Agricultural research for development

Transforming research into results for rural people

Agricultural research is essential for sustainable and inclusive agricultural development. Research generates new technologies and improved policies which are essential for small-scale farmers who face the interconnected challenges of climate change, land degradation, gender biases, hunger and exploitation.

Despite this, the connection between agricultural research and agricultural development is weak in many of the countries where IFAD works due to lacking institutional capacity, enabling environments and sufficient investment.

IFAD hopes to change this. With funding from the European Union and its own funds, IFAD provides grants to CGIAR research centres and other institutions in the field of Agricultural Research for Development (AR4D).

AR4D projects work in the field, ensuring that the new technologies and practices developed are relevant and based on demand from farmers. The goal of AR4D is to improve the resilience, livelihoods and food security of small-scale farmers in rural communities, particularly youth and women.

IFAD’s AR4D initiative supports:

  • creating pro-poor technologies
  • facilitating knowledge exchange and documenting research findings
  • establishing partnerships between research-centric and non-research-centric development institutions
  • improving linkages between research institutions and food security programmes
  • generating evidence that demonstrates the effectiveness of new approaches in increasing productivity, food security and resilience, with the goal of guiding policy decisions.

The initiative currently manages two EU-funded programmes and several individual research projects:

  • Agroecological TRANSITIONS Programme aims to drive a global shift towards more people-centred, environmentally-responsible agriculture by producing evidence, tools and pathways that incentivize investment in agroecology.
  • Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme-XP4 (CAADP-XP4) aims to enhance the connection between agricultural research and development by improving the capacities and positioning of the five largesta and most influential agricultural research institutions in Africa.


Putting Research into Use for Nutrition, Sustainable Agriculture and Resilience (PRUNSAR)

PRUNSAR is a programme established by IFAD and the Europen Union in order to help small-scale farmers adapt to climate change and improve their livelihoods.



Gadzeni Mulenga

Programme Management Analyst

[email protected]

Viviane Filippi

Programme Management Analyst

[email protected]

Nelida Sara Maria Alé

Senior Technical Specialist, Agricultural Research for Development

[email protected]

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Related publications


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