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As the world moves to protect oceans, we must also protect small-scale fishers
As the world welcomes the historic UN agreement to legally protect high seas, we must also ensure that small-scale fishers continue to be protected.
A new chapter in IFAD’s work with persons with disabilities
Meet IFAD’s new Disability Inclusion Champion as she works towards amplifying the voice and potential of persons with disabilities.
It’s time to step up.
In today’s multi-crisis context, one disaster quickly follows another. With crisis fatigue setting in, the time is now to invest in solutions with lasting impact, including food systems and small-scale farmers.
How livestock in Lesotho is adapting to climate change
An IFAD-FAO study from Lesotho provides valuable insight on how to mitigate against climate change while sustainably producing enough healthy food for everyone.
Why insects are the next global superfood
IFAD helps rural small-scale farmers reduce emissions while adapting to climate change. Find out how rearing insects as human food and livestock feed can achieve these goals.
Why ownership matters: What I learned from farmers in Kenya and Tanzania
Following a recent visit to Tanzania and Kenya, IFAD AVP, Satu Santala, shares what she learned about sustainable development from the farmers themselves.
The youth weigh in on COP27
As today’s young people grow into tomorrow’s adults, the impacts of climate change are simultaneously growing and worsening. Rural youth are valuable contributors to climate action. At COP27, we showcased the lives and ambitions of young innovators and activists. Find out what they had to say.
Cooking at the top of the world: A family in Nepal share their story of climate resilience with Meteorologist Clare Nasir
Meteorologist Clare Nasir travels to Nepal where she shares a homecooked meal with a local family and discovers how rural farming communities are adapting to the threat of climate change.
Mind the Gap: Climate adaptation is falling far short of needs
To respond to the impacts of climate change that are already happening around us every day, we urgently need to invest in climate adaptation. UNEP’s Adaptation Gap Report identifies the gap between where we are and where we need to be. Jo Puri shares her impressions on what this year’s report reveals.
At COP27, we need big wins for a greener future, says IFAD President
Ahead of this year’s COP, President Lario shares three big wins for the planet that can mitigate climate change and help the world’s poorest rural people adapt to its inevitable impacts.
Small-scale farmers could help fill the global food gap if they irrigate properly – even with growing climate challenges
Small-scale farmers hold the key to feeding the world, its important for them to trust and invest in different types of irrigation systems.
With the world in firefighting mode, we cannot forget about rural women
As the world faces a myriad of crises, experts fear that the progress rural women and girls have worked so hard for may be reversed. Here is how IFAD is working to prevent this.
What I’ve learned about resilience from rural communities in Guatemala
Faced with the impacts of climate change, small-scale producers in Guatemala urgently need to manage risk using tools like insurance. Read how INSURED promotes the use of agricultural insurance to build resilience and strengthen livelihoods.
Making change happen now: my commitment as IFAD President
On his first day in office, IFAD President, Alvaro Lario, shares his thoughts on how IFAD can address the challenges of today to ensure sustainable global food systems and transform the lives of the world’s poorest rural people.
Tackling food loss for sustainable food systems
Reducing food losses makes food systems more sustainable. Although the exact causes are different for every crop and in every country, there are plenty of avenues to prevent, detect, and reverse these losses.
A decade of progress for small-scale farmers in Cuba
Marking ten years in Cuba, IFAD’s Country Director met small-scale farmers and partners to discuss progress made and what is yet to be done.
The perfect weekend away in rural Bangladesh
Discover hidden gems in rural Bangladesh with two IFAD colleagues as they visit a community-led eco-tourism project that has transformed the area.
What everyone was talking about at UNGA77
The trending topic at UNGA this year was the escalation of the war in Ukraine. But the topic IFAD’s Alberto Trillo Barca heard discussed most in the halls and lifts of UN HQ in New York was food security and the global food crisis.
Hungry caterpillars threaten Kenya's crops. Can plants provide a natural pest control solution?
Kenyan farmers and their crops face a tiny but destructive threat: the fall armyworm. With climate change causing more infestations, push-pull technologies are a sustainable and affordable way of naturally controlling pest numbers. Find out how this simple but effective technology works.
Weathering the storm: How finance provides a lifeline for SMEs in times of crisis
The impacts of the war in Ukraine, coupled with the pandemic and climate change, are threatening the survival of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) the world over. Finance is a critical lifeline, but can rural agri-SMEs access it?
“This is unprecedented”: IFAD’s Country Director in Pakistan reacts to the floods
Following months of incessant rain, nearly one third of Pakistan is underwater. Millions of people are affected, thousands have died, and agriculture is at risk. IFAD’s Country Director in Pakistan reflects on what is happening on the ground.
Seeing change happen before our eyes in Guatemala and Honduras
On a recent trip to Guatemala and Honduras with the US Ambassador to the UN agencies based in Rome, IFAD Country Director, René Castro, explains how smallholder farmers are transforming rural communities despite the challenges of climate change.
