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Articles on this Page
- 02/26/16--00:35: _Going organic in th...
- 03/01/16--01:53: _How to improve fami...
- 03/01/16--09:11: _Measuring impact fr...
- 03/03/16--01:05: _How do you share in...
- 03/03/16--04:47: _Global staff meetin...
- 03/03/16--08:56: _Innovative value ch...
- 03/08/16--07:00: _A new project co-fi...
- 03/08/16--08:50: _Eight rural women w...
- 03/09/16--05:26: _Conservation Agricu...
- 03/14/16--09:10: _Agriculture and rur...
- 03/18/16--10:22: _In the pursuit of h...
- 03/22/16--02:40: _What is Climate Fin...
- 03/22/16--10:32: _The power of water
- 03/24/16--01:43: _IFAD Climate Games
- 03/28/16--17:10: _ASEAN and Farmers O...
- 03/29/16--02:44: _A useful nexus appr...
- 03/29/16--03:01: _Rural youth: who ar...
- 03/29/16--04:57: _Unpacking global la...
- 03/29/16--05:49: _IFAD Directors in R...
- 03/30/16--01:34: _Two IFAD-supported ...
- 02/26/16--00:35: Going organic in the Cook Islands
- 03/01/16--01:53: How to improve family poultry production?
- 03/03/16--01:05: How do you share innovative solutions?
- 03/08/16--08:50: Eight rural women who inspire us
- 03/09/16--05:26: Conservation Agriculture: Facts and Fiction
- 03/14/16--09:10: Agriculture and rural development reconsidered
- 03/18/16--10:22: In the pursuit of happiness
- 03/22/16--10:32: The power of water
- 03/24/16--01:43: IFAD Climate Games
- 03/28/16--17:10: ASEAN and Farmers Organisations of MTCP2, first exchanges !
- The Water- Energy-Food Nexus: a new approach in support of food security and sustainable agriculture, FAO June 2014
- BMZ The Water, Energy and Food Security Resources Platform
- Nexus Dialogue Synthesis Series
- Sustainable Energy and Policy Practice
- Renewable energy in the water, energy & food nexus, IRENA, January 2015
- IEA Energy Atlas
- IEA World Energy Statistics 2015 Revised Edition
- IEA Policies & Measures Databases
- IEA resources for a water-energy nexus approach
- Farm Zero
- Towards a Regional Collaborative Strategy on Sustainable Agricultural Water Management and Food Security in the Near East and North Africa, 2nd edition, FAO 2015
- Nexus 2014: Water, Food, Climate and Energy Conference
- Advances in Soil and Soilless Cultivation under Protected Environment
- Debating the Water-Energy-Food Nexus in Asia: Regional Policy and Local Praxis
- USA Water Energy Nexus Report, June 2014
- Navigant research blog, Silicon Valley Tackles the Energy-Water Nexus, June 2014
- The Energy-Water Nexus, Interlinked Resources That Are Vital For Economic Growth and Sustainability. Energy 20/20 white paper presented by U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski to US Congress 113th meeting May 2014
- The Water-Food-Energy Nexus in the Mekong Region. Assessing Development Strategies Considering Cross-Sectoral and Transboundary Impacts, 2013
- 03/29/16--04:57: Unpacking global land trends
- 03/29/16--05:49: IFAD Directors in Rwanda to visit IFAD achievements
|Stephen (left) and Nat (right) talk about the plot of land to be used for growing the organic papaya.|
|Papaya trees will be |
planted on Nat's land.
|Stephen (left) and Nat |
(right) complete the
For more information on the work carried out in the Pacific region on organic certification watch:
The Agricultural Value Chains Development Project (PAFA) in Senegal promotes the use of local products for improved poultry housing and feeding. The farmers use local materials to build small shelters. The hen houses have a separate space to protect chicks from predators. Once the shelter has been built, the project provides the households with local chicken breeds (nine hens and two roosters), which are more adapted to local conditions and free-ranging. The chickens are vaccinated and each family receives a medical kit. The farmers are trained in making the chicken feed themselves, using local ingredients, such as maize, groundnuts, cowpeas, dried fish and crushed bones. The feed ingredients and the food supplements respond to the chickens' nutrition needs, ensuring the producer's self-sufficiency at the same time. The project trained a number of farmers to become “family farm advisors”. The majority are women and about one third are younger than 35 years old. They inform farmers on good practices in family poultry production, especially with regards to housing, feeding and animal health. The farmers are organised in groups and sell chickens collectively. With the project's support, a Service Platform has been established in Thiawandou. Here trainings are given, but it also has the facilities to slaughter, clean and sell poultry meat and eggs.
