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

October 2021
The IPCC report released earlier this year leaves no more room for ambiguity: the climate is changing, and it’s because of human activity. In the run-up to COP26, we’re answering 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
At COP26, top experts from around the world are discussing how to respond to climate change. At IFAD, we believe nature-based solutions (NbS) are the key to helping the most vulnerable people adapt. 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.

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.

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.

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.

Black jelly brings a more resilient future for rural Viet Nam

September 2021
Light and refreshing, with a mild, earthy flavour, Vietnamese black jelly is the perfect end-of-summer treat. It’s already popular throughout Viet Nam and its neighbouring countries – and thanks to the work of local growers and an IFAD-supported project, it’s now destined for wider audiences.

Restoration takes root: Nasreen’s story

September 2021
Nasreen’s family was struggling to make ends meet. Now, thanks to an IFAD-supported project, she runs her own ecological farm that produces high-quality, chemical-free vegetables – all while it restores the local ecosystem.

What we’re reading for World Water Week

August 2021
Here’s a list of our favourite books and other resources about the state of water in our world and the way it intersects with our politics, economics and societies.

Community-driven change brings water security in Tonga

August 2021
Eua Island is home to many of the Kingdom of Tonga’s natural resources. Recently, climate change and natural disasters have caused significant water supply challenges, but an IFAD-supported project – made possible by the islanders’ incredible community spirit – is working to change that.

The Greenthumb Youth Group casts their nets

August 2021
The Greenthumb Youth Group hadn’t had much luck with traditional farming. But thanks to a grant to set up an aquaponics venture – combining crop farming and fish farming – their success is making waves all along the value chain.

In Rwanda, public-private partnerships benefit small-scale cassava farmers

August 2021
Cassava is one of Rwanda’s most important staple crops, but market access remains a challenge. The Ingabo Syndicate, an organization of cooperatives, has been helping its cassava producers find markets for over two decades – most recently, through public-private partnerships.

Responding to the challenges of a year like no other: IFAD’s 2020 Annual Report

July 2021
IFAD’s Annual Report provides a concise, compelling and interactive discussion of how we addressed the challenges of the last year.

New horizons for the Ingobor Youth Group

July 2021
Meet Ingobor, a group of 20 former bus drivers and conductors who pooled their resources and established a successful dairy business.

Three ways to harvest water in Brazil’s sertão

July 2021
For centuries, people living in Brazil’s semi-arid region have struggled with a lack of water. But over the last decades, thanks to support from IFAD and other development actors, these communities are squeezing a few more drops of water from Mother Nature.

The potential and unknowns of gender transformative approaches

July 2021
With less than a decade left to meet the Sustainable Development Goals, the sobering current global trajectory is one in which it will take roughly 170 years to achieve gender equality. The current global pandemic has both made gender inequalities more visible and worsened them, including in food systems.

Seeing the invisible, doing the impossible: A young Nigerian entrepreneur’s journey to success

July 2021
Dorothy Chia Vandefan is nothing if not insightful. She describes herself as a serious-minded agricultural entrepreneur who can create opportunities where there seem to be none – and she’s right.

In Moldova, new frontiers for the honeybee business

June 2021
Thanks to an IFAD-supported grant, Ecaterina’s honey business is taking off – and now she and her fellow entrepreneurs have a bigger market reach than ever before.

Recipes for Change: A conversation with Chef Shane Chartrand

June 2021
For over a decade, Chef Shane Chartrand has been on a personal and culinary journey: figuring out what it means to be of Cree descent and of Métis upbringing, and how to integrate that into being a professional chef living and working in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, on Treaty 6 territory.

Grass funds: Tradition meets ingenuity in Brazil’s sertão

June 2021
Too many people assume Brazil’s fundo de pasto communities are relics of the past. Today, they’re at work uniting centuries-old traditions with contemporary food systems.

11 reasons why remittances are important

June 2021
Every year, on 16 June, the International Day of Family Remittances (IDFR) is observed to raise further awareness on the abnegation and sacrifice of migrant workers, who support their families and communities of origin through the money they send back home, particularly in these times of crisis.

Climate-smart agriculture supports food systems in rural Georgia

June 2021
Through the use of climate-smart agriculture techniques, an IFAD-supported project is helping rural Georgian farmers holistically restore their local and regional ecosystems.

The community bakery empowering Egypt’s rural women

May 2021
In a country where artisanal bread is the rule rather than the exception, the Qena community bakery stands out among the rest – and it’s run entirely by rural women.

Food from fallows: capitalizing on idle land for better food security in South Asia

May 2021
Every year after the rice harvest in South Asia, a vast area of over 15 million hectares lies idle (fallow) until the next rice planting season several months later. Scientists in countries like Bangladesh, India and Nepal think the fallow land could, and should, be used for additional crops that increase farmer incomes and food security.

