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Why COP26 matters for the world’s rural dwellers: A conversation with Jo Puri
In early November, top experts from around the world will meet in Glasgow for COP26, the biggest climate change conference since the Paris Accords. We caught up with climate scientist and IFAD Associate Vice-President Dr Jo Puri to ask her what COP26 is all about and what she hopes will emerge from it.
The challenges and opportunities of investing in small-scale irrigation
Many countries in the Arab world rely on irrigation for their agricultural production. However, large-scale irrigation schemes have historically been difficult to manage. Small-scale schemes, when planned well from the outset, can be the solution.
To achieve the SDGs we must first transform how we feed the world
This year we commemorate, for the second time, World Food Day held under pandemic conditions. The theme is Our Actions Are Our Future. It’s time to ask what actions we must take to build that better future, in which food is produced sustainably and efficiently, providing good nutrition to all, while protecting the environment.
Neglected and underutilized species are the key to nourishing the world
The natural world has a wealth of plants that can sustain human life, yet global food systems are dominated by just three: wheat, maize, and rice. These species provide 50 percent of the plant-based calories we eat and occupy 40 percent of the world’s arable land.
Preventing the next pandemic by integrating human, animal and environmental health
The COVID-19 pandemic has made it clearer than ever that human health is not just a matter of providing people with medical care. To avoid future pandemics, we need to recognize that the well-being of people, animals, plants and ecosystems must be addressed as a dynamic whole.
Re-imagining food systems through the climate–nutrition nexus
The food we eat plays a role in not just our health, but that of our descendants. How we grow, hunt, fish or gather it, how we process it and bring it to market, affects the world around us. These simple relationships are the foundation of the climate–nutrition nexus.
Three ways IFAD can support digital agriculture in the Asia-Pacific region
Farmers and agribusinesses across the Asia-Pacific region are increasingly making use of new digital technologies. IFAD and Grow Asia have recently released a report exploring how these technologies are reshaping the region’s agriculture and how IFAD’s investments can accelerate the adoption of these technologies.
Amplifying rural needs and voices: A conversation with Helene Papper
It’s clearer than ever before: to address global crises, the communities who implement solutions must be involved, their voices heard, their knowledge included. But how do we bring forward voices from the world’s most remote areas?
Investing in the foundations of Gambian agriculture
Roots are the essence of farming: they erect healthy plants and help grant a predictable and generous harvest. The IFAD-supported ROOTS project seeks to promote exactly that strength in The Gambia.
Small-scale producers are central to Africa’s forest restoration efforts
Small-scale farmers have an important role to play in restoring Africa’s forests. Two IFAD-supported projects in Eritrea and Kenya are helping these farmers engage in efforts that both restore local forests and have direct economic and social benefits for their communities.
Finding a way forward: Sector reforms in Lesotho’s wool and mohair industry
Lesotho’s efforts to nationalize its wool and mohair industry set off a cascade of unintended consequences. At the government’s request, IFAD and the WAMPP project commissioned a study to analyze the impacts of these regulations and inform future policy revisions.
The labour market dynamics of COVID-19
Over a year and a half into the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s still a lot to learn about how the labour market in developing countries is reshaping itself – especially in terms of gender dynamics. Our latest study tracks employment trends in Nigeria with both pre- and post-pandemic data.
Building a Great Green Wall: Four lessons learned from the World Bank assessment
Helping the people of the Sahel prosper requires a Great Green Wall stretching across Africa. IFAD is embarking on a series of projects to help build this “wall.” We recently sat down with the World Bank to learn from their successes and challenges across a decade of their own project implementations in this region.
Mainstreaming agroecology in the Asia-Pacific region
Agroecology is a holistic approach that integrates elements of ecology, economy, and society within a food system. It also supports the well-being of small-scale producers, especially in terms of their empowerment and social inclusion. IFAD has a long tradition of supporting agroecology practices throughout Asia-Pacific, especially the Himalayas region.
Gender-focused solutions for the post-COVID return to rural areas
The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to waves of internal migration as urban workers return to rural areas. IFAD must identify solutions to the challenges this phenomenon has created, and will continue to create, for rural agricultural development. This is especially critical from a gender equity perspective.
Returning to Brazil’s Gente de Valor project: Lessons on sustainable impact
The Gente de Valor project was designed to assist the sertanejos (those who live in Brazil’s semi-arid region). It featured a community-driven development approach that promoted active participation and local leadership. Five years after the project ended, IFAD returned to evaluate the project’s outcomes and the effects of this approach.
