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Meet 10 rural small businesses making a big difference

June 2022
Micro, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are the cornerstones of a vibrant rural economy. Discover ten rural businesses from every continent that are thriving with IFAD's support.

Take a 360° tour of a small, thriving pig farm in the green hills of Lao PDR

June 2022
In the tiny village of Manh, nestled in the green uplands of Lao, agricultural production groups are coming together to develop their businesses and learn new techniques. For Boun Tham, groups like these made all the difference for his pig farm.

My Kenya Diary: Sabrina Dhowre Elba

June 2022
Actor, activist, model, and IFAD Goodwill Ambassador Sabrina Dhowre Elba went to Kenya to see how rural small-scale farmers are transforming their communities. In her photo diary, she shares what she saw and learned on her visit.

Recipes for Change: Rice and beans with jackfruit meat and sautéed vegetables

June 2022
The main element in Chef Gil’s vegan dish is jackfruit, a truly sustainable crop. Calorie-dense and nutrient-rich, jackfruit are known for their nutritive value and their resilience against climatic shifts. With a unique texture akin to pulled pork, their versatility in the kitchen is unmatched.

Against the backdrop of conflict and COVID-19, IFAD is helping farmers grow in Yemen

June 2022
Years of conflict in Yemen have taken their toll – and among all of the devastation that’s been wrought, the country’s agricultural sector is one of the hardest hit. Now, an IFAD-supported initiative is helping Yemeni farmers get back on their feet.

Recipes for Change: Cricket japchae

June 2022
Japchae is a traditional Korean dish known for its versatility. Chef Yoon’s version features crickets, a superfood packed with essential nutrients. If you’re looking for a new source of protein with almost no greenhouse gas emissions – or you’re just feeling adventurous – give this recipe a try.

12 reasons why remittances are important

June 2022
Remittances continue to matter more than ever, particularly in rural areas where they count the most and provide further opportunities towards rural transformation. Here are 12 reasons why.

Recipes for Change: Millet upma & jackfruit curry

June 2022
Millets – grain-producing grasses that can be found on farms all over the world – were at risk of being forgotten entirely amid the rise of industrial agriculture. They’ve made a comeback in recent years, thanks to a growing awareness of their nutritional and environmental benefits among farmers, chefs and consumers.

Recipes for Change: Lentil and sorghum curry with flatbread (liphaphatha)

June 2022
This dish is Chef Ska Moteane’s take on a traditional Lesotho recipe. It combines sorghum, a drought-tolerant crop grown in Lesotho, with lentils, a legume that takes well to the country’s cold highland villages, and adds a burst of nutrient-packed vegetables and fragrant curry spices.

Recipes for Change: Butternut squash, spinach & black-eyed peas with fonio

June 2022
A stew made with sustainable ingredients is comfort food at its best: good for you and good for the planet. This stew, presented by Chef Pierre Thiam, is inspired by ingredients from his childhood in Senegal. It features black-eyed peas (also known as cow peas), a central cultural element of West African cuisines.

Recipes for Change: Pasta, potatoes & asparagus

June 2022
For Chef Bowerman, this recipe is all about buying locally and working with the local ecosystem. It features anchovies – a favourite in her native Italy, and widely available all over the world – blended with rich, hearty pasta and potato.

It’s been 50 years since the first Stockholm Conference. What have leaders done to protect our planet since?

June 2022
In June 1972, members of the United Nations gathered in Stockholm for the first-ever conference on protecting the environment. Fifty years later, global leaders are returning to where it all began to decide where we go from here.

What is life like for farmers on Moldova’s border with Ukraine?  

May 2022
On Moldova’s border with Ukraine, the resilience of rural farmers is being put to the test due to the spill over effects from the war.

Our planet is losing its biodiversity. Here are five ways IFAD and rural people are protecting it

May 2022
Biodiversity is the key to all the essential benefits we get from nature: from clean air to our ability to regulate the climate. At IFAD, we integrate protecting biodiversity into everything we do.

IFAD a key player in U.S. Treasury Department’s Action Plan to address rising food insecurity

May 2022
International Financial Institutions (IFIs) play a crucial role in responding to shocks at scale. They contribute financing, technical assistance, knowledge, and engage with policymakers to address rising food insecurity. Recognizing the essential role of IFIs in times of crises, the U.S. Department of the Treasury has released an IFI Action Plan to Address Food Insecurity.

