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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

Los agricultores de Sierra Leona han reemplazado los cultivos de corta y quema por el cultivo del arroz en los pantanos interiores, lo que ha reducido la cantidad de incendios forestales, como demuestra un estudio basado en el sistema de información geográfica (SIG).

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.

IFAD’s new book The People Behind Your Plate

As I scroll through the pages of the new photo book The People Behind Your Plate just published by IFAD, I remember my own visits with rural people in remote villages as I travelled around Lesotho to collect recipes for my cooking books.

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.

Three reasons to invest in land tenure security

For rural people, especially low-income rural people, land and livelihood are one and the same.

Disability in rural areas: A matter of perception

One billion people – 15 per cent of the world’s population – currently have a disability, and 80 per cent of them live in developing countries. People with disabilities, despite being “the world’s largest minority,” are often overlooked.

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.

A second chance for Sri Lankan tea

I grew up knowing that Sri Lankan tea was truly something special. People all across my native Egypt competed with each other to bring home those packages with the trademark “Ceylon Tea” stamped on the side.

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.

Interview with Recipes for Change Chef Bela Gil

“I joined this project because I believe food can really change the world.”

Never let a good crisis go to waste

Small-scale farmers face multiple challenges in Cambodia - with limited access to credit and vulnerability to climate change.

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.”

Why do wet markets matter?

Since the COVID-19 virus outbreak, much information and misinformation has been circulated about wet markets and an international rallying cry has been made for wet markets to be better regulated or even closed down.

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.

The impact of COVID-19 on smallholders in China

One emerging lesson from the pandemic is that those who are already vulnerable are likely to be the most severely impacted.

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.

How do shocks affect project impacts?

Past experience tells us that quick, tailored support is required to ensure that the impacts of our projects are protected from the effects of the COVID-19 crisis.

An Asia-Pacific crisis like never before

After many years of sustained annual reductions in poverty and hunger across the Asia-Pacific region, the COVID-19 global pandemic is threatening a massive reversal of these gains and driving Asian countries into recession.

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.

Collaborating in a time of crisis: Three early takeaways from the COVID-19 response in India

The tremendous progress in reducing poverty made by India over the past 25 years could now be reversed because of the unprecedented emergency facing all of us – the COVID-19 pandemic.

Supporting Cambodian farmers during the COVID-19 pandemic

Cambodia has made remarkable progress and achieved lower-middle-income status - but the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to strain the entire economy.

IFAD helps shape Bangladesh’s response to the coronavirus crisis in rural areas

An IFAD team in Bangladesh provided a proposal to the Government for a certified safe transport and logistics system for movement of inputs and produce in rural areas.

COVID-19: An opportunity for the road not taken?

Amidst the suffering and economic hardship caused by the COVID-19 emergency, one silver lining has emerged: an interruption to the greenhouse gas emissions and environmental degradation stemming from human activity.

Re-imagining our economic choices

The COVID-19 pandemic will reshape all our economic choices. Nations have made a crucial choice in recent weeks, choosing human life over economic growth.

Shaping a holistic response to COVID-19: Protecting food systems and rural producers

It is easy to lose sight of the big picture when called upon to act quickly in response to the human tragedy caused by COVID-19.

Driving AgriTech adoption: Insights from Southeast Asia’s farmers

By leveraging the tools that internet marketing companies have already honed to reach consumers, governments can deliver quality agronomy advice at scale.

Don’t allow the coronavirus to open up another front

What started as a health crisis could turn into a food crisis unless we take measures now. Preventing a food crisis is key to maintaining the strength to fight back.

Changing lives in times of uncertainty: how innovative agriculture builds resilience

As countries prepare for the pandemic the mandate of a rural development organization may seem to some not particularly relevant to the current crisis.

Serving the rural poor in the time of physical distancing: Staying safe, well – and connected

It has been three weeks since COVID-19 has drastically altered the daily lives of IFAD staff headquartered in Rome and stationed around the world.

What we can do to support farmers on the front lines of climate change

Each of the world’s agricultural production systems had millennia to adapt to local climatic conditions, especially in terms of temperature and rainfall.

The potential impact of COVID-19 on SDG 2 (food security) – in China and globally

Last week’s OECD Interim Economic Outlook confirmed, as predictable, that the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on China’s and the rest of the world’s economy is going to be extremely severe.

Rethinking government support to farmers

It is becoming increasingly clear that the ways in which we produce, market and consume food need to be reconciled with environmental, economic and social sustainability.

Handle with care: Vulnerability, the human face of state fragility

Vulnerability and fragility might not be perfect synonyms, but they share a very similar meaning. Both words refer to something breakable, delicate and frail – something that needs to be handled with care.

Fighting against COVID-19: the importance of building long-term resilience in rural communities

Two months have passed since the beginning of the new coronavirus outbreak in Hubei, China. It seems an appropriate time to reflect on the impact of COVID-19 on rural communities in China, and on the importance of investing in rural people in order to build long-term resilience to shocks.