Revitalizing the practice of shifting cultivation: A conversation with Dr Dhrupad Choudhury
Shifting cultivation is an indigenous food system practiced by millions of people across south and south-east Asia. A new resource book authored by Dr Dhrupad Choudhury, in collaboration with ICIMOD, is designed to guide policymakers and development professionals in sustainably transforming this practice.
How small-scale producers can leverage the growing livestock market
With global production and consumption of meat projected to rise, livestock rearing is becoming an increasingly important income source for many small-scale producers. Recently, livestock farmers from around the world have been learning from each other via the SSTC framework.
How can International Financial Institutions invest to ‘’build back better’’?
Given the already-high levels of poverty and vulnerability faced by small-scale rural producers, the pandemic has hit them and their families particularly hard. So, what should be the priorities for organisations, like IFAD, in the coming years?
Bold actions for gender equality and women’s empowerment in food systems
What does a gender just and equitable food system practically look like? A just and equitable food system is one in which women’s roles change from being invisible to being visible.
Strengthening food systems in Pakistan
The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2021 reported that more than half of the world’s undernourished are found in Asia (418 million). In Pakistan, Covid-19 has exposed vulnerabilities and inadequacies making nutrition a more complex challenge now.
Putting food and agriculture at the heart of the global biodiversity framework
Despite standing to suffer immensely from the decline of biodiversity, agriculture is the lead driver of biodiversity loss, primarily through conversion and fragmentation of habitat and unsustainable intensification.
A decade of IFAD’s inclusive rural finance programmes points to an innovative and catalytic future
The number and variety of financial services accessible to the rural poor continues to grow. A recently completed stocktake of IFAD’s rural finance programmes has identified a number of successes, plus some opportunities for further innovation.
Transforming rural agriculture through technology and innovation
Despite the African continent holding the world’s most arable land and the agricultural sector employing over half of the population, Africa is still struggling with food production and food insecurity.
Promoting renewable energy technologies for small-scale farmers in Cambodia
Renewable energy technologies are an increasingly important part of small-scale agriculture. IFAD’s S-RET project is bringing these technologies to farmers throughout Cambodia – and it’s recently been selected as a GEF Global Good Practice Project.
Diving in on aquatic foods: IFAD investments create rural opportunities
The blue economy opens the space for IFAD to reach more rural people in the most challenging situations, and to get them out of poverty.
Taking stock of IFAD’s digital agriculture efforts in the Asia-Pacific region
Digital agriculture is an indispensable part of strengthening food systems. IFAD’s recent stocktake of our ICT interventions in the Asia-Pacific region has revealed over 50 active solutions and some critical gaps to address.
A platform to take household methodologies to scale
The Empower@Scale platform helps organizations to address the root causes of gender inequality by incorporating household methodologies (HHMs) into their projects, which address the embedded gender biases and discrimination against women at the household level.
Livestock key to combatting climate change in Kyrgyzstan
Livestock-based food systems can be climate-friendly if managed well. A new assessment tool is helping governments calculate and predict their livestock emissions for use in their NDCs.
Thriving food systems and nutritious food for all go hand in hand
Malnutrition, and the toll it takes on human health and societies, is directly linked with the health of our food systems. Creating sustainable, resilient and inclusive food systems will make lasting improvements in global health, nutrition and productivity.
Efforts to restore tropical peatlands need fire-free plantations
Peatlands across south-east Asia have been cleared for agricultural purposes, leading to a sharp increase in fires. To reverse course, we need to transition to sustainable, fire-free peatland management practices.
Reflections on improving rural people’s nutrition: A conversation with 2021 World Food Prize winner Dr Shakuntala Thilsted
Nigel Brett, Director of IFAD’s Asia and the Pacific Division, interviews Dr Shakuntala Thilsted, Lead for Nutrition and Public Health at WorldFish.
Why land tenure is crucial for sustainable food systems
With nearly half of the world’s population living in the rural areas of low- and middle-income countries, tenure security is fundamental for sustainable development.
New operational guidelines for Pro-Poor Value Chain Development help IFAD reach the poorest
In Ghana, the value chain model has helped build solid relationships, showing that even the poorest can be brought into commercial value chains if extra support is provided.
Interview with Recipes for Change Chef Roy Caceres
"A passion for work is the fundamental ingredient of cooking."
Spearheading South-South and Triangular Cooperation with partners in Asia
Cooperation among the global south, i.e., South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC), is an integral part of international cooperation, and complements the traditional North-South Cooperation in development assistance.
