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A new generation of rural transformation : IFAD in Latin America and the Caribbean

novembre 2015
The Latin America and the Caribbean region is a different place than it was 25 years ago. Today, every nation except Haiti is categorized as middle income. The region has reduced poverty by half, and the prevalence of hunger has declined by almost two thirds. More than half the adult population has attended secondary school. Rural areas are changing too. They are no longer narrowly defined by their food production role, and key issues encompass many non-agricultural topics – including non-farm employment opportunities, especially for young people and women; migration and remittances; social protection; and the role of secondary cities.

Fulfilling the promise of African agriculture

août 2015
Agriculture plays a significant role in Africa, accounting for about 30 per cent of GDP south of the Sahara, as well as a significant proportion of export value. Not surprisingly, in most African countries, 60 per cent or more of employees work in agriculture. Yet this barely scrapes the surface of Africa’s promise. Only 6 per cent of cultivated land is irrigated in Africa, compared with 37 per cent in Asia, for example. Africa also has the largest share of uncultivated land with rain-fed crop potential in the world. In addition, African farmers use substantially less fertilizer per hectare than counterparts in East Asia and the Pacific.

The International Year of Family Farming (IYFF)

novembre 2014
What is the International Year of Family Farming? Small family farms are the key to reducing poverty and improving global food security. The United Nations declared 2014 the International Year of Family Farming (IYFF) to recognize the importance of family farming in reducing poverty and improving global food security. The IYFF aims to promote new development policies, particularly at the national but also regional levels, that will help smallholder and family farmers eradicate hunger, reduce rural poverty and continue to play a major role in global food security through small-scale, sustainable agricultural production. The IYFF provides a unique opportunity to pave the way towards more inclusive and sustainable approaches to agricultural and rural development that: Recognize the importance of smallholder and family farmers for sustainable development; Place small-scale farming at the centre of national, regional and global agricultural, environmental and social policies; Elevate the role of smallholder farmers as agents for alleviating rural poverty and ensuring food security for all; as stewards who manage and protect natural resources; and as drivers of sustainable development.

Viewpoint 5: The human face of development: Investing in people

avril 2015
When we look at the world today, we see impressive gains as well as daunting challenges. The Millennium Development Goal target of halving extreme poverty rates was met at the global level five years ahead of the 2015 deadline. There are now more than 100 middle-income countries, as diverse as Brazil, Lesotho and Vanuatu. It is estimated that developing countries’ share of the global middle-class population will rise from 55 per cent today to 78 per cent by 2025. However, amid rising affluence in some countries and regions, there is also growing inequality. In 2015, there will still be 970 million people living in poverty – the vast majority of them in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. And there remain 842 million chronically undernourished people in the world. Volatile commodity prices bring hunger to the poorest, and instability to markets and societies. Climate change and environmental degradation throw long shadows over all of humanity’s gains. Against this background, we must confront the question of how humankind is going to continue to feed and sustain itself in the future.

"Leaving no one behind": Living Up To The 2030 Agenda

juillet 2016
The 2030 Agenda is a global commitment, made at the highest level, to “leave no one behind” in realizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Arguably, this is one of the most challenging features of the agenda, and an apt theme for the 2016 session of the High Level Political Forum (HLPF), as the foremost global forum for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda. Nowhere is the challenge of leaving no one behind more salient than in rural areas. Since the vast majority of people living in poverty are in rural areas, “leaving no one behind” clearly demands a special focus on rural women and men. Rural-urban gaps exist for virtually all development indicators. The 2016 session of the HLPF is an opportunity to consider how to put poor rural people at the centre of national, regional, and global efforts to implement the agenda and to measure progress.

Creating pathways out of poverty in rural areas: Managing weather risk with index insurance

août 2015
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP) have joined forces to reduce the vulnerability of poor rural people to extreme weather events that can be devastating to agricultural productivity. With support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, IFAD and WFP are working to improve the access of poor rural people in developing countries to index-based weather insurance. This type of insurance can help them cope better when extreme weather hits, and can open the door to other financial services, in particular credit.

IFAD in Tajikistan: The virtues of village organizations

août 2016
IFAD and the Government of Tajikistan have been investing in building the capacities of village organizations and pasture users unions to participate in and influence processes that are important for the livelihoods of their members. The results have been very positive, as the stories contained here show. Local communities have been empowered in managing local natural resources on which they depend. The community-driven development approach is a very effective way to identify priorities (such as roads, irrigation, drinking water, electricity supply, and low-cost storage and marketing facilities) in rural communities, and has been able to provide the needed investments to improve rural livelihoods. Activities also targeted the needs of female beneficiaries, not only producing significant economic benefits but also strengthening the position of women in communities. The participation of beneficiaries in all phases of the projects was a key ingredient in ensuring that there would be ownership, commitment and long-term impact. Members of village organizations were involved in setting priorities and decision-making from the outset. Linking community development to training and strengthening local project partners helped to ensure sustainability, so that these communities will continue to thrive in the future.