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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.

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.

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.

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.

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