Value Chains Development Programme for Poverty Reduction (ProLPRAF) in Mauritania and the Livestock and Horticulture Development Project (LHDP) in The Gambia are promoting semi-intensive poultry production systems. They support the rearing of “improved” poultry breeds and the utilisation of improved feed. While in Mauritania, the hen houses are designed in a special manner to cope with very high temperatures, in The Gambia the poultry houses consist of costly breezeblock with concrete skim design. LHDP has however also successfully piloted integrated poultry-aquaculture in a number of sites.
By applying good practices in family poultry production, rural households in the three countries now have access to meat and eggs and sell the surplus. Family poultry development is also having a positive impact on women’s empowerment, by providing them access to training, inputs, technical assistance and markets in a sustainable manner.
|Hen house supported by PAFA in Senegal|
|Hen house supported by ProLPRAF in Mauritania|
|Hen house supported by LHDP in The Gambia|
MPAT provides data that can inform all levels of decision making by providing a clearer understanding of rural poverty at the household and village level. As a result, MPAT can significantly strengthen the planning, design, monitoring and evaluation of a project, and thereby contribute to rural poverty reduction.
MPAT is the result of a collaborative, international initiative begun in 2008 and led by the IFAD. The purpose was to develop, test and pilot a new tool for local-level rural poverty assessment. The tool went through extensive field testing in several countries and independent validation and peer-review. MPAT is relatively easy to use, requires few resources to implement, and provides users with a reliable and comprehensive picture of a community’s poverty situation.
During IFAD’s Learning Days, a session was organised on the use of MPAT in Mali. This is the first Francophone country where the tool has been tested. Given that the project supports the adaptation of poor smallholder farmers to climate change, an 11th indicator was developed to capture this dimension.
Group discussions were held on the use of the tool. The strengths and benefits of MPAT for users and projects are manifold:
-Developed by an international group of rural development experts
-Field-tested data collection tool with purpose-built surveys
-Independently assessed and validated
-Much of the work is already done for the user (an “off-the-shelf” tool)
-Field-tested training programmes for enumerators, supervisors and data entry personnel
-Uses locally collected data based on people’s perceptions
-Standardized methodology, but also customizable
-Indicators are automatically calculated and displayed in an easy-to-understand format
-Designed for organizations of all sizes and budgets
There are however also some limitations:
-Attribution is not waterproof
-Respondents are mainly men
-Undertaking the surveys and doing the report requires significant time and human resources
MPAT is complementary to IFAD’s Results and Impact Management System (RIMS). In Mali they have merged the two for the baseline study of the Rural Youth Vocational Training, Employment and Entrepreneurship Support Project with interesting results. MPAT will be tested in a number of countries in the near future: Mauritania, Kenya, Malawi, Lesotho and Swaziland.
It is in this context that the concept of learning from the know-how of others inspired PROCASUR to design "learning routes" and other knowledge management and capacity-building approaches and tools, with the objective of valuing local knowledge and facilitating the development of platforms in which experiences and innovations can be exchanged. This methodology has proved effective in providing peer-to-peer training and technical assistance, and in addressing the needs of vulnerable groups.
