IFAD Asset Request Portlet

Asset Publisher

Balancing Biodiversity with Agricultural Development – Episode 24

This month’s episode focuses on the upcoming UN Convention on Biological Diversity, set to take place in Kunming, China this October. First, IFAD’s Jo Puri speaks with us about balancing biodiversity conservation with agricultural development, and Renée Ankarfjard tells us all about the new Biodiversity Advantage II Report. We also hear from IFAD’s Associate Vice-President Donal Brown about the ongoing response to the pandemic across IFAD operations.

Then, we hear from Wageningen University, in the Netherlands, about the links between climate and nutrition throughout food systems. Philip Lymbery, CEO of Compassion in World Farming, talks about encouraging companies to move to environmentally friendly and healthy farming practices. We also hear about the high-tech side of farming from the people at FarmSmart, and we check in with the folks at Babban Gona, a Nigerian organization investing in the heart of its country’s rural communities. And finally, Jo Puri returns to talk about women and youth and the “intention action gap.”

Episode Contents


An update on IFAD’s pandemic response, with Donal Brown

Donal Brown, Associate Vice-President for IFAD

Nearly two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, IFAD is still hard at work helping rural communities build resilience and cope with its many effects.

We caught up with Associate Vice-President Donal Brown to get the latest on IFAD’s response to the pandemic across all of our operations.


Looking ahead to the Biodiversity Conference with Jo Puri

Jo Puri, Associate Vice-President for IFAD

The 15th session of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is set to take place next month in Kunming, China. IFAD’s Associate Vice-President Jo Puri will be in attendance.

Jo recently sat down with us to talk about balancing biodiversity conservation with agricultural development. She also gave us a sneak preview of what she’s going to share at the conference.


Renée Ankarfjard on biodiversity and small-scale farming

Renee Ankarfjard, IFAD’s Senior Technical Specialist in Environmental Management

The Biodiversity Advantage is IFAD’s signature report on biodiversity and agriculture. The latest edition of this report, set to release in conjunction with the CBD next month, is all about the importance of biodiversity for small-scale farmers and the importance of establishing healthy and sustainable agricultural production systems.

Renée Ankarfjard, IFAD’s Senior Technical Specialist in Environmental Management, takes us through the report, from its profiles of five IFAD projects where biodiversity is a major focus to its conclusions on the importance of biodiversity for rural communities.


Exploring the climate–nutrition nexus with Wageningen University

Sanne Bakkar, Food and Nutrition Security Advisor, Wageningen University

Wageningen University has been working with IFAD to examine the links between climate and nutrition throughout the food system and how these connections might point the way to designing better development projects in the future.

Sanne Bakkar, Food and Nutrition Security Advisor for the Wageningen Centre for Development, shared some of the university’s key findings and best practices.


Philip Lymbery on creating healthy, humane food systems

Philip Lymbery, CEO, Compassion in World Farming

Compassion in World Farming is a leading international organization dedicated to improving the welfare of farm animals. From advocating for sustainable food systems to running educational programmes for businesses, everything they do revolves around promoting environment-friendly, humane, healthy farming.

We sat down with CEO Philip Lymbery to learn more about the damage caused by factory farming and how small-scale farmers are central to improving our food systems.


A new platform bringing together farmers and development organizations

Alia Malik, founder of FarmSmart

Agritech start-up FarmSmart is looking to revolutionize sustainability in small-scale agriculture.

It all starts with FarmSmart’s user-focused app that teaches small-scale farmers how to thrive off of any plot of land. The app can also be used by development organizations to share their knowledge directly with farmers in all types of communities and across any sector of agriculture – from agroforestry to aquaculture to apiculture and everything in between.

We caught up with Alia Malik, founder of FarmSmart, to learn more about the platform.


Babban Gona: The organization investing in the heart of rural Nigeria

Kola Masha of Babban Gona

Rural agribusinesses are getting a much-needed boost from IFAD’s Private Sector Financing Programme (PSFP). This ambitious new financing initiative aims to increase private investment in small and medium-sized enterprises, farmers’ organizations and financial intermediaries serving small-scale farmers.

Enter Babban Gona, a Nigerian enterprise whose name means “better your life.” This organization uses agriculture to address the root causes of the economic and social insecurities facing many Nigerians. It’s had a lot of success over the years with helping small-scale farmers move from subsistence agriculture to more market-oriented models. It’s also the recipient of PSFP’s first-ever loan.

With this US$5 million loan, Babban Gona will be able to support 377,000 small-scale rice and maize producers with a comprehensive package of training, quality inputs, storage services, and assistance with accessing markets.

We spoke with Kola Masha, Managing Director of Babban Gona, to learn more about what’s driving the organization and what they hope to accomplish.


Jo Puri on closing the gender gap

Jo Puri, Associate Vice-President for IFAD

IFAD’s work to achieve equality in agriculture requires more than just creating programmes focused on female farmers. To truly make a difference and work towards closing the gender gap, we also have to give them equal leadership opportunities.

Recently, our Associate Vice-President Jo Puri was a guest on the E Co. Sound Bites podcast, where she discussed the importance of including women in decision-making processes and described what IFAD is doing to achieve that.

Summing Up

Thanks to our producer Francesco Manetti, our reporter Keyla Carvalho and everyone else who’s worked on this programme.

Most of all, thanks to you for listening to this episode of Farms. Food. Future., brought to you by the International Fund for Agricultural Development.

Coming up, we’ll turn our focus to the UN Climate Change Conference (also known as COP) being held in November. Next month’s episode will be dedicated to the connections between food security and the changing climate.

Remember, we want to hear from you – what you think about our stories and the issues discussed, and who you want us to be talking to – so please get in touch at podcasts@ifad.org. Send us your voice or text messages to that address and we’ll be happy to play you out in the next show.

Also, don’t forget to subscribe to this podcast via your favourite podcast platform – and please rate us!