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Articles on this Page
- 11/06/12--13:47: _This is rural pover...
- 11/07/12--09:38: _Climate Conversatio...
- 11/12/12--22:27: _Learning Route, Man...
- 11/15/12--23:08: _Value Chain Develop...
- 11/16/12--10:30: _In the ‘New Flower’...
- 11/17/12--07:57: _Communal Land Titli...
- 11/19/12--06:20: _Shifting cultivatio...
- 11/19/12--23:34: _Economic growth alo...
- 11/20/12--12:14: _ New (and old) stor...
- 11/26/12--08:45: _IFAD’s success in V...
- 11/27/12--06:08: _Permaculture improv...
- 11/27/12--06:20: _Increasing farmers ...
- 11/28/12--09:44: _Climate Conversatio...
- 11/29/12--01:15: _First impressions f...
- 11/29/12--09:14: _Climate Conversatio...
- 12/03/12--07:03: _Something to shout ...
- 12/03/12--07:47: _Le FIDA et le Mali ...
- 12/04/12--16:13: _Évaluation Externe ...
- 12/04/12--17:18: _Mali Country Progra...
- 12/07/12--09:28: _Rural women’s voice...
- 11/06/12--13:47: This is rural poverty in…
- 11/07/12--09:38: Climate Conversations - What lessons can Sandy teach?
- 11/15/12--23:08: Value Chain Development in Bangladesh
- 11/19/12--23:34: Economic growth alone won’t end hunger
- 11/20/12--12:14: New (and old) stories about young rural women in Latin America
- Mr Cheikh Sourang (IFAD)
- Ms Hana Mitri Shahin (Executive Director, King Hussein Foundation)
- H.E. Xia Jingyuan, permanent representative of China to IFAD, FAO and WFP.
- 11/27/12--06:08: Permaculture improving livelihoods
- 11/27/12--06:20: Increasing farmers access to markets
- Veterinary services and animal nutrition, crop production, research, home economics & food security, Swaziland Dairy Board (SDB) and National Agricultural Marketing Board (NAMBOARD) all under the Ministry of Agriculture
- Swaziland Environment Authority (SEA), Swaziland National Trust Commission (SNTC) and the Surveyor General’s under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy
- the Decentralisation Unit within the Tinkhundla Ministry
- 11/28/12--09:44: Climate Conversations - Turning waste to energy in China
- 11/29/12--09:14: Climate Conversations - Planting for a harsher climate
- 12/03/12--07:03: Something to shout about - IFAD and Mali : 30 year anniversary
- 12/03/12--07:47: Le FIDA et le Mali - de quoi célébrer
- 12/07/12--09:28: Rural women’s voices, loud and clear in Nepal
Interviews with IFAD Country Program Managers highlight the context of rural poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean
Paolo Silveri is IFAD's Country Program Manager for Argentina. In this interview, he takes us to Argentina to learn about policy dialogue, the context of rural poverty in this G20 nation and how IFAD is funding new opportunities and innovative approaches for family farmers.
IFAD's Country Program Manager for Brazil, Iván Cossio, highlights the Brazilian experience. Along the way, we learn more about the specific context of rural poverty in this emerging economy, and how investment in social equity and citizenship can help poor rural people to overcome poverty. We also learn about innovative IFAD-funded projects designed to tackle issues of climate change, knowledge management, market access and more.
Colombia is a country with vast opportunities and myriad challenges. In this interview with IFAD's Country Program Manager for Colombia, Roberto Haudry, we learn how tapping rural talents, investing in productive resources and citizenship, and ensuring long-term rural development and risk management can work toward peace and sustainable poverty reduction.
Take a look at the political, social and economic context that frames rural poverty in Ecuador in this interview with IFAD's Country Program Manager for Ecuador, Francisco Pichón. There's some interesting insights on long-term solutions through IFAD funding.
Joaquin Lozano is IFAD's Country Program Manager for Guatemala. In this interview, he underlines the innovations in private-public partnerships in Guatemala, which have allowed family farmers to access some of the world's largest markets.
Esther Kasalu-Coffin, IFAD's Country Program Manager for Guyana, highlights IFAD's country program for Guyana, giving in-depth analysis of how IFAD funding is reaching marginalized groups, targeting interventions and working to provide lasting solutions to enable poor rural people to overcome poverty.
In this incisive interview, IFAD Country Program Manager Marco Camagni looks at the context of rural poverty in the Western Hemisphere's poorest country, highlighting risk mitigation, the role of women, environmental stewardship and how IFAD funding is working to create new opportunities.
In this video IFAD Country Program Manager for Nicaragua, Ladislao Rubio, shows us how innovations in funding for rural micro-enterprise development are making a difference in Nicaragua.
Discover the context of rural poverty in Paraguay - and the way out - with this engaging interview with Paolo Silveri, IFAD Country Program Manager for Paraguay. Along the way, you'll learn how strengthening value chains, protecting the environment and improving market access can help poor rural people in Paraguay to overcome poverty.
In this in-depth interview, IFAD's Country Program Manager for Peru, Roberto Haudry, looks at the various mechanisms for social inclusion, citizenship and rural poverty reduction in the country, also giving an overview of IFAD's funding and how new innovative methods can work to ending rural poverty.
Francisco Pichón, IFAD's Country Program Manager for Venezuela, highlights the political context of rural poverty reduction in Venezuela, looking at IFAD's funding portfolio, new initiatives to empower marginalized groups and the specific challenges for sustainable poverty reduction in Venezuela.
Jesus Quintana is the Environment and Climate Specialist for IFAD's Latin America and the Caribbean Division. In this incisive interview, Jesus underlines the challenges facing the region, looking toward innovative solutions and ways in which IFAD is tackling climate change and environmental issues as part of its ongoing strategy to enable poor rural people to overcome poverty.