During IFAD’s Learning Days, a session was held on tools and approaches for sharing innovative solutions. Each regional division shared their experiences with a wide variety of innovations and knowledge management approaches. These included the following testimonies from IFAD country teams and technical experts:
Asia and the Pacific
-Project-to-project learning as a key for better portfolio performance by Nicolas Syed (CPO Bangladesh), Soulivanh Pattivong (CPO Laos), Aryal Bashu (CPO Nepal) and Tung Nguyen Thanh (CPO Vietnam)
-Innovation of extension services through the contraction of outstanding farmers/local champions as service providers in Cambodia by Sakphouseth Meng (CPO Cambodia)
-Good tested tools for knowledge management and policy engagement in the Philippines by Yolando Arban (CPO Philippines)
Latin America and the Caribbean
-Public Policy Dialogue for local champion inclusion as services providers for technical assistance and innovation systems: experiences from Peru by Laure Martin (Programme Analyst LAC, Andean Region)
-Learning Territories as associative tool for local knowledge management and technical assistance markets by local champions: experiences from Colombia by Laure Martin (Programme Analyst LAC, Andean Region)
-Supporting economic and social inclusion of rural youth in IFAD operations: the experience from El Salvador by Glayson Ferrari Dos Santos (CPM El Salvador)
-Local Knowledge Management in IFAD projects in Semi-arid Areas: experiences from Brazil by Leonardo Bichara Rocha (CPO Brazil)
East and Southern Africa
-Effective partnerships and activities to Secure Land Rights by Harold Liversage (Lead Technical Specialist – Land Tenure, PTA) and Sabine Pallas (Programme Officer, ILC)
-Building KM skills of IFAD supported projects in Uganda by Ann Turinayo (former Uganda Knowledge Management Officer)
Near East, North, West and Central Africa
-The South-South Cooperation and Scaling Up of innovations from ESA countries to Sudan by Ahmed Subahi (CPO Sudan) and Mia Madsen (ICO Sudan)
-Building the capacities of Farmers Organizations through the Learning Route methodology by Roberto Longo (Senior Technical Specialist - Farmers’ Organisations, PTA)
-The demand for Knowledge Sharing and documentation of good practices in WCA by Lucia Di Troia (ICO Senegal) and Steven Jonckheere (KM Officer, WCA)
-Strengthening the capacities of governments and civil society to scale up nutrition. The Scaling Up Nutrition Movement in Senegal by Giulia Pedone (Programme Officer, PROCASUR)
At the end of the session, participants were informed on future opportunities. The new grant project of IFAD and PROCASUR was officially launched. The new initiative will last three years and involve three regional divisions (LAC, ESA and WCA) and PTA. A strong emphasis will be put on sharing experiences between the different regions. This session was just the beginning of what promises to be a very interesting new journey.
Written by Mirna Franic
|The Global Staff Meeting (GSM) provided IFAD staff with a unique opportunity to come together, share views on IFAD's priorities, celebrate achievements, forge relationships, learn from each other and have fun.|
It was only two short years ago that we were ushered into the Governing Council (GC) tent for the inaugural GSM, not knowing what to expect, only to be met with a burst of colour, music, hidden talent, energy and much, much more. Against this backdrop, GSM 2016 was hotly anticipated and the reverberations from IFAD’s headquarters gave credence that, at least on Bollywood night, these anticipations were met.
The inspiriting mood was set from the start as Coldplay’s alluring Adventure of a Lifetime song played and our delightful MCs, Kelly Feenan and Mwatima Juma, began the show. This year, the MCs represented the internationality of IFAD and its country offices, dubbed the legs, arms, eyes and ears of our institution.
|MCs urging us to Innovate, Focus, Act and Dare, this year’s motto for the GSM.|
Indeed, this GSM celebrated IFAD’s shift to becoming an institution where country offices are on equal footing as the headquarters. IFAD’s President, Kanayo F. Nwanze, then, took to the stage to remind us of our positive results: this year’s GC was a great success, attested by the positive feedback from the governments; the number of staff attending the GSM increased by 8.4 per cent; the IFAD country offices (ICOs) are now 40 and by 2018 IFAD expects to have another 10; and the percentage of Professional category positions held by women is now at 49 per cent (the aim being 51 per cent). With these encouraging remarks, the President proclaimed the GSM officially open.
|Group discussion underway. IFAD/Giulio Napolitano|
Patel is an award-winning writer, activist and academic with degrees from the University of Oxford, the London School of Economics and Cornell University. His first book was Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System and his latest, The Value of Nothing, is a New York Times best-seller.