How farmers around the world are protecting nature’s delicate balance – and reaping the rewards

May 2022
Healthy ecosystems are diverse ecosystems. And at IFAD, we believe that small-scale farmers are amongst the greatest stewards and beneficiaries of biodiversity.

As COP15 tackles desertification, here are three ways IFAD is helping farmers in sub-Saharan Africa build their resilience to climate change

May 2022
Sub-Saharan Africa’s drylands – that is, the areas where more water is lost through evaporation than gained through rainfall – are facing widespread degradation. There are many factors causing this, but one of the most prominent is the use of agricultural practices that aren’t adapted to the land, such as overgrazing and intensive agriculture.

The thin green line that’s holding back the Sahara desert

May 2022
The Great Green Wall was envisioned as a line of trees stretching across Africa to protect against desertification. Today, it is a mosaic of farms, forests, and wilderness, where sustainable agriculture is the norm and rural-dwellers thrive.

These numbers show that restoring drylands and preventing desertification is good for the planet – and good for us

May 2022
From California to the Sahel, from the steppes of Central Asia to the Andes, drylands are some of the most productive ecosystems in the world. But they’re also some of the most fragile.

In rural Morocco, one woman’s efforts transform the lives of many

May 2022
When Fatima-Zohra first arrived in her new home, a rural village in the Moroccan highlands, she discovered the local women didn’t have many job opportunities. But they were enthusiastic about the idea of going into business for themselves – and so Fatima-Zohra got to work.

Why free, prior and informed consent is so important for indigenous peoples

April 2022
At the heart of this year’s session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues is “free, prior and informed consent.” Quite a mouthful! But what does it really mean? And why does it matter?

Indigenous peoples lead adaptation efforts through IFAD’s dedicated funding

April 2022
Over the millennia, indigenous peoples have developed practices that honour the interconnectedness of people and nature – yet all too often, their contributions are overlooked and devalued. IFAD is committed to supporting indigenous peoples in overcoming poverty and meeting global challenges through building on their identities and cultures.

How the war in Ukraine impacts the world

April 2022
Conflict and food insecurity go hand-in-hand. Stable food systems and sustainable development are simply not possible without peace.

Agriculture is not just a contributor to climate change. It is an essential part of the solution - IFAD’s reaction to the latest IPCC report

April 2022
While we can no longer avoid climate change, we can still limit its impacts. It is time we start viewing agriculture as an essential part of the solution.

Communities use GIS maps to conserve forests and adapt to climate change

March 2022
Making the right decisions about managing natural resources isn’t always easy. That’s especially true for watersheds, where the local ecosystem depends on the health of multiple waterways. Now, GIS technology is helping communities in rural Nepal monitor and preserve the forests fed by local watersheds.

From biotechnologist to artisanal cheesemaker

March 2022
Ibtissèm’s career in the pharmaceutical industry was off to a strong start, but she put it on hold when her mother fell ill. Back in her hometown in central Tunisia, she needed a new way to support herself and her mother – and then she realized that her skills would serve her well in her town’s bustling dairy industry.

Meet some of the women leading sustainable development around the world

March 2022
Sustainable development can only be achieved with the contributions of rural women, yet they face many challenges. Let’s meet three women who have transformed their lives with the help of the JP RWEE initiative.

Recipes for Change: Sri Lanka - Polos Curry

March 2022
In Sri Lanka, the climate crisis is causing rising temperatures, increasingly extreme weather events and variable precipitation patterns are harming agricultural productivity and food security. Through the Smallholder Agribusiness Partnership Programme, IFAD offers solutions for rural people, including promoting jackfruit among smallholder farmers because of its high value and resilience.

Uncovering the truths about groundwater

March 2022
Below our feet lies a hidden treasure: groundwater. It sustains ecosystems and provides food, drink and livelihoods for billions. And as climate patterns change with global heating, this reliable water source is becoming ever more important for food security and livelihoods.

In Moldova, shelter belt forests build rural livelihoods and protect against climate change impacts

March 2022
Forests are an excellent buffer against the effects of climate change. They’re also home to a variety of native plant and animal species that can foster resilient, sustainable local economies.

