In Niger, IFAD and partners achieve results against the odds

March 2012
In many ways, Niger is a country on the edge. Geographically, its productive farmland is confined to a narrow, semi-arid band across the south. Politically, it remains stable in the wake of peaceful elections held last year, but crises in neighbouring Libya, Mali and northern Nigeria have driven thousands of refugees across its borders. Socially and economically, its human development indicators are low, and it is among the poorest nations in the world.

Beyond the Arab Awakening: Research panel links food security and conflict in the Middle East and North Africa

January 2012
As popular discontent swept across much of the Arab world over the past year, some observers were puzzled. “How is it,” asked the World Bank’s World Development Report 2011, “that countries in the Middle East and North Africa could face explosions of popular grievances despite, in some cases, sustained high growth and improvement in social indicators?”

Burundi back on its feet: rebuilding after conflict

January 2012
"When the massacres began in 1993 we were forced to take sides, seeking protection with either the government or the rebels", says Jean-Claude Sindayihebura, who is from Burambi in Bururi province. 

Equity investment in rural Armenia: A business model with a development impact

January 2012
When is an equity investment fund more than just a money machine? When it focuses on development rather than quick riches. That's exactly what a unique IFAD project has been doing in Armenia since 2009, with investments in the country's food-processing sector designed to expand markets and improve the economic prospects of smallholder farmers. Known as the Fund for Rural Economic Development in Armenia (FREDA), the initiative combines elements of both development assistance and banking.

A Tanzanian Mother Teresa is born: Pauline Samata, the "bamboo saint"

May 2011
The International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR) estimates that approximately 1.5 billion people depend in some way or another on bamboo and rattan. 

Bringing land plots together to increase agricultural productivity

May 2011
Intensifiying agricultural production is one of the key objectives of the Rwandan government to reduce poverty and guarantee food security. The Crop Intensification Programme (CIP) was introduced in 2007 at the national level to increase agricultural productivity and reduce import of staple agricultural products such as rice.

Graduating to a new life farming Egypt’s desert

May 2011
An innovative scheme in Egypt is creating work for the country’s large number of unemployed graduates and boosting the economy by reclaiming agricultural land from the desert.

The grass is greener: rehabilitating the Syrian Badia

May 2011
After years of intensive grazing and severe drought, the Syrian steppe, or Badia, has become  badly degraded. An IFAD-supported project  is working with local communities  to regenerate and manage the rangelands  for long- term productivity. Rehabilitation has restored  vegetation  and helped reduce herders' vulnerability  to drought and the effects  of climate change. 

Helping nomadic families prepare for a complex future in Mongolia

May 2011
Mongolia’s punishing climate and short growing season limit the variety in people’s diets and require families to work hard during the brief summer.

Boosting knowledge and financial security in Peru

May 2011
Increasing the knowledge and assets of poor families is an effective way to fight poverty. An innovative IFAD-supported project in the southern highlands of Peru provides grants directly to small producers and to farmers’ organizations so they can develop new income opportunities. 

Island groups reap the benefits of a new Pacific agricultural centre

May 2010
A new agricultural research centre is helping Pacific islanders fight the effects of climate change and feed their people. Its work in crop production and improving soil fertility under island conditions offers benefits not just for the Pacific region, but for island groups throughout the world.

Learning new horticultural techniques to raise income

May 2010
Lobi is one of the most remote areas in Malawi. Located west of the market town of Dedza along the Mozambican border, it takes one hour travelling on a track road to reach the area. 

How the Kenya Women Finance Trust became a model lender

May 2009
Sometimes, numbers speak louder than words. Six years ago, the Kenya Women Finance Trust (KWFT) was losing around US$290,000 a year. By 2006, it was posting annual profits of US$1.87 million and changing the lives of more than 100,000 poor women. By any standard, this is a remarkable turnaround. But behind the numbers lies an even more remarkable story.

Monitoring social transformation for the vulnerable using visioning and household mentoring

May 2009
The District Livelihoods Support Programme (DLSP), implemented by the Ministry of Local Government in Uganda, and funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has been piloting the use of visioning and household mentoring as a new approach to tackle rural poverty among poor communities.

Farmers’ associations: unleashing innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit

February 2009
In the Lilongwe district of Malawi, a farmers’ association has made a significant difference in the lives of the local community by providing training and enabling its members to negotiate higher prices for their crops.

An ancient form of water management helps farmers in Eritrea cope with water scarcity

February 2009
Water is precious in Eritrea, where farmers have to cope with droughts and crop failures. With support from the government and an IFAD-funded project, farmers and herders are expanding spate irrigation, an ancient form of water management. By harnessing floodwaters and collecting run-off, farmers can provide enough water for the crop season. Now some farmers can obtain yields that are six times what they used to be. 

Increasing access to financial services for poor rural people through policy dialogue and strengthened institutions

February 2009
"Joining a SACCO opened my eyes, for long I did not know the benefits. All my enterprises now are supported by the SACCO, so why not value it especially at my age?" asks Paddy Musasizi of Ndeija Sub County, Rwampara District.

Sacred Cows of Rwanda

January 2009
For small farmers in Rwanda, livestock and cows in particular, are an important element of a household, considered as an economic asset as well as a symbol of wealth and social status.

Nepal’s ‘poorest of the poor’ reap the benefits of innovative leasehold project

October 2008
In the Middle Hills district of Nepal, an IFAD-funded project has helped reverse environmental degradation and bring people out of poverty. As a result of the project’s impressive impact, the government adopted a leasehold forest policy in 2002 and integrated the approach in its poverty strategy. 

Villagers and aid workers alike benefit from census project in Niger

June 2008
Poor villagers in the Aguie area of Niger are discovering the many, unexpected benefits of keeping detailed records of their households and assets. As part of a new databank system introduced by IFAD in 2005, local people are developing a detailed census drawn from 27,000 individuals in 22 villages.

A successful public/private partnership: vegetable oil production in Uganda

June 2008
It is quite a challenge to develop a major domestic industry that brings public and private investors together and also nurtures the interests of small-scale producers. An IFAD-funded project in Uganda is rising to that challenge by helping to forge a highly innovative partnership between small-scale producers of palm oil and a private sector operator.

Guinea pigs bring prosperity to poor women in China

May 2008
Poor women in a remote region of China have built up their businesses and worked their way out of poverty thanks to an IFAD-supported project that has taught them how to raise guinea pigs. 

From subsistence farming to profit: the benefits of agro-wells in Sri Lanka

May 2008
Large, well-constructed ‘agro-wells' are making farming profitable for farmers living in dry areas of Sri Lanka. Farmers in the dry areas of the district of Matale benefited from the Regional Economic Advancement Project (REAP) from 1999 to 2007. 

In Ghana, rewards continue long after programme officially closes

February 2008
Thanks to an IFAD-supported programme in north-east Ghana, women's groups are still building their small-scale ruminant-breeding businesses, feeding their families and sending their children to school 13 years on.