The room was claimed by intrigue as the insightful lecturer, armed with a gratifying sense of humour, dared us to imagine another, more sustainable food system to be achieved only by tackling deep causes and very old patterns.
|“We must celebrate the intelligence and dignity of everyone in the rural community and let them make informed choices,” said Raj Patel, award winning writer, activist and academic.|
The highlight of the morning, however, was most definitely the short comedy sketch in which an exhausted Senior Budget Specialist, Edward Gallagher, falls asleep during one of his countless meetings and wakes up lying on the reception floor of a slightly different IFAD.
Much of the morning was also dedicated to small group brainstorming and discussion on IFAD’s progress and what we think still remains to be worked on. The GSM offers this unique opportunity for us to put our heads together with colleagues from all over IFAD, including those from country offices, who otherwise we would never encounter. The result is not just an opportunity of meeting new people with a shared vision but an invaluable comprehensive mix of perspective and different ideas.
|The best gift ever: the Career Development Framework!|
The Administrative Services Division tour was a great success. We use the IFAD facilities every day, but as we scurry around the building we pay little mind to all that needs to happen for us to feel comfortable, fed, healthy and simply be able to do our jobs. Here was a rare opportunity to truly visit the building from the underground chambers to, literally, the rooftop.
Among other things, the tour included the archives (storing not only the history of IFAD but President’s and other personnel files), the Print Shop (operating heavy machinery capable of so much more than simple printing while keeping in mind the environment), the thrilling Security Operation Centre (watchtower of IFAD) and, finally, the rooftop equipped with energy costs-saving solar panels.
|The Administrative Services Division tour was a great success!|
Each team was then required to answer questions on how they decided what to build, why they decided to build that structure and who did what.
The experiences building the structures were analogized (using a great deal of imagination) to the IFAD context as BOD then built its own cardboard structure while explaining their role, the importance of proper planning and the tools they use in their endeavours.
Another really awesome, fun, educational and just amazing session was the Communications Division’s (COM) Amazing Race (as a COM staff member, I admit to perhaps being just slightly partial).
|Participants from the Amazing Race: Communications Edition pose with IFAD's President.|
Whoever found our mystery man and solved his bonus riddle of wisdom, instead, was allowed to skip two of these challenges. The game was not only educational, but also a bucket of laughs as teams raced against the clock, sang IFAD’s key messages to a familiar tune, recorded short interviews and gathered as many likes on a social media post as possible. The idea being to promote best practices when communicating so that all IFAD staff can serve as ambassadors of IFAD’s work around the world effectively.
The afternoon of the first day was when things then really got animated.
Sticking to the theme of internationality, we tasted foods from all over the world. Yet, it was not only the sense of taste that was indulged as our eyes and ears couldn’t help but feel drawn to the mesmerizing lights and live, traditionally-clad Bollywood dancers on stage.
The music was irresistible and everyone flocked to the stage incapable of keeping their hips from rhythmically bumping. Surprisingly, however, this was not the most colourful performance at the party.
The Dressing the World fashion show modeled by our very own colleagues took over and probably eclipsed all of the events of the party. Gorgeous clothes worn by IFAD staff undoubtedly stole our attention that evening.
|Traditional clothing from around the world was on full display.|
As with all good things, this one too was about to come to an end, and on the afternoon of the second day, everyone was summoned back to the tent where our MCs hosted the closing session of this year’s GSM.
First item was a precious video of colleagues’ children answering to what their parents do for a living and what can be done to help farmers grow more food. Not unexpectedly, the endearing “awwws” were bountiful as the children on the screen – or, some of them - admired their parents for trying to make the world a better place.
Back to more serious business, the GSM coordinators reported on the results of our interactive group discussions held on the first morning. IFAD has made several significant strides in terms of advocacy, international presence, decentralization, resources and connectivity with our ICOs. In the context of the financial crisis and unprecedented migration, IFAD continues its work and does so triumphantly.