IFAD and UN Women join hands for rural women’s empowerment in China

March 2022
IFAD and UN Women were each working in rural China, helping women access new opportunities and gain an equal say in their communities. Then the two agencies decided to collaborate, opening up new ways to fulfil their respective mandates – rural development on one hand, and women’s empowerment on the other.

From virtual reality to virtual field visits: How IFAD used technology to stay connected to the people we serve during COVID

March 2022
Two years ago, COVID-19 closures forced us all apart – but the creative use of technology helped keep us together. Today, with tech giants promising to take all of us into the metaverse, IFAD is exploring how cutting-edge technology can help us see the world through each other’s eyes.

In The Gambia, targeted COVID-19 support helps small businesses flourish

March 2022
Back in early 2020, when the first waves of COVID-19 were spreading around the world, IFAD launched the RPSF as a multi-donor initiative to sustain rural people around the world during the pandemic. With the RPSF’s help, many were able to start small businesses – and today, those businesses are sustaining local economies and building resilience.

Promises kept: Crop insurance makes a difference for Kenya’s small-scale farmers

March 2022
Farming can be a risky business indeed. Recently, some IFAD-supported initiatives have begun piloting crop insurance programmes for participating farmers – and for KCEP-CRAL farmers in Kenya, the new insurance policies arrived just in time.

From Guatemala, to India, to the sun and back: indigenous women are securing a brighter future with solar power

March 2022
Marta had never left her community before and was nervous to travel. Many told Carmelina not to go, saying India was too far and six months was too long to be away. But despite their concerns, the two women embarked on their journey, determined to bring electricity to their communities.

These numbers prove that rural women are crucial for a better future. But they're not getting what they need to succeed

March 2022
Despite being largely responsible for the food on our farms and on our tables, women don’t have access to the same resources as men. Without access to land, finance, training, inputs and equipment, women can’t produce effectively, achieve financial stability or food security, or grow their businesses.

To tackle climate change, we need to empower rural women. Here are four ways to do that

March 2022
Rural women already know what needs to be done to help their households and communities adapt to climate change and build resilience. Here are four ways to empower them for a climate-safe future.

5 questions you should be asking about climate change and rural women

March 2022
Women and girls all over the world are more strongly affected by climate change. For International Women’s Day, we’re taking a look at why that is and how women and girls can lead the way in adapting to the new environment.

An alarm we can no longer ignore: IFAD’s reaction to IPCC’s latest report

February 2022
The IPCC’s new report, “Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability”, underscores the urgency of climate change adaptation.

In rural China, new opportunities for persons with disabilities

February 2022
Job opportunities in the agricultural sector can be very limited for people with disabilities. In rural China, therefore, initiatives dedicated to including people with disabilities in their local economies – including IFAD-supported projects – have been central to national efforts to eliminate extreme poverty.

In rural Ghana, soapmaking brings success for women living with disabilities

February 2022
Many persons with disabilities face barriers to accessing education, training and employment – and for women with disabilities, those barriers are even higher. Fortunately, there are a growing number of programmes designed to help rural-dwellers with disabilities find decent jobs and fully participate in their local societies.

Forging new connections through the “tree of life”

February 2022
Brejo is not easy to reach: the only way in or out is a 12-kilometre dirt road running through a swamp, which most vehicles can’t manage. And with no way to sell their most important crop – burití (Mauritia flexuosa), a native palm tree – the 200 families living there frequently felt forgotten by the outside world.

The Iron Horse: Improving animal and human health in Kyrgyzstan

January 2022
Herding livestock is central to Kyrgyzstan’s economy, society and culture, but the nation has long lacked enough veterinarians to care for these animals. Now, an IFAD-supported project is helping to train veterinarians and make sure they reach even the country’s most remote areas.

In rural Montenegro, women gather to share their successes

January 2022
In north-eastern Montenegro, an IFAD-funded project is helping women start their own businesses and gain greater representation in their communities. Recently, many of these women gathered to share their successes and teach and learn from each other.

In Turkey, strawberry farms bring opportunities for rural youth

December 2021
Youth who grew up in the Taurus Mountains of Turkey have traditionally moved to the big cities to pursue their careers. But recently, thanks to an IFAD-supported project, the region’s farmers have begun growing strawberries. Highland strawberries are proving quite popular, driving the growth of a new regional value chain – and bringing the region’s youth back to the countryside to take part.