By Elwyn Grainger-Jones
At the same time, the eastern seaboard of the United States was being brought to a standstill by ’superstorm’ Sandy. And while this highlights how we are all in this climate change thing together, it also demonstrates how different countries and communities across the world are at vastly different levels of preparedness for climate change.
Originally posted on AlertNet
|Ms Stefania Dina from IFAD and Mr Samlan Pasentkhamla, |
Department of Planning, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry at the opening of the Panel
|Participants of the Panel|
|Farmers at milk collection point|
|The milk collection team|
The milk collector is a microentrepreneur, supported by the project, who every morning, together with his two employees, tests and collects the milk and gathers the milk at his central cooling station. Currently they are collecting a 100 litres per day and are planning to expand. At 400 litres they will start to make a profit.
|Prawn harvesting in Comilla|
|Hatchery construction site|
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia – Addis Ababa means ‘New Flower’ in Amharic, Ethiopia’s ancient national language, and the name still seems apt despite the capital’s 21st century sprawl. New, modern buildings are under construction throughout the city, while a youthful populace fills its streets and squares. And the flower of the country’s rich culture is constantly in bloom here, from the hospitality of traditional tea ceremonies to the warm greetings of friends and strangers alike.
|Children perform for IFAD workshop participants on a field |
visit to Ethiopia’s Fentale District. © IFAD/Mark Forrest
Which leads to one of the biggest questions facing Africa today: To ensure their own food security and to feed a rapidly growing population – including the inhabitants of Addis and other teeming cities – how can its farmers sustainably boost their productivity in the years ahead?
With this question in mind, coordinators from IFAD-supported projects in Ethiopia and 16 other countries in East and Southern Africa gathered in Addis this week for their annual regional workshop. The 200-plus participants convened to exchange practical knowledge and experiences. Hosted by IFAD’s country office and the Government of Ethiopia, they spent four days taking a clear-eyed look at lessons learned from working with smallholders at the grass roots.
|Regional workshop participants convene in Addis Ababa. |
© IFAD/Mark Forrest
But the discussions in Addis also confirmed that the rural poor in East and Southern still face great obstacles. Like Ethiopia itself, which is home to scores of distinct ethnic groups and languages, the region is extremely heterogeneous. It includes several of the fastest growing economies in the world, along with some of sub-Saharan Africa’s poorest and most fragile states. Rising food prices and underdeveloped markets, as well as inadequate roads and irrigation systems, pose serious challenges for smallholder households.
‘On the right track’
IFAD Regional Economist Geoffrey Livingston and Regional Director Périn Saint Ange acknowledged these and other challenges in their comments at the Addis workshop. Yet both speakers found solid grounds for optimism.
|IFAD Regional Director Périn Saint Ange |
addresses workshop in Addis Ababa.
© IFAD/Mark Forrest
Saint Ange pointed to reforms in policy and governance that have begun to ease trade barriers in the region. At the local level, he said, poor rural people – and particularly women and youth – have gained a greater voice in making decisions about their futures. He went on to remind participants that IFAD’s regional portfolio, which now stands at US$1.3 billion, will grow to US$1.5 billion by 2015.
In addition, Saint Ange said, up to US$100 million in grant funding will be available for innovative projects addressing the impact of climate change under IFAD’s new Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme.
“Agriculture has the greatest potential for transforming the lives of the rural poor,” he concluded.
Beyond business as usual
Still, there was a widely shared recognition in Addis that IFAD-supported operations must step up their efforts and results in order to achieve such a transformation. The message was clear: Overcoming regional challenges and meeting IFAD’s ambitious targets for rural poverty reduction will mean reaching well beyond business as usual.
|Shunda Wata, chairperson of a rural women's |
credit cooperative visited by workshop
participants in Oromia, Ethiopia.
© IFAD/Timothy Ledwith
“We are good at this, but we can do more and better,” Saint Ange said. “We are encouraged by the success that we are having on the ground. It is not enough, but the glass is filling quickly.”
There was no shortage of ideas in Addis about how to do more. From sessions on more rigorous project design and analysis to debates about linking agricultural research directly to ongoing projects, the participants maintained a spirited dialogue throughout the workshop.
And that spirit extended from the meeting rooms to the field, via a series of visits to projects in the areas around Addis. The visits provided a first-hand look at rural finance, irrigation and pastoral community development projects supported by IFAD in Ethiopia, as well as direct meetings with the people served and empowered by these initiatives.
“In Africa, the spirit of sharing is homegrown,” IFAD’s Ethiopia Country Director, Robson Mutandi, said as the workshop wrapped up yesterday. “We can never move forward if we are not open about our programmes.” Mutandi thanked everyone in attendance for engaging in an open discussion – in effect, for letting 100 flowers bloom in the ‘New Flower’ of Africa. “Let’s hope that together,” he said, “we can make this big challenge of moving rural people out of poverty a success.”
Communal Land Titling for sustainable bamboo forestry management in Lao PDR
Report from the Learning Route: Managing Forests, Sustaining Lives, Improving Livelihoods of Indigenous Peoples and Ethnic Groups in the Mekong Region
Report from the Learning Route: Managing Forests, Sustaining Lives, Improving Livelihoods of Indigenous Peoples and Ethnic Groups in the Mekong Region
By José Graziano da Silva and Kanayo F. Nwanze*
But economic growth alone is no guarantee of success in the fight against poverty, hunger and malnutrition, as the 2012 edition of The State of Food Insecurity in the World, recently released by the Rome-based United Nations agencies, shows.
In order for economic growth to enhance the nutrition of the neediest people, poor women and men must participate in the growth process and its benefits.
Success stories from all developing regions make one thing clear: investment in agriculture, more than investment in any other sector, can generate economic growth that delivers large benefits to hungry and malnourished poor people. That is because most of them live in rural areas and depend on agriculture for their livelihoods.