CGIAR announces agritech blog post contest winners

Agritech – the use of cutting-edge technological innovations in agriculture – is generating a lot of buzz these days. Entrepreneurs and start-ups all over the world are brimming with brilliant ideas for bringing big data, connectivity, and digital platforms into the field, and the results so far have been incredibly promising.

To move the needle on ending extreme poverty, focus on rural areas

The considerable gains made worldwide in poverty reduction over the last 10 years have been widely recognized. And indeed, in a year when China aspires to complete its 40-year project of lifting some 770 million people across the poverty line, it is clear that a greater proportion of the human population is wealthier today than at any other moment in history.

The importance of agrarian development in India

Although our world continues to urbanise at an alarming rate, there’s no getting away from the fact that agrarian activities will always be necessary.

Interview with Recipes for Change Chef Robert Oliver

I have always loved food - how it brings people together, the smells and flavours of new cultures. I guess I associate food most with gathering, communion.

IFAD awarded for advancing practice in knowledge and organizational learning

The Henley Forum has recognized IFAD with an award for Advancing Knowledge & Organizational Learning Practice during its 20th annual conference.

Talking about climate risk insurance with women in Ethiopia: How to improve value, access, and delivery

Women in Ethiopia and the world over play a huge and growing role in farming and food production.

Interview with Recipes for Change Chef Ska Mirriam Moteane

My love and passion for food inspired me to become a chef. My mother was a good cook and I grew up admiring her cooking and learning from her.

One size doesn’t fit all: How to design a user-friendly climate insurance

Weather index insurance can protect and support smallholder farmers from climate-related disasters, providing them with means to buy food when harvests fail.

Interview with Recipes for Change Chef Pierre Thiam

As a chef, I believe that we have a responsibility and we should take concrete actions to tackle climate change.

What does it mean to be “smart” on planet Earth?

What are the global transformations required for our food systems to become sustainable in the face of climate change?

Interview with Recipes for Change Chef Lance Seeto

In addition to climate change, the Pacific Island communities are succumbing to modern diseases caused by a change of diet and lifestyle.

Enabling farming families to fight climate change: the key to survival

IFAD has adapted its development strategies for Viet Nam from focusing on boosting agricultural production to commercialisation and sustainability of smallholders.

The advantage of investing in sustainable fisheries, aquaculture and coastal communities

The fisheries sector is crucial for enhancing healthy diets, as fish are a valuable source of nutrients and micronutrients.

Mobile money: A product of choice for women to send and receive remittances

Women constitute the majority of remittance recipients globally and remittances have an impact on both women’s actual income as well as on social norms.

China’s remaining challenges in reducing poverty

Next year China is hoping to announce that they have eradicated extreme poverty - but what are the challenges that China would need to deal with after 2020?

Meeting the challenge of SDG2: The moment for action

We are just over 10 years out from the deadline to the meet the SDGs, but the goals will require a step change in the quantity and quality of financing made available.

More than 100 million young adults are still living in extreme poverty

In recent years, the concerns and worldviews of young adults have been increasingly occupying center stage in global debates. And they should.

Strengthening the resilience of small-scale farmers is critical to reversing the rise in hunger and ending poverty

Today, on the UN International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, I wanted to step back and reflect on progress.

Pathways for rural youth to financial inclusion

With increasing population, underemployment and increasing demand for food, youth can pay rich dividend in terms of social and economic growth when given the right opportunities and support.

The disarming case to act right now on climate change

Last Friday was the global climate strike day. I have found myself wondering how we have arrived to this point.

The power of renewable energy

At first glance it may seem access to energy shouldn’t be high on the development agenda as almost 89 per cent of the world's population has access to electricity. However, the data mask disparities between rural and urban areas.

Climate change is a youth issue

Climate change ranks among the most important dynamics shaping livelihoods of young people now and in the future.

PARM and the G20 commitment on building resilience to agricultural risks

Following the spikes in global food prices in the years 2006, 2008, and 2011, agricultural risk management has become an important topic in G20 discussions.

What helps value chain projects work best for rural producers?

Is it possible to link small-scale producers to emerging opportunities in dynamic food systems?

Migration, agriculture and food systems – Understanding links to achieve better outcomes

Opportunities for migration and mobility have long influenced people's lives and livelihoods.

Enhancing policy dialogue on climate finance in Africa

Smallholder farmers play a vital role in food security, nutrition and economic growth in Africa, but their livelihoods are already threatened by climate change.

Measuring youth participation in agriculture in Tanzania and Malawi

In our recent IFAD Research Series study we looked at the dynamics of employment in agriculture in Tanzania and Malawi.

The challenges of conducting impact assessments of community driven development projects

How can we measure the impact of project interventions on the people and communities participating?

Creating opportunities for rural youth

Nearly 1 billion youth live in developing countries, almost half of them in rural areas. IFAD’s Rural Development Report 2019, finds that this enormous rural youth population can pay a rich dividend.

High unemployment rates among rural youth are destabilizing the Near East and North Africa region

When economic opportunities are limited, programs and policies to help rural youth will generally be ineffective.

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