How innovation is helping tea growers in Sri Lanka

May 2021
Sri Lanka has been a global supplier of tea since the plant was first imported to the island about a hundred and fifty years ago. Since then, tea estates have often been passed down from generation to generation, weathering good times and bad.

From Kenya: the Ogiek honey Slow Food Presidium

May 2021
The entire Ogiek belief system and livelihood relies on the forest and its resources, with honey being the most important product and a staple food for Ogiek families.

Restoring ecosystem services in the Peruvian Andes

May 2021
In the Andes of Peru, rural farmers are helping to restore the region’s degraded lands and improve water security.

How to change a life: Household mentoring makes a difference in northern Uganda

May 2021
They say that leaders aren’t born, but made. That’s certainly true for Molly Ajok.

In Nicaragua, coffee and cocoa make life sweeter

May 2021
NICADAPTA works closely with producer cooperatives to help them sustainably access coffee and cocoa markets. The results are making life not only sweeter, but also better.

The Maasai of Kenya and the Red Maasai sheep slow food presidium

April 2021
The rights of indigenous peoples to control their land according to their own needs and decisions is fundamental to protect their livelihoods and defend the biodiversity of native animal breeds and plant varieties.

Struggle, strength and wisdom: Snapshots of Bangladesh’s women farmers

April 2021
The story of agriculture in Bangladesh is also a story of the resilience of Bangladeshi women. If women have the chance to participate in decision-making, the whole community benefits.

What we are reading on food systems

April 2021
As we approach the UN Food Systems Summit here are some suggested reads on transforming our food systems for people, and planet.

In Kyrgyzstan, new technology preserves age-old pastures

April 2021
Urmatbek Omurbekov remembers a time when grazing his livestock was a purely offline affair. Every spring, herders like him would bring their animals to the foothills of the majestic Tian Shah Mountains to let them fatten up for the next winter.

The promises the olive grove holds: Fadieh’s story

April 2021
Growing olive trees in Jordan, one of the driest countries in the world, isn’t easy. Every day, Fadieh and her family spend hours tilling the soil and tending to the trees, but the most demanding task is keeping the trees hydrated.

Digital information service helps small-scale farmers respond to COVID-19

April 2021
The Kenya National Farmers’ Federation is implementing a mobile information platform to serve its members and other Kenyan farmers.

Helping remittances reach rural areas in Moldova

March 2021
For some time now, it has been difficult to find well-paid work in Moldova. Most of the good jobs available are concentrated in the cities, resulting in significant migration out of the country’s rural areas.

Restoring Morocco’s mountain ecosystems with reforestation

March 2021
In many areas of rural Morocco, climate change has led to widespread erosion and desertification, causing steep declines in soil quality. This makes farmland less productive, endangering the livelihoods of the area’s small-scale farmers.

Why water is crucial for sustainable food systems

March 2021
Enhancing irrigation efficiency is not a priority in policy agendas, being overshadowed by the global issue of access to drinking water and sanitation.

Linking families, farms and schools in Guatemala

March 2021
Many Guatemalans struggle with hunger and food insecurity, especially the nation’s children. In too many cases, lack of access to adequate food leaves children feeling weak and unable to concentrate in school, complicating both their physical and intellectual growth.

The power of options

March 2021
Like other women on Santiago, the largest island of Cabo Verde, Maria Lizita Varela used to rely on sand extraction as a source of income. It was thankless, dangerous work.

Big dreams come true in Turkey’s smallest district

March 2021
Meltem Gözel’s day begins at 07.00 each morning. Before the sun has risen, she’s already at work in her greenhouses, tending to her mushrooms.

Pioneering development in rural Uzbekistan

February 2021
Starting over is never easy, whether you’re an individual person or an entire nation. Nevertheless, the economy of Uzbekistan has made incredible progress in recent years.

Countries worldwide are stepping up to support rural farmers living in poverty

February 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has been hard on smallholder farmers in low-income countries who have struggled to access to markets, labourers, technology, and key resources amid physical distancing mandates, shifting government funding priorities, and plunging income levels.

How radio came to the rescue in Nepal

February 2021
Last March, when Nepal went into lockdown to manage the COVID-19 pandemic, Sarbaraj Bhandari realized he was in a bit of a fix. A goat farmer, he was in the process of upgrading and managing his goat-shed facilities with the help of extension services and technical support provided to farmers participating in the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development-led and IFAD-supported Agriculture Sector Development Programme (ASDP).

Bringing home the bacon: Digitalization helps Chinese pig farmers scale up

February 2021
Zhenba County, nestled in the mountains of China’s Shaanxi province, has long been known for its traditional bacon, expertly smoked and cured to produce an unmatched flavor.