We have learned that smallholder farmers can be supported to benefit from higher food prices and become part of the solution to reducing price spikes and improving overall food security. Higher prices of agricultural commodities can definitely provide positive incentives for increased investment in agriculture.
However, better policy responses and improved governance are also needed to address the effects of increased price volatility and of higher food costs for poor people, who spend a large share of their income on food.
We must also reduce the enormous amount of food lost or wasted throughout the food system -- which has been estimated at around one third of total production.
There has been progress in the fight against hunger and malnutrition. The global number of chronically hungry people has fallen by 130 million since 1990, and the proportion of hungry people has dropped from 18.6 percent in 1990 to 12.5 percent today.
Still, nearly 870 million people continue to suffer from undernourishment, and the negative health consequences of micronutrient deficiencies continue to affect around two billion people.
In a world of plenty, childhood malnutrition kills more than 2.5 million children every year, and more than 100 million children under the age of five are underweight, and therefore unable to realize their full socio-economic and human potential. This is morally unacceptable and economically foolish. Good nutrition is key to sustainable economic growth.
While the world grapples with the burden of undernutrition, we are faced with an increasing trend towards overnutrition. A growing number of people have adopted lifestyles and diets that are conducive to being overweight and related non-communicable diseases, taxing public health systems in many countries.
Working with national governments and the international community, our organizations are committed to developing better-integrated approaches to food security and nutrition that are both “pro-poor” and “nutrition-sensitive” by promoting positive, sustainable interactions among the agriculture, nutrition and health sectors.
The world has the knowledge and the means to eliminate all forms of food insecurity and malnutrition. No ambition in achieving this aim is too high, which is why we welcome UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's recent “Zero Hunger Challenge”.
It’s up to all of us to rise to meet it. In the fight against hunger, the ultimate sum of all of our efforts must be zero hunger.
*The authors are the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development.
Over the last two decades, young rural women have experienced many changes: not only in regard to the transformations originated in rural areas, but also due to changes in the gender and generational gaps. The objective of the Nuevas Trenzas program is to study these phenomena that affect young rural women in order to identify what opportunities may be seized and what problems must be solved by means of public policies or private initiatives so that this collective may develop integrally.
What inequality gaps do young rural women face?
Young rural women are a collective marked by “intertwined inequalities”, intersecting gaps that generate disadvantageous situations in relation to the others.
• Gender gap: separates young rural women from rural men belonging to the same generation.
• Area of residency gap: separates young rural women from their urban contemporaries.
• Generational gap: separates young rural women from their rural mothers and grandmothers.
• Poverty gap: within the group of young rural women, it distinguishes those who live in a poor household from those who live in a non-poor household.
These gaps directly affect young rural women’s “ability to do”. This ability to do may be broken into the following competencies: technical competence (managing the necessary skills to do something), legal competence (existence of a legal framework that allows doing something), and subjective competence (the subject’s capability for perceiving herself with the ability to do something). This, ultimately, affects young rural women’s possibilities of having an autonomous life strategy.
Which gaps affect young rural women?
Young rural women (between ages 14 and 35) represent between 9.7 percent and 4 percent of the total population, and between 15.5 percent and 19.1 percent of the analyzed countries’ (Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Peru) rural population. In every country where Nuevas Trenzas works, young rural women add up to a total of over 5.6 million.
Issues that affect young rural women
• Defeminization of rural areas: data shows that the percentage of women over the total rural population is fewer than 50 percent in almost every country analyzed. In rural areas, social and economic dynamics that expel rural women towards cities prevail, especially in the case of young women, due the persistence of institutions (mostly informal) that make it difficult for women to access key assets, as well as to the prevalence of family strategies with a strong gender bias.
• Increase of women’s practical competence: this change is most reflected in data regarding human capital, especially in relation to access to education. In rural areas, the gender gap is no longer a problem in terms of basic education. Even if to a lesser extent, the area of residency gap in education has also diminished. Another important aspect is the progress achieved regarding the relationship with the State and other actors of the rural world: we can observe, for example, an increase in the possession of identity documents (in general, it exceeds 90 percent in the studied countries), as well as a closer relationship with the healthcare system (the percentage of birth in healthcare facilities exceeds 60 percent in all countries).
• Decrease of the geographical gap and intensification of the generational gap: the gaps that determine the situation of young rural women are not static. An example of this is the impact of Information and Communication Technologies over the last few years: there has been a deep penetration of cellular telephones in rural households comprising young women, reaching, in some countries, near 80 percent.
• The break point: life stories gathered over the course of the program show that there is a breaking moment in the personal trajectories of young rural women, around the ages of 18 and 22. At this point, their lives change radically mostly due to the difficulties rural women face for developing autonomous life strategies. This limitation is caused by two main motives. On one side, we find that in almost every rural space in the continent, institutional frameworks with gender biases prevail. On the other side, it is difficult for them to access professional specialization.
• Persistence of family strategies with gender bias: interviews and life stories show that the step into couple life is often perceived by young rural women as a traumatic moment: a definitive rupture with their hopes of leading a life different than their mothers’ and grandmothers’. The result is a widespread perception of frustration. Decisions regarding couple life and family formation determine the life of rural women. In this sense, the persistence of very high rates of non-paid domestic work is a key issue.
• Poverty gap: We observe that in almost every country, the group with lower poverty percentages corresponds to households with women between the ages of 18 and 25. These households present two characteristics: (i) presumably, most of the time, young rural women are the head of the household, and (ii) they comprise women that have been able to take advantage of the past decades’ improvements in education.
Why is it important to focus in this collective?
Young rural women can be key actors in rural development processes due to the following reasons:
• Given their urban experience, their higher education and openness to new forms of communication, young rural women constitute a generation particularly sensitive to discrimination situations, for this reason they are fairly active in promoting their rights. This condition represents an exceptional opportunity to work in programs or initiatives that will help break the social legitimacy of gender discrimination practices that still exist in the rural world.
