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Remittances for rural development – Episode 46

Remittances are a lifeline for countless people across the world. In this episode we look at the ways in which these funds have revolutionised rural development.

We first chat with Pedro de Vasconcelos, IFAD’s Lead Technical specialist and Manager of the Financing Facility for Remittances. Then Bibiana Vasquez joins us to discuss IFAD’s work with remittances in Africa, before focusing on Kenya and Mali with David Berno and Guillame Top.

Next up we discuss sustainable agriculture with Agroecology Professor Miguel Altieri and hear from IFAD’s Jo Puri in our latest episode from the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development. To conclude, join us in welcoming our latest addition to the Recipes for Change family, Chef Saeng Douangdara.

Table of contents

Pedro de Vasconcelos: Remittances to achieve sustainable development goals – Part 1

Pedro de Vasconcelos

Pedro de Vasconcelos is IFAD’s Lead Technical specialist and Manager of the Financing Facility for Remittances, he gives us an insight into how remittances can help us achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and provide better opportunities for rural families.

Miguel Altieri: Agroecology as a pathway to sustainable food systems – Part 1

Miguel Altieri

Miguel Altieri is Professor Emeritus of agroecology at the University of California, Berkeley. He breaks down the basics of agroecology and how it can be used as a pathway to sustainable food systems while also incorporating ecological, health, social, political and economic considerations.

Bibiana Vasquez on remittances in Africa

Bibiana Vasquez

IFAD’s Bibiana Vasquez is working to improve remittances in Africa through a project that targets Ghana, Kenya, The Gambia and Uganda. We talk financial education, awareness campaigns and private sector.

Jo Puri and the importance of data

Jo Puri

Jo Puri is IFAD’s Associate Vice-President – Strategy and Knowledge Department. She works closely with the Global Donor Platform which is hosted by IFAD and joins us to talk about the importance of good data in decision-making and policy development.

Pedro de Vasconcelos: The Global Forum on Remittances, Investment and Development – Part 2

Pedro joins us once more to give us a better sense of what happens at the annual Global Forum on Remittances, Investment and Development and how the event brings together different sectors and stakeholders.

David Berno on his work in Kenya and Uganda

David Berno

David Berno of IFAD’s Financing Facilities for Remittances works in Kenya and Uganda. He explains what the Promoting Affordable Digital Remittances project is all about and talks about the importance of financial literacy.

Guillaume Top on mobilizing diaspora investments

Guillaume Top

Guillaume Top focuses on diaspora investments for Financing Facilities for Remittances and is in charge of monitoring the programme in Mali. He recounts the origins and successes of Mobilizing Diaspora Investments into Agri-Food Small and Medium Enterprises – a project that works to help Malian diaspora members make good investments.

Chef Saeng on building community through sustainability

Chef Saeng

LA-based chef, food instructor and photographer Saeng Douangdara believes in community. He joins us to talk about how sustainability can be used as a tool to advocate for one’s community, by shopping local and cooking seasonally.

Miguel Altieri: Mainstreaming agroecology – part 2

Miguel Altieri is back for more on agroecology. He explains how this holistic farming system went from being sidelined to being accepted by the agricultural establishment and how it can offer solutions to some of the crises we’re facing.


Summing up


Thanks to our producer here in Rome, Francesco Manetti. A big shout out to our reporters, Nour Bona and Maurizio Navarra, from the Global Donor Platform. Your hosts are Brian Thomson and Michelle Yang.

And thanks to you for listening to Farms. Food. Future. Remember, we want to hear from you. Send us a voice or text message at podcasts@ifad.org – we’ll be happy to share it on our next episode.

Don’t forget to subscribe to this podcast on your favourite podcast platform and rate us.


Previous episodes to enjoy

In podcast 43 we delved into the Convention on Biological Diversity with a special report on the Duchy of Cornwall’s eco credentials in the UK.

In podcast 44 we found out what can be done to stem water scarcity in the Near East and North Africa.

Then in podcast 45, we looked at the impacts and solutions for climate change on Small Island Developing States.

Stay tuned for next month’s episode, where we celebrate International Youth Day.