Boosting food security in the Pacific with innovative technologies
Who could have predicted that two innovative mobile applications, each the winner of a Pacific Agrihack Lab grant in late 2018, would go on to make a difference in the lives of Pacific Islanders during the pandemic?
IFAD-BRAC collaboration empowers rural people to build their climate resilience
People in rural areas, especially small-scale farmers, are among those most affected by climate change. The shifting climate has made weather patterns more unpredictable and weather-related events more extreme.
Drought-tolerant rice varieties benefit farmers even in non-drought years
Farmers that lack irrigation and rely on rainfed production are particularly vulnerable to drought. Fortunately, agricultural technologies, such as stress-tolerant rice varieties (STRVs), can help them adapt to climate change.
Making every drop count: Saving water and rural livelihoods
Until recently, every time Fatima Hassan Mohamed needed water to wash, cook, or drink, the mother of five had to set out on foot. The nearest water source was more than 20 kilometers away.
Promoting women’s economic empowerment in West and Central Africa
A growing number of reports are demonstrating what many development professionals already know about the impacts of COVID-19: women and girls are more vulnerable to the negative health and socio-economic effects of the crisis.
What impact will the COVID-19 pandemic and the global economic downturn have on world food security?
In 2021, the impact of the epidemic and the global economic recession will have an impact on world food security. After the epidemic, what problems will global food security face and how to deal with it?
Tracking investments in Tunisia with remote sensing
Many elements involved in IFAD-funded projects. As long as an element’s precise geographic coordinates are known, satellite imagery can be used to monitor any changes that have taken place.
Breaking the vicious circle of hunger and conflict
Hunger is both a cause and result of conflict. In fact, conflict is the main driver of hunger in most of the world’s food crises.
There is a growing climate emergency facing smallholders across Asia Pacific – what is IFAD doing about it?
According to UN reports, the Asia Pacific region is the most disaster-prone region in the world. Nearly 45 per cent of the world’s natural disasters occur in the region.
Digital agriculture: key to helping small-scale producers overcome COVID-19 challenges
As we approach the first anniversary of the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s an important moment to take stock on the impact of the pandemic, and to reflect on what we have learned, and what we can do better going forward.
Greening the Sahara: the Great Green Wall Initiative
In 2009, I travelled by road to Timbuktu, Mali on a short field trip. As we made our way down the dusty roads, I remember wondering what could possibly pull this arid, sparsely populated land into relative prosperity.
Climate change talks cannot continue to ignore the needs of small-scale farmers
Poor rural people are among the hardest hit by climate change while contributing little to its causes. They deserve a fair share of climate finance to improve their resilience, and a seat at the table for the global climate talks.
World Soil Day: A tribute to our friends underground
Today is World Soil Day, so let’s dwell a little on this amazing world of earthworms, mites, fungi and microbes.
Working closer as a UN family in country – a review of progress in implementing the UN reform agenda across Asia Pacific
The adoption of General Assembly resolution 72/279 in May 2018, triggered a consortium of UN organizations to come together and rethink how the United Nations Development System can deliver more coherent, accountable and effective support to help countries achieve the 2030 Agenda.
Why small farms are key to the future of food - and how we can support them
In the 25 years since Clayton Christensen coined the term “disruptive innovation,” much has been written about the benefits of shaking up established business practices.
In an urbanizing world, strong rural–urban links remain the key to resilient cities
As the world becomes more and more urbanized, many have suggested that cities hold the key to an efficient, sustainable future.
Agricultural risk management: Towards long-term resilience
Risk and uncertainty intensify in the agriculture sector – especially throughout Africa.
A look at the digital technologies transforming agriculture
Agriculture has periodically been shaken up by various technological revolutions. The latest? The advent of digital technologies.
The 14th Five-Year Plan: An opportunity to advance China’s agricultural and rural transformation
A unique opportunity for China to advance its agricultural and rural transformation agenda.
Opportunities for policy engagement in NEN and beyond
All too often, the path to sustainable development is blocked by outdated policies and legislation.
Fighting food waste in China: Local efforts, global effects
Reflecting on the fundamental role that sustainable food production and consumption plays in promoting food security and sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems.
Results-based financing: A potential game-changer for IFAD's future operations
IFAD is always exploring new lending instruments to increase the number of potential financial solutions it can offer.
Maximizing impact in the LAC region with SSTC and knowledge management
Although the residents of the global South may live worlds apart from each other, they often face a surprisingly similar set of challenges.