• They represent an under-utilized capital not being seized, neither by traditional mechanisms of human capital enhancement that apply in the rural world, nor by development programs.
• They constitute a group with great potential for building bridges between the rural world and the urban word, given that many Latin American young rural women have “urban experiences” from an early age: they go to school or to work in cities, and adopt in this process many urban patterns, habits, skills and aspirations.
• They constitute a group with a high potential for innovation. Many of the micro-innovation experiences in the rural world have young rural women as leaders. In the measure that they do not have easy access to key assets for carrying out traditional activities, they must manage to come up with opportunities for generating income in innovative ways.
Raúl H. Asensio is the Coordinator of the IFAD-supported Nuevas Trenzas Program. Learn more at www.nuevastrenzas.org.
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“This is just the beginning”: this is the recurrent expression from IFAD members and IFAD-supported participants at the end of a very productive week in terms of partnering, networking and opening new spaces, opportunities and paths aiming at concretely, effectively and efficiently scaling up the best south-south and triangular cooperation practices.
19-23 November hasn’t been a week like many others. It has been a special week. At the Expo, IFAD was represented by the Strategic Planning Division (Mr Gary Howe, Mr Cheikh Sourang, Mr Edward Heinemann, Mr Nicolo’ Berghinz, Ms Maria Luisa Saponaro), by the Asia Division (Mr Benoit Thierry), by the Policy and Technical Advisory Division (Mr Karan Sehgal) and by the Communication Division (Mrs Sophie De Vos).
IFAD’s relevant contribution began right during day-1, during the High-level opening ceremony, the Leadership roundtable and the launch of major initiatives and partnerships; in particular, that contribution appeared during the Leadership roundtable, where IFAD offered its “knowledge” on the scaling up topic, asked ‘hard questions’ to the audience and opened a constructive and useful reflection/discussion among participants.
IFAD actively participated during the various sessions and, above all, co-led and co-sponsored (with FAO and UNIDO) Solution Forum 4 on “Energy, climate change and food security” during the third day. Several planning and debriefing meetings in preparation for -and as follow up to- this Forum (and other relevant events) have been organized. The Forum has been structured with 3 successive panels, with a total of 15 participants. The discussion has been extremely rich, dynamic and interactive, with many contributions and questions from the floor. The main focus was on how to scale up successful south-south and triangular cooperation positive experiences. The 3 moderators were:
The Expo hasn’t just been an Expo. The meetings haven’t just been meetings. IFAD, through its proactive participation, opened new paths for its scaling up engagements through the SSTC tool. New basis for SSTC activities have been built (e.g. cooperation in China and with China), and a strong commitment on following-up the Expo (especially with Forum 4 partners and UNDP) outputs and outcomes has been taken. This is just the beginning.
IFAD has also been protagonist, during the fourth day, of the High-Level Meeting on “Innovative approaches towards effective development”.
For more information/documentation, please contact us (Mr Sourang, Mr Berghinz, Ms Saponaro) or visit the Expo website or the newly established IFAD webpage on South-South and Triangular Cooperation
And remember…this is just the beginning.
Sbulelo working in her garden
By Lynn Kota
Sbulelo Gamedze is full of smiles as she opens the gate and welcomes us into her beautiful garden. She has never been involved in any form of farming, before she became interested after attending trainings conducted by LUSLM (Lower Usuthu Sustainable Land Management -GEF) Sustainable Agriculture coordinator Mr NormanMavuso on Permaculture gardening. She started attending the trainings which took place at Madlenya area, beginning in July 2012 and two months down the line she has her own beautiful permaculture garden which has already started to help her feed a family of 6 people. So far from her garden she has harvested spinach and lettuce which takes a much shorter time to be ready for consumption. Her garden has other vegetables such as beetroot, carrots, garlic, onions and cabbages. Through attending the training she was motivated her to start a garden and what motivated her even more was the thought of saving money because if she had a garden then she won’t have to spend money buying vegetables from the markets.
“Madlenya area is faced with a serious issue of shortage of water so this is the perfect way of growing vegetables because you only water the garden twice a week and your produce is very good and healthy’’ she notes. “The water that we are encouraged to use is ‘grey water’, which is water that we have already used for other purposes in the household, like washing dishes and bathing. We are then taught how to purify this water for re-use in our gardens”, she adds.
All was not smooth as she faced some challenges in establishing her garden ”I didn't have all the necessary garden tools to start and maintain a garden but during the trainings we were encouraged to use any available tools around the house, I didn't have a fork so I used a hoe instead, I also didn't have a watering can so I used a bucket to water my garden. For preparing liquid manure, I used an old drum, which had been lying around in the yard”.
She continues to explain more of her challenges to us. When starting her garden she didn't put enough mulch when making the seedbed and this has resulted on her garden having too much weed. As she lifts one of the leaves of the spinach you notice some whitish powdery stuff which she says appeared after the heavy rains we had a few weeks ago, Mr Vusi Dlamini who is one of the LUSLM technical coordinators suspected that the spinach is infected with blight or mildew. He then encouraged her to use pesticides spray which she can actually make on her own with the aid of notes she received during the trainings. These are natural pesticides made from a variety of plants that are known to repel pests.
She also shares with us that she recently attended a food processing training which was facilitated by Mr Mavuso from LUSLIM )LUSIP-GEF) and the home economics officer, Mrs Nonhlanhla Shabalala from the Ministry of Agriculture. At this workshop, she learnt a lot about different healthy ways of cooking her produce. From the training she picked a few new recipes which her family enjoys a lot. Through the training she also learnt how to preserve the food through bottling, for use at a later time when the particular vegetable is not available.
