US$46 million IFAD loan and $1 million IFAD grant to improve Chinese smallholder farming families lives

Hani and Yi minority workers pick lichee fruit in Jiangcheng County. The project is financing the development of 7,200 ha of divers permanent crops which are grown mainly on sloping land used for rotation cropping or wasteland.
©IFAD/Louis Dematteis

Rome, 24 September 2012 –The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) will provide a loan of US$46 million and a grant of $1 million, to the People's Republic of China to improve agricultural productivity and to diversify the sources of income of rural families living in poverty. The Hunan province will make up the balance of the total cost of the project, which is $93.2 million.

The loan and grant agreement to support the Hunan Agricultural Rural Infrastructure Improvement Project (HARIIP) was signed at IFAD's Rome headquarters by Liang Ziqian, Deputy Director General, International Department, Ministry of Finance of the People's Republic of China, and Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of IFAD.

The project will promote rural development and poverty reduction in nine counties of Hunan province, where about 1.4 million rural women and men will benefit from improved infrastructure and new technology to contribute to their food security.

Despite China's strong and sustained economic growth, poverty is still persistent, especially in remote rural areas. Approximately half of China's population lives in the rural areas of the country. Over the last years, the government has made concerted efforts to increase agricultural production and raise incomes as well as nutrition levels of rural people.

The aim of the project will be to increase about 280,000 farming families' agricultural production and quality by scaling up innovative approaches and introducing enhanced technologies. In addition, it will improve their access to markets and support smallholder farmers to adapt more efficiently to changing environments and market conditions. Improving
irrigation facilities, village roads, drinking water facilities, and rural electricity can strengthen communities' resilience to frequently-occurring climate related shocks as well as create better links with local and regional markets. 

This new project brings IFAD's commitment to China to a total of $685.57 million. Since the Fund began working in China in 1981, 30 million people in 21 provinces have benefited from IFAD-financed programmes and projects.

Press release No.: IFAD/50/2012

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) works with poor rural people to enable them to grow and sell more food, increase their incomes and determine the direction of their own lives. Since 1978, IFAD has invested almost US$14 billion in grants and low-interest loans to developing countries through projects empowering about 400 million people to break out of poverty, thereby helping to create vibrant rural communities. IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized UN agency based in Rome – the United Nations' food and agriculture hub. It is a unique partnership of 168 members from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), other developing countries and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).