The proof is in the pudding: 3 ways to enhance evidence-based policymaking to sustainably transform food systems
As the world experiences new and complex crises at an ever-increasing pace, we must back up decision-making with rigorous research and data. Here are three principles to bridge the divide between research and policy.
The latest food security and nutrition report paints a grim picture. Three IFAD experts react to the shocking figures
The latest SOFI report shows that rather than moving towards zero hunger, evermore people are hungry. On the back of these disheartening results, three IFAD experts give their reactions to the report.
Designing projects from the ground up: Insights and lessons from Ethiopia
At IFAD, we take a community-driven, bottom-up approach to project design. This creates a sense of ownership for rural communities and governments alike. A recent example from Ethiopia shows how government and communities came together to design investments in building resilience.
What it means to make “good” food: A conversation with Chef Dhondy
Chef Anahita Dhondy is a passionate advocate for Parsi food – the rich cuisine of India’s Zoroastrian community to which she belongs – as well as for the use of local, seasonal, sustainable ingredients. We recently caught up with her to hear more about her work in and out of the kitchen.
Good food and good stories: A conversation with Chef Thomas Zacharias
Chef Thomas Zacharias is a big fan of storytelling as a way to get people interested in fixing our food systems. We caught up with him to learn more about what drives him to tell the stories of the farmers he’s met and to champion local, seasonal, sustainable ingredients.
40 years of IFAD-China cooperation: Celebrating the past, envisioning the future
IFAD and China are celebrating 40 years of cooperation. Over the last four decades, IFAD has supported China’s development and China has been a key supporter and champion of our work. Here, we look back on 40 years of achievement and look forward to where the next few decades will take us.
Grant-based development interventions are worth it. But how – and when?
Conventional wisdom has long held that giving grants to small-scale farmers produces temporary gains at best. But recently, our research into a grants-based intervention employed by PRICE, an IFAD-funded initiative in Rwanda, found benefits that have lasted for five years and counting.
The people of Bangladesh are resilient, but without urgent climate action, the future of this fascinating country is uncertain
Journalist and documentary maker Qasa Alom recently visited Bangladesh with IFAD. He reflects on how climate change is affecting its people and what IFAD is doing to support them.
The need for better donor coordination: Building long-term resilience against food systems crises
These days, it feels like the vulnerability of the world’s food systems is on full display. As I watch the current situation unfold, I’ve been reflecting on the need for multilateralism and donor coordination to help the world overcome this emergency.
“Why shouldn’t people eat bugs?”: A conversation with Chef Yoon
We sat down with Chef Joseph Yoon to learn more about edible insects: their health benefits, their potential as a method for fighting climate change, and even – for those who are tempted – how to start incorporating them into your cooking.
Moldova is suffering due to the war in Ukraine – and we have a chance to help
The war in Ukraine is testing the resilience of the people of Moldova, including its small-scale farmers. Our support is essential for helping them respond to the crisis – but opportunities to help are slipping through our fingers.
Lending a hand – and finance – to young agricultural entrepreneurs in East Africa
We know a thing or two about connecting youth with the financial services they need to start a business – but there’s always more to learn. Here, we reflect on some of our “lessons learned” as part of a recent grant programme in East Africa.
Tapping public policies and programmes to boost IFAD’s impact
In many countries, we have the opportunity to partner with public policies and programmes to deliver the services our project participants need. Although effective inter-institutional coordination is never simple, it is doable – and entirely worth the effort.
Do IFAD-supported projects reduce the risk of conflict? What the evidence says
We used GIS to assess the impact of IFAD-supported projects on the likelihood of conflict in fragile contexts. Our results suggest that the presence of IFAD interventions may prevent conflicts from arising and reduce the overall number of conflicts.
The importance of food sovereignty for indigenous peoples: A conversation with Dr. Elifuraha Laltaika
Learn more about food sovereignty and what it means for indigenous peoples with Dr Elifuraha Laltaika, a professor of law and expert on indigenous peoples’ rights.
What it will take to make IFAD truly diverse
There is much interest in promoting workplace diversity recently. Not only is this long overdue, but it also makes financial sense.
Building resilience in the Asia-Pacific region in uncertain times
Just as the shadow of COVID-19 was lifting from many parts of the world, new crises have arisen – and they’re a particularly difficult challenge for poor rural people in developing countries.
In Bosnia and Herzegovina, rural agribusinesses cluster together to flourish
All too often, small family farms operate in isolation. By themselves, they often lack the resources and skills they need to thrive. IFAD is now bringing small-scale farmers and other stakeholders into clusters to work together for their common interests. We caught up with one of our technical specialists to learn more.
Building a bay, one oyster at a time: A conversation with Chef Rob Rubba
“At the end of the day, restaurants are a luxury, but having food is a right. Everyone should have access to food.”
Is the grass always greener where it rains?
