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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.


Spotlight

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. 

Projects

Project

Brazil

Rural Sustainable Development Project in the Semi-arid Region of Bahia
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Project

Nepal

High-Value Agriculture Project in Hill and Mountain Areas
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Project

Indonesia

South Sumatera Smallholder Tree Crops Development Project
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Senior IFAD officials to promote development in earthquake-stricken rural region of Ecuador

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A year after a major earthquake left more than 20,000 rural people homeless, officials of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) will meet with ministers and other government officials to renew IFAD's commitment to supporting rural economic development and improvement of the lives of poor rural people. Périn Saint Ange, IFAD Associate Vice-President, arrives in Ecuador today with the message that alongside immediate disaster relief, long-term development is crucial to rebuilding lives.

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The International Fund for Agricultural Development and Government of Sri Lanka signed a financing agreement today that will help 57,500 poor rural households in Sri Lanka increase their incomes and food security by expanding livelihood and business opportunities in agriculture.

 

Related publications

Grant Results Sheet: ICIPE - Scaling up biological control of the diamondback moth on crucifers in East Africa to other African regions

detsember 2017
The goal of the project was to increase the income of rural smallholder vegetable producers through the improved safety and quality of vegetables in the supply chain for domestic markets.
LANGUAGES: English

Family farming in Latin America - A new comparative analysis

juuli 2014
The results of the studies highlighted the importance of agriculture as an economic activity to the reproduction of such units all over the continent, and showed that specialized family farmers are the largest group in relation to the total. Moreover, we verified the function of rural residency and the combination of activities and income sources as an important feature of all the countries studied.
LANGUAGES: English, Spanish

Lessons learned in the development of smallholder private irrigation for high-value crops in West Africa

juuni 2011

The objective of this report is to identify, characterize, and evaluate best practices in smallholder private irrigation in West Africa. The report presents a comparative assessment of the smallholder private irrigation initiatives in Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, and Nigeria. 

Issues discussed include: the potential and impacts of new technologies; the successes and challenges of different approaches to develop smallholder private irrigation (promotion of technologies, institutional arrangements, advisory and financial services, and environmental impact mitigation); and the lessons learned.

LANGUAGES: English

Contact us

For questions please contact Joyce Njoro, 

Lead Technical Specialist, Nutrition,

+39 06 5459 2111, j.njoro@ifad.org 

and

Juliane Friedrich,

Senior Technical Specialist, Nutrition,  

+39 06 5459 2959, j.friedrich@ifad.org, and