But even so, there is room for improvement. The coordinators specified the areas in which IFAD has shown progress but also went on to discuss areas that still require work. For the most part, we seem to be heading in the right direction and just need to continuously dig even deeper.
|GSM performance evaluation by voting. The green (positive votes) were overpowering.|
It was then time for the Vice-President to give closing remarks, with which he passionately thanked staff for the positive and constructive spirit and lively participation. A successful GSM is no amateur’s cocktail but the result of long hours put in by dedicated volunteers.
Accordingly, the Vice-President took the time to call the names of each and every volunteer who worked behind the scenes to make this GSM possible. The audience erupted in applause and performed one last handclap emulation of “African rain”.
And just before the curtain drop, another video was shown summing up these last two days and slowly ending to the, by now very familiar, melody of Coldplay’s Adventure of a Lifetime (which has been replaying in my head ever since).
Until next time.
Want to catch more IFAD GSM highlights? Follow #ifadgsm.
|IFAD | D. Paqui|
The District Value Chain Committee
|IFAD | D. Paqui|
The cashless credit system
|IFAD | D. Paqui|
|IFAD | D. Paqui|
The Ghana Agriculture Sector Investment Programme
A new programme, the Ghana Agriculture Sector Investment Programme, is currently building on the experience of NRGP with district value chain committees and the cashless credit system and bringing them to scale at national level.
In honour of International Women's Day 2016, IFAD is celebrating eight rural women who are transforming their own lives and those of their families and communities.
The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality. It comes at a critical point in history, as the world begins a concerted drive to achieve 17 new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
At IFAD, we know that achieving a world without poverty and hunger requires investing in rural women and girls, as they are key agents in achieving the transformational economic, environmental and social changes required for sustainable development.
In honour of IWD 2016 and our vision for a better world, we are celebrating eight rural women who are building a better world and inspiring their communities in the process.
1. Juana Huarachi, a llama farmer revitalizing the llama industry in Bolivia.
Juana Huarachi is a llama herder and agronomist who lives in western Bolivia.
In her home town of Curahara de Carangas, Huarachi sells llama meat and sausages, and handicrafts such as hats and scarfs made from llama wool.
Why #SheIsInspiration: For years, Huarachi had tried to change the public perception of llama meat, which was seen as "food for the poor".
She and her sister started selling llama meat to hotels and restaurants in the city, but were unable to continue because the meat processing techniques used by their slaughter house partner was not up to standard.
Huarachi was determined to make the people of Curahuara de Carangas aware of the value of llama meat and of the importance of good production processes and slaughter techniques.
She and her sister set up the La Llamita cooperative with eight other women to bring about this change. The cooperative was supported by an IFAD-funded project, which helped ensure that the quality of their meat was up to market standards, and enabled members to share knowledge and build capacity.
Now Huarachi and her cooperative don’t just produce meat but use the wool fibre to create hats, mattresses, and other products.
Huarachi's perseverance and ability to think outside of the box makes her worthy of praise. Her work to change the narrative of llama meat helped improve food security where she lived, and helped her improve her own life as well by increasing her income.
2. Annonciata Nsekugabanye, a small farmer from Rwanda who jumpstarted her small farming business with one cow.
Annonciata Nsekugabanye is a small farmer in Rwanda. She participated in the IFAD-funded Kirehe Community-based Watershed Management Project (KWAMP), which provided her family with a cow and taught them good farming practices.
Why #SheIsInspiration: When Nsekugabanye was a seasonal labourer, her family was extremely poor. She could not afford to buy food, clothes and other essentials for her four children.
Nsekugabanye and her husband heard about the programme, and decided to take the risk. Nsekugabanye was able to significantly improve her family's diet with the introduction of nutritious milk.
Her cow also provided organic manure, the perfect fertilizer for a garden in which she could now grow a variety of vegetables. Nsekugabanye sold the milk and vegetables that she produced at the market, significantly increasing her family's income.
The family was able to expand their production further thanks to their new knowledge of how to run a business. This earned Nsekugabanye praise and respect from her village and enough money to buy clothes, schooling and healthcare for her children.