IFAD country programmes adapt to the COVID-19 crisis: Updates from the Asia-Pacific region
The scale of the challenge has become ever more daunting across the region.
Years later, IFAD-established seed producer groups to continue improving their communities’ climate resilience
Lack of access to seed is a common problem for small-scale farmers in Nepal and elsewhere.
Location, location, location: Why using GIS in rural development projects is fundamental
Knowing the geographic location of people or things helps us to monitor well-being and assess the impact of events.
Stepping up rural finance to support smallholder farmers in Zambia
The COVID-19 pandemic is creating disruption - but sometimes offers opportunities for innovative solutions for rural farmers.
Catching up with Recipes for Change Chef Lance Seeto
Chef Lance Seeto is an icon of South Pacific cuisine. He’s also been a supporter of IFAD’s Recipes for Change campaign for more than five years now.
The difference four years makes: A small Ecuadorean town goes from subsistence to prosperity with IFAD’s support
Four years ago, the residents of Chiquicha were just gathering the first fruits of an irrigation project.
Coming back home: The road ahead for migrant returnees in Nepal
Migrants are essential workers; they contribute to the economy of the places they go and, through remittances, to their communities back home.
African migrants’ family remittances put to the test
In April, the World Bank projected a sharp decline of about 20 per cent in global remittances as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and shutdown.
Regional SOFI 2019: Sustainable food systems for healthy diets in the Near East and North Africa
Rethinking food systems for healthy diets and improved nutrition.
COVID-19: The decline of global remittances puts rural families at risk
The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the loss of millions of jobs in the developed and developing world.
From Meghalaya to Jharkhand, how India is ensuring agri supply chains are not disrupted
In a world living with Covid-19, it is clear that supply chains and logistics should be simple and easy to manage. And that’s what several Indian states are doing.
Maintaining critical extension services for smallholders during COVID-19
Agricultural extension services play a fundamental role in building producers’ capacities to maintain good agricultural practices.
Restoring nature and livelihoods: Experiences in Zambia
World Environment Day is a day set aside to raise awareness about environmental issues and encourage protective action. This year’s theme is “Time for Nature.”
Building up family farmers’ resilience through nature-based solutions in Latin America and the Caribbean
Resilience has become the talk of the town in the development community.
Leveraging artificial intelligence: Harnessing big data to improve decision-making
To take advantage of the potential of AI, IFAD employed machine learning techniques to extract insights from across IFAD’s entire investment portfolio.
What’s needed to protect food security in Africa during COVID-19
In most of Africa, people are more likely to die from starvation caused by the economic fallout from the pandemic than from COVID-19 itself.
Protecting health and protecting livelihoods: a delicate balance in the era of COVID-19
Development encompasses a wide range of actions that enables people, communities and nations to thrive even after projects have ended.
Long-term development supports quick action in a crisis: an update from Asia and the Pacific
It has been really inspiring to receive updates from the field over the past two months illustrating how IFAD-supported projects are continuing to deliver.
The potential impact of COVID-19 on China’s food security: Prospects for food imports
Last week, the China Grain Reserve Group announced its intention to purchase 22 million tonnes of imported grain during 2020. Should China worry about food security?
On the International Day for Biological Diversity, commitment to sustainable agriculture is more important than ever
This year’s theme for the International Day for Biological Diversity is “Our Solutions are in Nature.”
COVID-19 response must target African agriculture and the rural poor
Africa has so far escaped the worst health consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. But the continent looks like it could be the worst hit.
Five ways organizations can help countries build agile and inclusive responses to COVID-19
How can we enhance local capacity to respond to this emergency in an agile and inclusive manner?
Tracking the implementation and impact of the Uganda Yield Fund: A groundbreaking M&E system for a groundbreaking fund
We are in the middle of a shift in how development is financed. Impact investing is on the rise.
When they came home: Migration and responses to COVID-19 in India
With most of the world sheltering in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ILO estimates that about 2.7 billion people are currently affected by workplace closures.
Small-scale farmers can help build resilient food systems in a post–COVID-19 world
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 820 million people were living in hunger. Tens of millions more will join them if we do not take the right actions, and quickly.
Recovery, reactivation and resilience: Confronting COVID-19 in Latin America and the Caribbean
With half of the planet’s population locked down, the global economy brought to a halt and the number of cases reaching into the millions, it is clear that the COVID-19 pandemic is the biggest crisis of our time.
As Earth Day adopts a climate action theme, let’s not forget about smallholder farmers
On this day 50 years ago – the first Earth Day had just taken place – and a global movement was born.