A green new hope for degraded soils

December 2021
Over half the world’s arable land is already degraded, and this number is growing at a rate of 23 hectares per minute. But with the support of an IFAD-funded project – along with an unlikely ally – farmers in Bolivia’s Pando region are restoring the land in record time.

It’s time to end violence against rural women

November 2021
Ending gender-based violence is not only a moral imperative – it’s also a matter of removing one of the biggest impediments to inclusive and sustainable rural development. Here, we answer questions about how we’re changing economic and social structures to empower women around the world.

Taking stock of the dairy business with the Wazo Jema Youth Group

November 2021
Wazo Jema is one of many youth-led small businesses that got a boost through the IFAD-funded Vijabiz programme. Although they’re on more solid ground than they were before, they’ve continued to face some challenges – and these difficulties highlight ways that future initiatives can be improved.

Highlights from COP26 – Friday 12 November 2021

November 2021
The end of COP26 is fast approaching, and we’re still waiting for a final agreement. However, based on the draft texts that have been released, it’s clear there’s still a risk of gaps between long-term targets and short-term action.

On the banks of the São Francisco, where fishing, tourism and social inclusion converge

November 2021
Brazil’s São Francisco river is a place of convergences. The river delta, and the stunning tropical forest surrounding it, is home to many different ethnic groups who settled there in search of a fresh start. Plans for a new ecotourism route that would allow visitors to experience the area’s rich culture and traditions were well under way – and then the pandemic struck. Nevertheless, one IFAD-funded project managed to support the region’s artisans and fishers.

Public-private partnerships accelerate climate change adaptation in Viet Nam

November 2021
In recent years, saline intrusion – the encroachment of seawater into fresh water sources – has become a serious threat to small-scale farmers in Viet Nam’s Mekong Delta. Thanks to a public-private partnership, a local technology company was able to collaborate with an IFAD-supported project to create a lasting solution.

Effective micro-organisms: The key to healthy soil and healthy diets in rural Lao

November 2021
Agriculture is the main source of income and livelihood in rural Lao. But Lao crops are highly climate-sensitive, leaving farmers with little room for error when it comes to climate adaptation.

Highlights from COP 26 – Wednesday 10 November

November 2021
The start of the second week of the Glasgow Climate Change Conference marked a shift to a more political phase of the conference. Ministers arrived, former US President Barack Obama drew a crowd, and negotiations continued.

Four ways nature-based solutions benefit rural people and communities

November 2021
“Nature-based solutions” (NbS) might sound like a buzzword, but these techniques are some of the most effective tools in our arsenal against the effects of climate change.

Highlights from COP26 – Saturday 6 November

November 2021
IFAD Goodwill Ambassadors, Idris and Sabrina Elba attended COP26 to help ensure that African farmers are not left out of the climate conversation and to promote greater investments for small-scale farmers and producers to adapt to climate change.

Six reasons to focus on small-scale producers at COP26

November 2021
IFAD believes rural economies and food systems have the potential to become more resilient, sustainable, inclusive – and productive – all at the same time. But to get there, we need to focus our attention and support on the people who make these systems work.

Highlights from COP26 - Wednesday 3 November

November 2021
It’s the first day at the IFAD Pavilion at COP26 in Glasgow, United Kingdom, and we’ve come together with thousands of activists, world leaders and representatives of businesses and civil society from around the world to talk about the greatest challenge we face: how to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

Bringing the benefits of agricultural insurance to smallholders in Viet Nam: Building awareness and understanding

November 2021
Between sowing their seeds and selling their harvest, smallholder farmers in developing countries face a multitude of potentially devastating risks. In Viet Nam, as in countries around the world, many of the most severe threats are climate-related, including storms, floods, excessive heat, frost and drought.

Protecting homes and livelihoods in Bangladesh’s Haor Basin

November 2021
On one terrible day four years ago, Anjuli Rani Das’s life was swept away before her eyes. A flash flood engulfed her small duck farm, washing away everything she had worked for in the past years.

Why climate finance matters: Your questions answered

October 2021
Climate finance is complicated, and we get a lot of questions about everything it entails. We’ve put together some answers to the ones we receive most often.