Groundwater depletion continues to be a challenge for small-scale farmers in the NENA region, despite the existence of water-saving technologies. Now, a new study is shedding light on ways farmers can improve their water efficiency – and where they can turn for help.
Groundwater can help small-scale farmers adapt to climate change, if it’s used sustainably
If groundwater is used carefully, it can be used by small-scale farmers to grow the crops they need to feed their families and build livelihoods in areas that are strongly affected by climate change.
Why rural women need land rights: A conversation with Steven Jonckheere
This International Women’s Day, we sat down with Steven Jonckheere, IFAD’s Senior Technical Specialist on Gender and Social Inclusion, for a conversation on why women’s land rights matter – and what IFAD is doing about it.
Why must we wait another generation to close the gender gap? Women are long overdue a seat at the table
Last year, the World Economic Forum revised its estimates for closing the gender gap. Shockingly, rather than reaching equality sooner, the gap has increased a generation. At IFAD, we work to achieve a more equitable rural world, one where women’s participation in decision-making is no longer an exception.
Nutrition-sensitive investments for resilient food systems: Lessons from Ethiopia
More and more of IFAD’s development projects are focusing on nutrition as a way to optimize their impact. Our work in Ethiopia exemplifies this.
Changing the narrative on Haiti
Last year, a 7.2-magnitude earthquake caused more than 2,200 deaths and US$2 billion worth of damage in southern Haiti. In February 2022, a Donors' Conference was held to seek financial and political support for the reconstruction and relaunch of the region.
The roots that connect us: A conversation with Chef Jeong Kwan
Jeong Kwan is a Zen Buddhist nun. She’s also a chef famous for both her sustainable vegan recipes and her pure and sincere approach towards cooking. Our conversation touched upon everything from traditional Korean temple food to what we need to do to rebalance our food systems.
How agrobiodiversity can nourish the planet
For our people and planet to flourish, we need agrobiodiversity: agricultural systems that enhance our wealth of ecosystems and living beings instead of diminishing it. Our work has long recognized the importance of agrobiodiversity for sustainable food systems, and now we’re taking this commitment even further.
Using evidence from IFAD’s Impact Assessments to inform the design of new projects
To make sure we’re investing in what works and achieving maximum impact, we evaluated 17 of our project Impact Assessments to look for broader trends. The results have implications for everyone who works in rural development – from those on the ground to the donors who make this work possible.
Nutrition-sensitive agriculture: The cornerstone of a healthier world
It might seem counter-intuitive to suggest that agriculture should become more nutrition-sensitive – but many small-scale producers worldwide are at risk of food and nutrition insecurity. We’re committing to more ambitious goals for integrating nutrition into our investments and project activities.
In China, youth are at the forefront of transforming food systems
Young people are the future of the world’s food systems, and they should therefore have a say in how the food systems of tomorrow should be configured. In China, youth have long been leading efforts to promote organic farming and sustainable consumption – and now, they’re beginning to act for change.
Disability rights matter for the world’s rural-dwellers
Our vision of inclusive, sustainable, green, and resilient rural economies can’t be accomplished without the inclusion of persons with disabilities. We are committed to finding ways for persons with disabilities to participate fully in society and realize their potential as contributors to vibrant rural economies.
Fixing our food systems means getting the fundamentals right
The term “food systems” encompasses a huge variety of activities and issues. To make sure we’re all starting from the same place, let’s focus on the fundamentals: the land, and how to treat it well.
Promoting sustainable agrifood systems to combat climate change
It’s clear by now that no real progress on climate change mitigation will be achieved without the active participation of today’s top greenhouse gas emitters. In addition to transitioning their energy sectors away from carbon, actions such as making their agrifood systems more sustainable and promoting the use of natural carbon sinks could produce dramatic results in record time.
An IFAD–Indonesia partnership advances the policy agenda on sustainable peatland management
Peatlands store twice as much carbon as all the world’s forests and are home to everything from orchids to orangutans – but today, these lands are in peril. A partnership between IFAD and Indonesia’s Ministry of Environment and Forestry is working to set a national policy agenda that will protect peatland ecosystems.
Managing fisheries for sustainability and resilience: The case of Angola
The fisheries and aquaculture sectors fully or partially support the livelihoods of 10–12 per cent of the world’s population. Yet fisheries across the world are under threat from climate change and over-exploitation. The question of how best to manage fisheries under these conditions is a complex one, but in our experience, bringing communities into inclusive governance structures is an indispensable part of the solution.
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.
It’s time to think small
Small-scale farmers and the rural poor have a crucial role to play in the restoration of ecosystems and the conservation of natural resources.
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.
Building climate resilient agriculture
Those who have the most to lose as a consequence of climate change are poor rural people, especially smallholders who rely on agriculture for survival.
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.
Fighting fires with rice paddies in Sierra Leone
Farmers in Sierra Leone have shifted from slash-and-burn cultivation to rice cultivation in inland swamps. That is reducing the number of forest fires, a GIS study has shown.
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.