"I am proud of what I've achieved. I'm proud of my children's accomplishments," says Nsekugabanye."I'm also proud of the social status that I managed to build for my family and myself."
Nsekugabanye was able to increase her income by nearly US$3,000 per year with just one cow.
Her inventiveness and hard work created a new life for her family, and shows how people in poverty can help themselves if they are given the tools to do so.
3. Fatima Ait Lhoussine, a sheep farmer from Morocco, who is gaining autonomy and financial independence in her marriage because she is earning an income as a small farmer.
Fatima Ait Lhoussine is a sheep farmer in Morocco's Atlas Mountains. With a micro loan from the IFAD-supported Rural Development Project, Ait Lhoussine bought two sheep to contribute to her family's income.
Why #SheIsInspiration: Before she became a farmer, Ait Lhoussine did not have much independence. She could not manage her money or go out on her own, and she spent her days doing chores or helping her husband in the field.
With the loan she received, Ait Lhoussine was able to take control of her life. The cooperative she formed with other local women allowed them to work together and pool their resources.
Over eight years, their sheep population grew tenfold.
With their money, the women decided to expand into further business ventures such as beekeeping and growing olives for oil. Ait Lhoussine now has the money to buy school bags and medicine for her children, but is also more independent and confident.
"We women don’t have to ask or beg our husbands for money to be able to buy what we need and want," Fatima said. "Now we are autonomous.”
Fatima and her community show us how important it is to work toward gender equality. Their ability to transform their lives and earn their own income demonstrates the positive effects of empowering women on the individual and community.
4. Wafaa Abu Shanab, a fruit farmer from Egypt who is helping to transform her arid desert town into a thriving rural community.
Wafaa Abu Shanab is a fruit farmer from Egypt. She and her family learned how to make the desert land of West Noubari bountiful and profitable with the help of an IFAD-supported project.
Why #SheIsInspiration: Abu Shanab and her family took a huge risk in moving out of the city, where they struggled to provide for four children.
Once they arrived in their new home, they encountered obstacles such as unfertile land and had difficulties obtaining drinking water.
"I began wondering if I could continue and achieve success, or if I should go back to the city?" Abu Shanab said.
After some assistance from the IFAD-funded project, she and her neighbours were able to transform not only their land, but their community too. They established clinics, schools and nurseries to improve their quality of life. Abu Shanab also became more involved by becoming the Gender Officer at the Noubaria Farmers Union.
"I hope my children reach a high level in their education and have a vital role in their community," Abu Shanab said. "Also, I hope that they continue to keep and maintain this land."
Abu Shanab's decision to seek a better life for her family, and her success in building a thriving farm in the desert with limited resources, is representative of the perseverance and determination of women farmers.
5.Tohtehah Aziz, a baker from rural China, who is saving for her children to go to college with the income she is making selling naan bread.
Tohtehah Aziz lives in the small town of Yanchi, situated in a mountainous region of China. She makes naan bread, a staple in the local diet, and sells it from her home.
Why #SheIsInspiration: Aziz is a member of the Yanchi Naan Women's Association. This group, formed by an IFAD-funded project, gives Uygur women training and micro loans so they can earn their own income and start businesses baking naan bread.
When Aziz first saw some of her neighbours participating in the initiative, she wanted to be a part of it. Thanks to her training, Aziz has raised her income by 4000 yuan (US$645) per month. This training has enabled the women to buy essentials such as nutritious food and healthcare, but also has given them less tangible benefits such as confidence, self-respect and status.
Aziz is not done just yet. "I hope to start my own women's group someday," she says. "I am using the extra income to set aside money to send my two children to college."
Aziz's investment in her family and in her neighbours shows her commitment to building a better future for her community. She wants to not only change her life and the life of her family, but the lives of other women who are not empowered.
6. Ana Sofía Amaya, a hardworking mother and vegetable farmer who is building a new life for her children in El Salvador.
Ana Sofía Amaya is a farmer who helped start a cooperative in south-east El Salvador. With the help of an IFAD-supported project, Amaya and her husband were taught how to develop a viable business and marketing plan and given credit to start their own farm.