What do the IPCC report’s findings mean for rural dwellers? Your questions answered

October 2021
The IPCC report released in summer 2021 leaves no more room for ambiguity: the climate is changing, and it’s because of human activity. Here, we answer some of your questions about the report, why it’s important, and what its findings mean for some of the world’s most vulnerable populations.

Oysters and honey: The perfect combination for Senegal’s Delta of Saloum

October 2021
The Delta of Saloum’s mangrove forest is rich in beauty and biodiversity, but it has suffered from years of deforestation, disrupting the area’s ecosystem and threatening the livelihoods of the area’s farmers and fishers. Recently, a collaborative project has begun to tackle both problems by funding a restoration of the mangrove and supporting local farmers’ associations.

What are nature-based solutions? Your questions answered

October 2021
We believe nature-based solutions (NbS) are the key to helping the most vulnerable people adapt to the effects of climate change. But just what are NbS, and why do we think they’re so great?

Why invest in climate change adaptation? Your questions answered

October 2021
It’s official: human-induced climate change is happening. Some of its effects are already being felt, and further impacts are inevitable. Alongside mitigating our greenhouse gas emissions, we need to help those already feeling the worst effects – particularly small-scale agricultural producers – adapt.

Finance as a driver of food systems transformation: A new role for Public Development Banks?

October 2021
One major obstacle to realizing sustainable and inclusive food systems is a lack of sufficient and appropriate financing. Recent estimates suggest that transforming food systems to deliver healthy people, a healthy planet, and a healthy economy will require an extra US$300 – US$350 billion per year for the next decade.

Changing lives by transforming gender norms

October 2021
Women are major contributors to the rural communities where IFAD works but they continue to face barriers that inhibit their – and their families’ – livelihoods. Compared with men, women have less access to resources and services – including land, finance, training, inputs and equipment. In addition to their agricultural work, they are overburdened with domestic chores and caring tasks.

Leading from the front - How rural women across South Asia are inspiring their communities

October 2021
From the fields they sow to the harvest they reap and the cattle they raise – women are the backbone of farming in South Asia. Yet, their contributions often remain invisible, and they are denied access to resources and a voice in decisions.

The woman who walks with llamas

October 2021
Thousands of Bolivian families, particularly in the Altiplano, the high-plateau region of the Andes where Chaquilla is located, depend on breeding camelids for their livelihoods.

Celebrating rural women's voices - Rural women speaking out for change through community radio in Nepal

October 2021
On the International Day of Rural Women (IDRW), 15 October, we celebrate rural women and girls worldwide and recognize the crucial role they play in contributing to sustainable food systems and rural development.

Farmers’ organizations responding quickly in times of crisis

October 2021
Ever since COVID-19 first struck, first responders all over the world have stepped up to keep the essential sectors of our society functioning. While many busied themselves with securing global health and safety, others leapt into action to keep the world’s food production chains moving.

The Gilani Umoja Youth Group reaps their rewards

October 2021
The Gilani Umoja Youth Group was founded in 2017 as a way to create jobs for local youth and ensure a steady supply of cereals and other staple crops. Despite some struggles at first, their business is now a source of livelihoods for themselves and others in their community.

Meet the rural women helping Paraguay’s communities and food systems flourish

September 2021
Ten years ago, in Paraguay’s Capiíbary district, a group of women came together to form an association of market-sellers. Today, with the support of an IFAD-financed project, they’re thriving – and their association is now integral to local food systems.

Raising hope and opportunity in rural Tajikistan: Obidova’s story

September 2021
Obidova is busy these days. Whether she’s setting up a new shelter for her birds or going to the markets to sell, her days are filled with taking care of her family and her poultry business. But just a year ago, things looked very different.

IFAD’s Rural Development Report 2021

September 2021
Our food systems are failing us. From the climate, to the environment, to nutrition, to human health and well-being, they are not delivering the outcomes we all need. IFAD’s Rural Development Report 2021 describes the systemic issues that have led to the situation we are in, identifies priorities for transforming our food systems, and provides recommended actions to achieve meaningful change.

The Lare Milk Dealers find their niche

September 2021
Milk processing is normally a profitable venture in Kenya’s Nakuru County, but the Lare Milk Dealers Youth Group struggled to enter the market at first. Thanks to trainings hosted by an IFAD-supported project and some innovative additions to their business model, they’re now thriving.

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