Indigenous food systems are at the heart of resilience

February 2021
Indigenous food systems represent a treasure trove of knowledge that contributes to well-being and health, benefiting communities, preserving a rich biodiversity, and providing nutritious food.

Unless we urgently rethink agriculture, more diseases will jump species

January 2021
As the world grapples with the current pandemic, other threats, not least our climate emergency, have not gone away. The science is clear that without urgent global action, the climate and broader environmental crisis could be worse.

To “green” the Sahel, we need big plans and small actions

January 2021
The best way to make the desert bloom is to dig a hole. Not a well, but a shallow pit in the sandy soil about as wide as the length of your forearm. Then add some dung, plant your seeds, and wait for the rains.

Take our end-of-year quiz!

December 2020
A lot has happened over the last year – besides a global pandemic. See how much you were paying attention by taking our end of year quiz!

A year in review: Nurturing resilient rural communities in a time of change

December 2020
2020 has been a tumultuous year. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone across the world – and meanwhile, the other challenges faced by rural people across the globe haven’t gone away.

Chef Bowerman wishes our readers Happy Holidays with this festive treat

December 2020
To celebrate with all our readers and supporters and wish you Happy Holidays, we asked our Recipes for Change chefs to share some festive recipes to enjoy during the holiday season.

Five reasons IFAD is putting small-scale farmers at the forefront of food systems transformation

December 2020
Our current food systems are not sustainable. Hunger has been on the rise for several years, with an estimated 811 million people worldwide going hungry in 2020 – and with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, up to 132 million more people are expected to join this number soon.

The first woman camel farmer in North Africa: Imen’s story

December 2020
Benguerdane is a small town in the desert plain of El Ouara, a region in the extreme south-east of Tunisia, just a few kilometres away from the Libyan border. The climate there is forbiddingly arid, and the main source of livelihood is raising livestock like sheep and goats.

How Bhutan is showing the way in building crop biodiversity

December 2020
For countries like Bhutan – nestled in the high Himalayas, historically isolated and topographically challenging – ensuring food security is vital.

Three ways we’re using digital technologies to fight rural poverty in the NEN region

December 2020
Digital technologies have become our constant companions over the last few decades. Devices like smartphones and laptops have become even more relevant after the COVID-19 outbreak, helping us stay in touch even in times of physical distance.

Resilience in rural Syria: Welcoming back tourists with fresh-baked pastries

November 2020
After a decade of conflict, local tourists are slowly starting to return to the pristine mountainsides just a short drive outside Latakia, Syria. Visitors to the village of Zaghreen, in particular, are greeted by the aroma of Issam Mohammad Hamoody’s freshly-baked pastries.

Rural youth, innovation and tradition: the challenge of a new order

November 2020
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the reinvention of the agricultural sector is indispensable today. In fact, it is already beginning to take place with young people at the heart of it.

Resilience in rural Syria: The sound of songbirds

November 2020
Conflict has paralyzed much of Syria’s rural economy over the past decade. People throughout the countryside often repeat what has become a common quote: “No sound is louder than the sound of gunshots.” But at least one woman in rural Syria is listening to a different tune.

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

November 2020
Each year, to raise public awareness of gender-based violence across the world, the United Nations recognizes 25 November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

16 days of activism against gender-based violence: Building a brighter future for women and girls

November 2020
Violence against women is far more than a violation of human rights. It undermines women’s physical and mental health, as well as their ability to be happy and productive members of their societies.

Resilience in rural Syria: An entrepreneurial spirit conquers hardships

November 2020
Determination and perseverance are what make an entrepreneur successful. That’s doubly true in a country like Syria, where ongoing conflict has disrupted people’s lives for the past decade.

No place like home: Moldovan youth bring business to the countryside

November 2020
Moldova’s agriculture sector is increasingly developing and modernizing. This is due both to an increased presence in lucrative markets like the European Union and to the efforts deployed by IFAD and the Government of Moldova to help restructure the sector, largely through sustained investments and financial support to small-scale farmers, to accompany this modernization.

Linking small-scale producers to markets in Lebanon

November 2020
Apple season in Lebanon is much like apple season in many other parts of the world. But in Lebanon, apple growers – along with small-scale farmers of all kinds – face a number of constraints on their ability to efficiently grow and sell their crops.

Supporting rural women’s land rights

November 2020
In many parts of the world, full participation in society – including the ability to earn an income – is still dependent on owning (or having the rights to) land.

Keeping the family happy and healthy: Hafeeza’s story

November 2020
Four years ago, back-to-back misfortunes upended Hafeeza Begum’s life. She knew it fell to her to get her young family back on their feet.

Green jobs for youth: What works and what’s missing?

October 2020
Rural young people are increasingly concerned about the environment. Many of them work in sectors that are threatened by climate change, and they’re well aware that their industry and food systems will need to become more resilient and sustainable than ever before.

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