Gamedze has great plans for the future of her garden. She hopes to extend it to a larger scale for commercialization. She says this won’t be too difficult for her since she won’t be spending too much money because she will use already available resources to start and maintain her garden. She dreams of supplying stores with her good organic produce one day. “I would encourage every member of my community to try this kind of gardening they will not regret it just like me, I now have something to keep me busy all day when my family is out some working and some at school. Most importantly I now save a lot of money and hopefully I will make some money in the future through this practice” are her parting words.
by Lynn Kota
At first impression, Thabiso Khumalo appears to be an impressionable young man who is still dependent on his parents for his livelihood. In fact, he is a resourceful 33 year old poultry farmer who has been responsible for his own livelihood since turning 18 years. His experience as a small stock farmer is relatively fresh and he attests that his engagement with the LUSIP-GEF Sustainable Land Management Project which was initiated in his community in the beginning of this year could not have come at a better time.
Khumalo has been running a small-scale, home-based poultry business for 3 years, through it managing to earn just enough money to sustain his own livelihood and meet the operational costs of the business.
Agricultural Productivity Sustains Livelihoods Better Than Formal Employment
“I started keeping and then selling poultry out of a love for farming which I developed from living with my grandfather who kept goats, pigs, indigenous chickens and cattle. My High School grades did not qualify me for entry at University. I then upgraded the subjects I did not do well in and thereafter managed to enroll for a Certificate in Public Relations at Damelin College in 2001. This certificate combined with experience gained after my first job as a Conference Assistant at a local Game Lodge enabled me to be in employment on and off for four years ending in 2010 after which I Iost my job. That is when I decided I was better off committing to working full-time as a self-employed indigenous poultry farmer, instead of chasing after jobs that took most of my time but gave me little in return.”
Khumalo explains that reaching the decision to become a full-time farmer was based on more than just his failure at formal employment.
“I committed to becoming a farmer full-time because I realized that I actually made a better income when I was self-employed than when I was employed by companies. The jobs I got essentially enabled me to keep my other interests going instead of raising my income to the level where I could solely depend on my salary,” he shares. Khumalo goes on to explain that his working experience actually began before he entered formal employment.
to purchase a few chickens from my grandfather and breed them for sale. ”
For a year Khumalo raised the conventional mixed breed of chickens most rural Swazi homesteads keep for food and used his salary to buy chicken feed to enhance quality and productivity amongst his chickens. At Christmas time when the demand was high, he sold 50 chickens that were between4-5months old making approximately E800. It was at that time that he discovered that the specialized indigenous chicken breed, Morris, are in high demand not only amongst individuals but also in restaurants, and that the selling price of these is much higher, which meant he could earn even more. At the same time, he lost his job and decided to move to his father’s place in Siphofaneni, where the LUSIP-GEF SLM Project site office is also located.
Indigenous Poultry Farming in Rural Areas and Associated Challenges
“I arrived here with a couple of the chickens I kept in Piggs Peak. Prior to my arrival, I had done an assessment to establish if this would be an appropriate environment to do my business. From this assessment I learnt that the climate was suitable with warm to hot temperatures throughout the year, and that though water is not easily accessible, there are means to ensure that there was enough to run a successful poultry business. Local residents would also provide a reliable market for selling my produce. On arrival, I soon learnt of other air-borne and two and four-legged threats, namely, eagles that swoop on unsuspecting chicks and uncovered eggs, as well as humans and squirrels who also steal the full-grown chickens!” he says laughing.
The location of Khumalo’s new home however had unique benefits for countering these challenges. “Located near my home, were the offices of the Swaziland Water and Agricultural Development Enterprise (SWADE) and the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) Siphofaneni Rural Development Area (RDA) Office which I promptly approached to get more advice on farming indigenous chickens in the locality. This is when I discovered the LUSIP-GEF project which is housed by SWADE and met the Livestock Coordinator in this Project, Mr Mlangeni who has been advising me on the business since.” he adds.
LUSIP-GEF is a pilot project promoting sustainable land management practices amongst agro pastoralists in the dry Lower Usuthu region of Swaziland as a way to combat climate change and increase food security. The project is jointly funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), International Fund For Agricultural Development (IFAD), Government of Swaziland and the communities involved (read more in insert box).
LUSIP-GEF Project Technical Assistance Helps Farmer Improve Agricultural Productivity
Undeterred by the theft and other business teething challenges, in January 2012 Khumalo forged ahead on his mission to build an indigenous poultry business and purchased 4 hens and 2 cocks of special breed which brought the total to 9 hens and 3 cocks including the chickens he had arrived with from Piggs Peak. He created an 8mx4m fenced shelter installed with grass-thatched laying pens in a shaded area in his front yard to address the challenges he had so far faced. “Mr Mlangeni in the LUSIP-GEF project advised me on where I could buy the indigenous chickens at a cost I could afford, further recommending best feeds and approaches to bolster growth including mixing the feed with sand and grass to aid digestion,” he shares.
In 3 months his chickens had grown to a brood of 27 and he was getting ready to take them to the market when disaster struck again. Disease and the winter cold hit hard on Khumalo’s stock and he lost all the chickens and chicks remaining with only three.
“The disease outbreak struck in the space of less than one week and I was really devastated at the loss. The chickens would emit a white substance from their beaks, would shake uncontrollably and eventually die with hung heads; I had never witnessed anything like it”. Not one to back down from difficulty, with the two hens, one cock and some unhatched eggs left, Khumalo called on Mlangeni and the MOA RDA office to get technical assistance on tackling the disease outbreak.
Livestock Coordinator in the LUSIP-GEF SLM project, Ntandoyenkosi Mlangeni states that after examining the chickens with the MoA Veterinary Officer, they deduced it was newcastle or joint disease both of which are well known poultry plagues.
“Having been working collaboratively with Khumalo for over four months by then, it was easy to visit his home and together with the MOA RDA office organize Terramycin to help him prevent the remaining chickens and chicks from contracting and succumbing to the illness. We also recommended that Khumalo buy multivite to boost the health of the chicks and to make sure that all the chickens got the recommended medication in order to eliminate the outbreak”.
