dietary diversity increase with agricultural involvement, the quality of diets does not improve. It highlights the importance of income diversification to dietary diversity and the need for investments in nutrition-sensitive agricultural value chains, nutrition education and crop diversification programmes.