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Indigenous Peoples in the Farming Front Seat - Episode 5

In this episode, we’re focusing on indigenous peoples and the challenges they face when it comes to agriculture. Talking with us will be IFAD’s Mattia Galletti, our Lead Technical Specialist on Indigenous Peoples; Wolde Tadesse, a board member of the Indigenous Peoples Assistance Facility at IFAD; and Dalí Nolasco Cruz, a member of the Indigenous Terra Madre network’s advisory board.

We’ve also got news on what happened when the Farmers Forum got together here in Rome, plus the latest from IFAD’s Joanna Veltri about how IFAD does development differently.

And we’ll hear from internationally renowned model, actor and all-around A-list activist Sabrina Elba, wife of actor Idris Elba.

Episode summary


What IFAD is doing to support indigenous peoples

Mattia Galletti, IFAD’s Lead Technical Specialist on Indigenous Peoples

Far too often, indigenous peoples continue to face discrimination and their voices continue to go unheard. Indigenous peoples have been dispossessed of their lands and resources over centuries, and as a result, have often lost control over their way of life.

  • Worldwide, they account for around 6 per cent of the population, but represent 15 per cent of those living in poverty.
  • Indigenous peoples have a special role to play in the conservation and sustainable management of natural resources.
  • Their in-depth, varied and locally rooted knowledge can help the world adapt to, and mitigate, the consequences of climate change. 
  • They have unique food systems anchored in sustainable practices and well-adapted to the specific ecosystems of their territories.

Our reporter Julia Guimaraes spoke with Mattia Galletti, IFAD’s Lead Technical Specialist on Indigenous Peoples, about what IFAD does to support indigenous peoples in rural communities.

Wolde Tadesse, indigenous peoples’ champion

Since 2007, IFAD’s Indigenous Peoples Assistance Facility (IPAF) has supported development projects designed and implemented by indigenous peoples’ communities and their organizations, with the goal of fostering economic development and improving indigenous peoples’ quality of life.

IFAD has also established an Indigenous Peoples' Forum to promote dialogue among indigenous peoples' organizations and institutions, IFAD staff and Member States, with the goal of converting policy commitments into action.  

Our podcast episode has the latest from our roving reporter Mara Sgroi in conversation with Dr. Wolde Tadesse, a board member of the IPAF. Together, they explore the potential of intercultural events as a means to reduce conflict and transmit traditional knowledge to the younger generation.

Women's empowerment and the Indigenous Terra Madre network

Dalí Nolasco Cruz, member of the Indigenous Terra Madre Network / © Lavazz

Dalí Nolasco Cruz is a leader of the indigenous Nahua community in Tlaola, Mexico. She is championing her mother’s dream of seeing indigenous women take control of their own businesses and political rights.

She is the director of Mopampa, a network of social and solidarity companies that’s all about women’s empowerment. And as a member of the Indigenous Terra Madre network’s advisory board, Dalí is at the forefront of the debate on indigenous peoples’ food and culture.

The network collaborates with the Slow Food International organization to defend and promote neglected and underutilized crops, indigenous food, territories and biodiversity. For this podcast episode, our reporter Mara Sgroi sat down with Dalí to ask her about Indigenous Terra Madre’s agenda.

The Global Farmers’ Forum

The Global Farmers’ Forum is what we call a bottom-up process of consultation and dialogue between organizations of smallholder farmers and rural producers from all over the world, representatives of IFAD, and representatives of IFAD’s Member States.

The Seventh Forum, which was held last month here in Rome, brought together more than 80 leaders from around the world, representing millions of smallholder farmers.

We spoke with IFAD’s Fanny Grandval, one of the organizers, about how things went at the Forum.

IFAD as a nimble development partner

One of the main topics of conversation at IFAD’s Governing Council last month was the launch of the latest IFAD replenishment. This consultation process is when IFAD formally asks its partners to invest in its programme of work.

Joanna Veltri is the Chief of IFAD’s Americas Development Office in Washington, D.C. For this episode, we got the chance to ask her how IFAD is being innovative in its interactions with donors.

She talked with us about how IFAD is a nimble partner for getting money to where the development need is. We also discussed the changing expectations of donors and how the North American market differs from others.

Sabrina Elba, IFAD’s newest advocate

Sabrina Elba

Sabrina Elba is an internationally renowned actor, model, and activist. She and her husband, award-winning actor Idris Elba, recently visited one of our projects in Sierra Leone. We asked her what attracted her to working on rural issues with IFAD.