Mlangeni explains that the LUSIP-GEF SLM Project broadly aims to promote alternative livelihoods in the target area through making community livestock production more
efficient and sustainable, hence the support to Khumalo. “Mr Khumalo is one of the first success cases in this endeavor and we hope to assist 30 more farmers by the end of the year.”
Project Establishes Strong Partnerships for Sustainability
The involvement of the Ministry of Agriculture local office in addressing Khumalo’s challenges is by no means incidental. The LUSIP-GEF SLM Project is implemented in partnership with various stakeholders from non-governmental agencies operational in the project area and several government departments under the Ministries of Agriculture, Tinkhundla and Decentralisation, Natural Resources and Energy, Economic Planning and Development, Health as well as Finance. The non-governmental partners include World Vision International, Africa Cooperative Action Trust (ACAT), International Relief Development, Women in Development and many more. The government departments involved include:
A Sustainable Future through Livestock Farming
The collaboration between the LUSIP-GEF SLM Project and the MoA RDA office eventually saw Khumalo fighting off the plague and his chickens growing to 30 again in two months. He shares that this was possible from following the extensionists’ advice, as well as keeping the remaining eggs and chicks warm inside his house throughout the rest of the winter. “I had to keep the chicks inside the house and feed each one with doses of the recommended treatment in order to curb the disease spread and ensure they survived.”
With marketing assistance from the project in May he was able to sell-off 27 chickens to a restaurant in the business hub of the country, Manzini earning E680. Khumalo used the income to extend the fencing of the shed where he breeds his chickens. “By August I hope to be having over 60 and plan to continue to extend my business. With the support I continue to get from the project and MoA I know I will make a success of this venture,” he says beaming with hope.
By Sun Yinhong
|A couple in Rongpeng village use biogas to cook in their rural home in |
Dujie town, Longan county, West Guangxi, China.
Photo: Susan Beccio/IFAD
Globally, about one in five people lack electricity to light their homes or conduct business. In rural areas in developing countries, many people use indoor wood fires for energy, which can cause chronic respiratory diseases and increase mortality rates - not to mention the time spent in collecting firewood, a burden that falls more heavily on women and children.
Biogas is a type of fuel produced from organic waste such as dead plant and animal material, or human and animal waste. This methane gas can be used for lighting and cooking and provides benefits to the environment, as it helps reduce deforestation by reducing the need for fuel wood. In addition, capturing methane from waste reduces the damaging effects of global warming (methane is 22 times more potent than carbon dioxide in driving climate change).
This is good news for rural communities who can benefit from low-cost energy sources, as they do their part not to contribute further to climate change.
In China, population pressure and growing demand for food is straining the productive capacity of the 10 percent of China’s land area that is suitable for sustained cultivation. An increasing number of livestock compete for fodder on fragile rangelands. Flood-prone areas and deteriorating irrigation systems result in waterlogging and salt contamination. Encroaching deserts threaten formerly productive land.
An IFAD-funded project in China’s Guangxi province works with rural communities to install biogas converters. “We used to cook with wood,” said Liu Chun Xian, a farmer involved in the project. “The smoke made my eyes tear and burn and I always coughed. The children, too, were often sick…. Now that we’re cooking with biogas, things are much better.”
Each household involved in the project built its own plant to channel waste from the domestic toilet and nearby shelters for animals, usually pigs, into a sealed tank. The waste ferments and is naturally converted into gas and compost.
As a result of the project, living conditions and the environment have improved. Forests are protected, reducing greenhouse gas emissions through deforestation. A large amount of straw, previously burned, is now put into biogas tanks to ferment. This further reduces air pollution from smoke and helps produce high-quality organic fertilizer. In addition, the project has resulted in better sanitary conditions in the home.
Families, especially women, save 60 work days each year by not having to collect wood and tend cooking fires. This additional time is invested in raising pigs and producing crops.
With more time to spend improving crops, farmers in Fada, a village in the project area, increased tea production from 400 to 2,500 kilograms a day over a five-year period. Average income in the village has quadrupled to just over a dollar per day at end of the project.
This is significant in a country where the poverty line was 26 cents per day. And as a result of the project, 56,600 tons of firewood can be saved in the project area every year, which is equivalent to the recovery of 7,470 hectares of forest.
Another IFAD project in China supported the construction of about 63,700 biogas units for rural households in Mianyang Prefecture, Sichuan province. This was part of the post-earthquake disaster rehabilitation efforts.
The biogas systems provide a steady source of rural energy for those affected households and reduce their spending on energy. Application of biogas slurry also helps to reduce household spending on chemical fertilizers while improving soil and reducing pesticides.
Sun Yinhong is the IFAD country program officer based in Beijing, China. IFAD is co-organising Agriculture, Landscapes and Livelihoods Day on Dec. 3, held in parallel with the climate change negotiations in Doha, Qatar.
Originally posted on AlertNet
This renewed awareness of global change has been buoyed by a steady stream of scientific reports, catastrophic events and climate activism over the past few months: Satellite imagery of the lowest arctic sea ice on record have startled even the most critical climate scientist, while a new World Bank Report examining the risks of a 4 degree hotter world by the end of the Century had a similar effect on many people in the development community. This report makes it clear that 4 degrees of warming confront us with the limits of incremental adaptation; 4 degrees is the scary realm of large-scale tipping points, positive feedbacks and ‘nasty surprises’ in the climate system. Disasters such as Hurricane Sandy in the US, which have been analysed by many against the backdrop of a warming world, would multiply in scale and severity, plunging many countries over a ‘climate fiscal cliff’.