Why #SheIsInspiration: Amaya and her husband used to work long hours as labourers on other farms. Even after all this work, they were still not making enough money to send their two children to school.
So, they decided to grow their own vegetables and sell them to make ends meet. This led to the creation of a cooperative of local farmers, which was supported by the IFAD-funded Rural Development and Modernization Project for the Eastern (PRODEMORO).
PRODEMORO gave Amaya and others the training to negotiate and to secure better land rights, and it helped them gain access to the market.
Since they joined the cooperative, Amaya and her husband have more than doubled their monthly income, and the cooperative has also grown. It now has a warehouse, a plant nursery and two greenhouses.
“The Ana Sofía of four years ago is long gone. I am a new person now. I know who I am, what I want and fight for it,” says Amaya.
Amaya's cooperative shows the power of working together. By pooling their efforts and their produce, they were able to negotiate better prices and work together so everyone could improve their economic situation.
7. Alima Artur, a young woman from Mozambique who is HIV positive and teaching other families in her community how to fight the disease and stay strong through proper nutrition.
Alima Artur is a young woman from Mozambique who is motivated to make a difference in her own life and in the lives of other people in her community. Artur is a member of a volunteer group that teaches people about HIV/AIDS through song.
Why #SheIsInspiration: When Artur tested positive for HIV, she became extremely depressed. "My life was only about crying and thinking I am going to die," Artur said. With assistance from the Coastal HIV/AIDS Prevention and Nutrition Improvement Project, she learned how to treat her symptoms and was given the support she needed to remain hopeful.
The IFAD-supported Coastal HIV/Aids Prevention and Nutrition Improvement Project (CHAPANI) disseminates information on HIV prevention, and how living a healthy lifestyle can enrich and lengthen one's life.
After learning how a diet with vegetables could help keep her haemoglobin levels steady, Artur became healthier and happier. She also formed a network of family members who help her stay on track and optimistic.
She used her new knowledge to help her community, sharing information through song about HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment. Artur and more than 6,000 other families in the area are keeping themselves strong and healthy by cultivating gardens, which also is combatting malnutrition in the area.
"Someone could look at me and never imagine that I have this kind of problem," Artur said. "I am really fine."
8. Anastasia Gilca, an ambitious nineteen-year-old from the Republic of Moldova who is already making a name for herself in the blackberry industry.
Anastasia Gilca is a farmer who owns a profitable blackberry plantation in the Republic of Moldova.
Why #SheIsInspiration: Gilca is nineteen years old, and started her three-hectare plantation more than two years ago after taking out a loan. She signed up for the Rural Financial Services and Agribusiness Development Project, an initiative supported by IFAD, which teaches business development, financial management and accounting.
Gilca has become so successful that she not only owns her own tractor, cultivator and cutter, but employs six people. She now wants to expand her farm by planting six more hectares of blackberries, and increase her presence in the marketplace by designing a brand name, logo, and packaging.
"Anyone who wants to set up a business on their own must be determined," Gilca said. "You must be hard-working, and you cannot allow potential risks or negative responses from people to demoralize you."
Debates over the future of smallholders remain central across the developing world, writes Steve Wiggins
|Finding policies for farmers marginalised either by their lack of land, water and other assets or by their remote locations, remains a pressing need writes Steve Wiggins in his newest paper.©IFAD/Guy Stubbs|
In 2001, Development Policy Review published a special edition edited by Caroline Ashley and Simon Maxwell, that reviewed the state of agricultural and rural development at the turn of the new century.
The synthesis of the papers, Ashley & Maxwell 2001, was much cited in the ensuing years. It argued, above all, that rural areas were increasingly less agricultural and economically more diverse. Some interpreted it to mean that agriculture could be more or less ignored.
Times have changed since 2001. So this essay looks at what has changed in the intervening decade-and-a-half and what the policy implication may be. The primary focus is Africa, based on a collection of dozen papers commissioned to review experience in that continent; but has been widened and complemented by reviews of Asia and Latin America — thanks to IFAD’s support.
