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Feeding the world through sustainable agriculture

Smallholder farmers are the main producers of food globally and provide 60 to 80 per cent of the food produced in developing countries. As the world’s population grows, these farmers are under growing pressure to enhance their productivity and ensure food security, especially for the rural poor.

Yet numerous factors make farming increasingly difficult for them. These include climate variability and change, water scarcity and land degradation and high levels of post-harvest food losses.

Improving the soil, managing pests

Access to diverse agricultural technologies is key to ensuring smallholder farmers can continue to feed the world.

IFAD-supported projects help farmers to increase yields through enhanced soil and pest management, fertilizer use, access to better quality seeds, and other improved agricultural practices.

Our projects improve farmers’ access to input and output markets, as well as to rural financial services that will allow them to invest in their farms.

They also enhance the institutional capacities of farmer organizations to meet the needs of their members, while ensuring natural resources are managed properly and growth is sustainable.

Growing more food and developing new opportunities

Our approach to agriculture is context-specific. We strive to create opportunities for farmers at various levels with different assets, and for both women and men farmers.

We also support the growing number of rural youth, who frequently find themselves squeezed out of farming and are looking for alternative income sources.


Smallholder farmers bring high value to their crops in Nepal

Piyola Oli is a farmer in western Nepal. One of her main challenges is access to quality seeds. Through the IFAD-supported High-Value Agriculture Project in Hill and Mountain Areas project, Oli has learned how to produce good quality onion seeds from her own produce and her income has increased considerably. 




Proyecto de Desarrollo Rural Sostenible en la Región Semiárida de Bahía (Proyecto a favor del Semiárido)
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High-Value Agriculture Project in Hill and Mountain Areas
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South Sumatera Smallholder Tree Crops Development Project
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Related publications

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LANGUAGES: English, Spanish

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Contact us

For questions please contact Joyce Njoro, 

Lead Technical Specialist, Nutrition,

+39 06 5459 2111, 


Juliane Friedrich,

Senior Technical Specialist, Nutrition,  

+39 06 5459 2959,, and