For governments, development agencies and NGOs, the resurgence of adaptation presents a new paradigm: Pitching wide but shallow criticism at an imperfect international negotiations process is not going to make them any safer. Too many friction losses are built into the negotiation of a post-Kyoto agreement: Which time period such an agreement should cover; which type of commitments should be specified; how the burden of climate protection should be shared between developed and developing countries; and if there should be a global plan or an array of decentralized alliances. Faced with the stark realities of a warming world, many countries have started to focus on adaptation planning and financing. Rather than complaining that they are heading into a train wreck, they have started to check the location and specifications of their seat belts.
IFAD’s new Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP) is a good example of a UN agency helping countries make this transition. The programme influences a third of IFAD’s new lending, and introduces a much stronger appreciation of risk and resilience to the design and monitoring of rural development programmes. ASAP provides room for countries to scale up those tried and trusted approaches that have shown to deliver livelihood and resilience benefits to smallholder farmers: Watershed management, agroforestry, conservation agriculture, mixed crop-livestock systems, integrated coastal zone management, land restoration and disaster preparedness, to name a few. Back to back, ASAP is introducing some new ingredients which have long been overlooked: Better seasonal forecasting, access to insurance, training on risk analysis and GIS, robust infrastructure that is protected from extreme weather, and empowerment of small local institutions to engage with national policy processes.
Programmes such as ASAP are a credible and large-scale effort to translate the urgency of climate change adaptation into an ambitious institutional programme that can achieve big leaps in climate risk management. In a time in which politicians argue that the climate crisis is every bit as real as the fiscal one, this is a very credible response.
By Philippe Remy
|Fishermen work in the early evening in Segou, Mali. |
Photo: Amadou Keita/IFAD
Compounding this, a changing climate is already eroding the natural resources of poor rural people in many parts of Mali, and contributing to a situation of escalating environmental degradation, hunger and poverty.
“When we were young, 40 or more years ago, it rained a lot more than it does now, and there was grass all year around,” says Hama Barry of Youwarou village, president of the Foulbé Wuelebé herders’ association in Mali.
For the people living in the Sahel region of Mali, climate change is not a question of debate; it’s an undeniable reality and a pressing concern. For decades, the climate has been getting hotter and drier.
“There were many more trees. We have seen changes taking place around us; the rain has become less abundant and the forests and grasslands are disappearing,” Barry continues. “There were two huge droughts in 1973 and 1984. That was when the trees began to die, and the floodwaters of the delta began to recede. In recent years we’ve lost many animals in the dry season, because there isn’t enough for them to eat.”
The experience of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has shown that, similar to growing trees, adapting to a changing climate doesn’t happen overnight. It takes sustained investment so that once the roots of adaptation practices take hold in one rural community, they can continue and be shared among others and for future generations.
And the benefits can go beyond supporting communities to prepare for a harsher climate, to include enabling rural women and men to build a better life for themselves.
For example, the IFAD-supported Sahelian Areas Development Fund Programme, implemented in the Sahel region of central Mali, is helping to build the capacity of local communities to restore trees and vegetation and improve agricultural productivity. It aims to break the cycle of degradation and to ensure that there is enough to sustain a growing population, now and for the future.
The programme has contributed to the extensive planting of bourgou, a rich native grass of the delta region, which was disappearing rapidly. So far, close to 1,500 hectares have been planted with plans for more in the near future. The programme has set up and equipped small-scale village nurseries using species adapted to local conditions and resistant to drought, such as eucalyptus. It also encourages communities to develop small market gardens and grow fruits and vegetables year-round to supplement income and sustain productivity through the seasonal cycles.
To date, the programme has planted 2,835 meters of live hedges and 36 hectares of eucalyptus and other trees, and created and equipped 23 village nurseries in the Mopti region. It has supported the elaboration of numerous local resource management plans, from local fisheries to the management of bourgou plantations.
The response to the programme has been enthusiastic. Communities are eager to continue learning to restore the natural environment. They recognize the need to shift their approach.
“This kind of work is just a beginning,” says Mamadou Tiéro, the programme coordinator. “It needs to be continued and adopted throughout the region. Only a long-term impact can be considered a successful outcome.”
Philippe Remy is the Mali country programme manager for the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). IFAD is co-organising Agriculture, Landscapes and Livelihoods Day on Dec. 3, held in parallel with the climate change negotiations in Doha, Qatar.
Originally posted on AlertNet
|National Museum of Bamako|
|Musée National, Bamako|
Lors des 30 dernières années, le FIDA a financé 12 projets et programme de développement au Mali pour un total de plus de 471 million de dollars des États-Unis. De ce montant, environ 186 million sont des fonds propres et plus de 289 millions de dollars ont été mobilisés auprès de nos partenaires principaux au Mali : la Banque Ouest Africaine de Développement, (BOAD), la Banque Mondiale et le Fonds Belge pour la Sécurité Alimentaire.
Suite aux événements du 22 mars 2012, le FIDA continue à œuvrer aux côtés du Gouvernement du Mali dans sa lutte contre l’insécurité alimentaire. En effet, pour atténuer les effets de la crise, le FIDA et le Gouvernement du Mali ont conclu une stratégie pour affronter cette période transitoire. Dans ce cadre, des partenariats avec AVSF (Agronomes et Vétérinaires Sans Frontières) pour la distribution d’intrants agricoles dans le Nord et avec OMS (Organisation Mondiale pour la Santé) pour distribuer les fournitures aux dispensaires dans le Nord afin d’en assurer leurs activités quotidiennes ont été conclus. (voir article blog du 14/08/2012)
Aussi dans le cadre de cette stratégie, le FIDA commence la conception d’un programme d’insertion des jeunes dans les filière agricoles (pour un montant de 30 million de dollars) preuve concrète de l’engagement ferme du FIDA pour aider le Gouvernement du Mali à améliorer les conditions de vie des paysans.
