G20 Agriculture Ministers Meeting: IFAD President Alvaro Lario advocates for increased investment in rural transformation, reaffirms partnership with India

IFAD Asset Request Portlet

Asset Publisher

G20 Agriculture Ministers Meeting: IFAD President Alvaro Lario advocates for increased investment in rural transformation, reaffirms partnership with India

Rome/Hyderabad, 17 June 2023: Alvaro Lario, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), made a strong pitch for increased investment in small-scale farmers and rural communities at the G20 Agriculture Ministers’ meeting in Hyderabad, India, from 15-17 June. His call for greater investment in rural people echoes the recognition of G7 leaders that we urgently need more support for sustainable and resilient agriculture and food systems in response to a worsening global food crisis (outlined in their recent Hiroshima Action Statement).

Lario shared IFAD’s vision for development with G20 leaders and argued that investing in rural communities is the most cost-effective way to improve global food security and support stability.

“Despite the fact that the multiple crises are staling global progress on eradicating poverty and hunger, we can still achieve our goals,” said Lario. “We know what works: climate-smart technologies, improved resilience, and commercially viable nature-based solutions are proven ways to build equitable, sustainable and inclusive food systems. But to realize this potential, we must invest in small-scale producers and boost the role of rural women and youth in value chains,” he added.

While in India, he also met Minister of Finance Nirmala Sitharaman and Minister of Agriculture Narendra Singh Tomar. They discussed the reform of the financial architecture and the role the global South in this process, as well as the importance of aggregation of food producers to achieve food system transformation in India. “India is a crucial and long-standing partner in our efforts to address hunger and poverty, empower rural women and build resilience to climate change,” said Lario. “I am confident that under India’s presidency, the G20 will develop a roadmap to feed a hungry planet sustainably and equitably.”

Under India’s presidency, the G20 is a critical forum to increase investments in small-scale farmers, which will help them adapt to climate change, implement new practices and access markets, technologies and financial services. On the sidelines of the meeting, President Lario also met Kang Hyoung-Seok, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Korea;  Mariam Almheiri, Minister for Climate Change and Environment, United Arab Emirates; Abdulrahman A. Alfadley, Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture, Saudi Arabia; Saoud Al Habsi, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources; Syahrul Yasin Limpo, Minister of Agriculture, Indonesia; and Muhammad Abdur Razzaque, Minister of Agriculture, Bangladesh.

Earlier this year, G7 leaders identified IFAD as a key player for global food security, expressing support to the Fund’s action towards small-scale farmers to strengthen local food production, meet local and regional food demand, build markets and reduce food loss. IFAD supports small-scale farmers and rural small enterprises to boost agricultural productivity, adapt to climate change and build solid, reliable and pro-poor food supply chains. Between 2019 and 2021, IFAD investments raised the incomes of 77.4 million rural people while improving food security for 57 million people.

Small-scale farmers produce at least one third of the world’s food and up to 70 per cent of the food produced in low- and middle -income countries. They are key to global food security and stability more generally, as hunger and poverty can also fuel forced migration and conflict. They are increasingly impacted by climate change, conflicts and economic shocks. But official development aid (ODA) directed at agriculture has been stagnant at 4 to 6 per cent of ODA for at least two decades, and small-scale farmers receive less than 2 per cent of global climate finance globally.

IFAD and India

India is both IFAD’s largest borrower and a top 15 donor. IFAD’s current Country Strategic Opportunities Programme for India is fully aligned with the government’s policy framework and efforts to ensure that smallholder food and agricultural production systems are remunerative, sustainable and resilient to climate change and price shocks. To date, IFAD has supported 32 rural development projects in India worth US$1,211.94 million. These interventions have directly benefitted 6,341,436 families.

Read more about IFAD’s work in India | Follow us on Twitter: @IFADSouthAsia

Note to editors:

IFAD launched its 13th replenishment in February 2023, calling for increased investments in small-scale, rural farmers across developing countries. For more information visit our IFAD 13 Microsite.

Press Release No.: IFAD/54/2023

IFAD is an international financial institution and a United Nations specialized agency. Based in Rome – the United Nations food and agriculture hub – IFAD invests in rural people, empowering them to reduce poverty, increase food security, improve nutrition and strengthen resilience. Since 1978, we have provided more than US$24 billion in grants and low-interest loans to fund projects in developing countries.  

A wide range of photographs of IFAD’s work in rural communities are available for download from its Image Bank.