Ce matin, le Ministre de l’Agriculture Dr Yaranga Coulibaly a officiellement ouvert les travaux de l’atelier national de restitution de l’Évaluation Externe du Programme Pays FIDA au Mali. Pour l’occasion il avait à ses côtés deux autres membres du Gouvernement, le Ministre de l’élevage et de la Pêche, M Makan Aliou Tounkara et le Ministre de l’Emploi et de la Formation Professionnelle Dr Diallo Deidia Katara, le Commissaire à a Sécurité Alimentaire, Mr Yaya Tamboura et le Président de l’Assemblée Permanente des Chambres d’Agriculture du Mali. (APCAM) Mr Bakary Togola. Pour FIDA, le Directeur intérimaire du Bureau Externe de l’évaluation M Ashwani Muthoo et M Ides de Willebois, Directeur de la Division Afrique de l’ouest et du Centre du FIDA ont ausssi participé à l’atelier.
Le Directeur de la Division Afrique de l’Ouest et du Centre du FIDA a salué la collaboration profonde et durable avec le Mali ainsi que l’engagement du Gouvernement, même dans sa participation active à cet atelier. Il s’est dit fier de la qualité de ce partenariat tissé au fil des 30 dernières années. Dans ce de cadre il a rappelé que le FIDA a financé 12 projets et programmes au Mali pour plus de 475 million de dollars ou environ 240 milliards de francs CFA. Le portefeuille du FIDA au Mali répond à une certaine pertinence vis-à-vis les priorités du gouvernement et s’est montré flexible dans ses interventions. Il a promis que le FIDA continuera relever les défis de la pauvreté rurale avec le Gouvernement du Mali.
This morning the Minister of Agriculture Dr Yaranga Coulibaly officially opened the National Roundtable workshop for the Mali Country Programme Evaluation undertaken by IFAD’s Independent Evaluation Office. To mark this special occasion, two members of Government, the Minister of Livestock and Fisheries Mr Makan Aliou Tounkara and the Minister of Employment and Vocational Training Dr Diallo Deidia Katara, the Commissioner for Food Security, Mr Yaya Tamboura and the President of the Assemblée Permanente des Chambres d’Agriculture du Mali. (APCAM) Mr Bakary Togola, the Interim director of the Independant Evaluation Office Mr Ashwani Muthoo and the Director of the West and Central Africa Division of IFAD, Mr Ides de Willebois all participated in the workshop.
By Katie Taft
Development workshops are, generally speaking, filled with practitioners, policy makers, donors and academics mulling over a problem and – among break-out sessions and working groups – coming to a consensus on how best to approach it. These tend to be technical discussions on technical problems and, as such, they can become lifeless, without the passion and emotion that prompts the workshop in the first place.
|A workshop session in Kathmandu. ©IFAD|
The joint programme is a five-year initiative of UN Women, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Food Programme. It will be implemented initially in Ethiopia, Guatemala, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Nepal, Niger and Rwanda. Consultative workshops at the country level are being organized to shape the programme goals and activities, based on national priorities, including in Nepal.
Although there have been significant improvements in Nepal’s poverty level in recent years, it is still considered a food-insecure country. Women make up 65 per cent of the labour force. And while they work more hours and produce more than their male counterparts, many rural women are hampered by less access to credit, land and services. Often, their opinions are not sought out. But at the workshop, they demanded to be heard – and given the reaction of the audience, who applauded and sometimes “whooped” in support, they were.
Below are excerpts of the rural women’s speeches. They not only set the tone of the workshop, they set the tone for the entire joint programme.
Raj Kumari Chaudary, Kailali district: “Empowerment can help us”
“I am bringing my problems here – to represent all small women farmers’ problems. We rural women have to work very hard, and although we put in so much work, we are not recognized. Women in the villages are oppressed. We cannot overcome these challenges alone. We can’t even get a decent meal. We work hard but cannot produce enough food for our families.
|Raj Kumari Chaudary says women must be heard. ©IFAD|
Nanu Ghatani, Kavre district: “I am not afraid”
“I lead women farmers in my district. There have been positive changes that have taken place. For example, our credit group with 600 members is able to distribute low-interest loans for farming-related equipment. If we are to complete seven steps on the ladder – we have three steps left. We have access to food, but we don’t have control. We only eat whatever remains after feeding our families. Women farmers do not get any honour. They say: you have land and you have food, but we have no control inside the house.
“Agricultural programmes do not need to just focus on rural women’s production. We need to be entrepreneurs, and be our own businesses. If we can become business leaders, we can have more income in our hands. It’s not that we don’t give it to the men, we just want it to be equal. Women know about their children that they give birth to, but not about the plants that they grow. We must get more information about the nutritional information of the products we can grow. Women’s groups help build trust and support. I am not afraid like I was before. I am not alone.”
Radha Kunwar, Kaski district: “Among us there is trust”
“I am the chairwoman of the cooperative. It took us a lot of trouble to form the cooperative. They accused us of trying to spoil rural women – they didn’t trust us with the money. Now there are more than 1,000 women in the cooperative. Among us there is trust and respect. All of the women pay back their loans on time and help move us forward. They put it towards sustainable things like goat breeding. One goat costs 5,000 rupees [about US$50]. Perhaps we can give loans without interest for a year or two, so that they can build a business and they can make more income. They need to prepare for the next cropping season. When they distribute the budget for supporting rural women in the villages – women must be given a certain amount.
|Radha Kunwar calls for women's inclusion. ©IFAD|
Update: News stories
Here are some links to news stories about the Nepal workshop on the economic empowerment of rural women. The stories include reporting on the UN joint programme, the need for women to gain greater access to agricultural technology and skills, and the imperative for them to be more involved in local development decisions.
United Nations in Nepal NewsInsight, Oct.-Nov. 2012 [PDF, see pg. 5]
Kathmandu Post National Daily, 30/11/2012
Kantipur National Daily, 30/11/2012
Karobar National Daily, 2/12/2012