The result is this paper, "Agricultural and rural development reconsidered: A guide to issues and debates." It’s a think piece, both selective and wide-ranging, covering many issues. Rather than try and condense 40 pages into four paragraphs, here are points, some surprising, that stand out.
1. Surprise: since 2000 in Africa broader appreciations of rural development, prevalent at the turn of the century, have been largely supplanted by a narrower focus on agricultural development.
Moreover, the spotlight falls on higher productivity, by closing yield gaps, and by promoting more commercial farming. Former interests in livelihoods, poverty and equity, have taken a back seat.
2. Views over the future of Africa’s smallholders diverge.
Some argue that the continent needs to foster larger-scale farming since that will raise output, productivity most effectively and efficiently, thanks in large part to large farm access to capital and know-how. Others, including most development partners, argue that smallholders can invest, innovate and produce efficiently — if given the opportunity. But to realise this promise, failings in rural markets for inputs and finance must be overcome. That may be through direct state action; although collective and private institutional innovations may be cheaper and more sustainable.
Finding ways to overcome rural market failures will determine, as much as any other single factor, the future of rural Africa. Will agriculture be dominated by large farms with the majority of the population subsisting on micro-holdings — as so often seen in Latin America?
Or will the land be operated in productive, intensive small family farms — as applies in much of Asia?
3. Those who focus on low-income countries in Africa risk getting a limited view of rural change across the developing world.
Asia and Latin America present very different perspectives. Much of Southeast and East Asia now has falling rural populations, a fact that contributes to rising rural wages. Despite the transformation of economies in both Asia and Latin America from agrarian to urban, the peasantry is remarkably persistent — and especially surprisingly so in the fast-growing economies of Southeast Asia: farm households are simply not leaving the land to the extent that might be expected given urbanisation.
4. The success of conditional cash transfers in Latin America has been a welcome development in a region where poverty and inequality have for so long seemed intractable problems.
They account in no small degree for the surprising, but very welcome falls in income inequality seen since the 1990s.
To conclude, three issues stand out:
One, debates over the future of smallholders remain central across the developing world, although with differing emphases. In Africa, the critical point is to relieve the failings of markets for inputs and financial services. Across all regions, differences between smallholders are considerable, if not always fully recognised. Finding policies for farmers marginalised either by their lack of land, water and other assets or by their remote locations, remains a pressing need.
Two, rural areas are becoming more economically more diverse, while ever more linked to urban economies. Can, and should, governments shape these changes, beyond making sure they supply rural public goods and addressing the failures of rural financial services?
Just because circumstances are diverse and processes are multiple and complicated, does not — whatever most consultant reports may argue — mean that policy has to be equally diverse and complicated.
Even if some challenges of agricultural and rural development are complicated and complex, much has been achieved by relatively straightforward and standardised measures such as roads, power, education, primary health care, water and cash transfers.
Such ‘blunt instruments’ can do much good, including in making progress on more complex matters such as gender equity. We need these straightforward investments and programmes, just as much as we need adaptive learning about complex problems (‘Problem-Driven Iterative Adaptation’).
Three, what of the political economy of agricultural and rural development? In the past, analyses have been gloomy: policy has been biased against farmers and rural areas thanks to the naked self-interest of more powerful urban groups (Bates, Lipton).
Today, however, new ideas prevail, based on interpretations of the experience of development states of Southeast and East Asia. These stress the importance of building a development consensus among elites, fueled by ideas, rather than self-interest.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Steve Wiggins is the Research Fellow, Agricultural Development and Policy, at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI). Wiggins has been studying and working on agricultural and rural development in Africa and Latin America since 1972.
ABOUT THE PUBLICATION
"Agricultural and rural development reconsidered: A guide to issues and debates" is the first paper from a new IFAD research series that aims to spark debate around critical global issues that affect smallholder agriculture and rural development. Learn more here.
By Sally Martinelli
Rome, 18 March– A profound shift in attitudes is underway across the world. People are recognizing that 'progress' is about increasing happiness and well-being, and not only economic growth.
March 20 marks International Day of Happiness and all 193 United Nations member states have adopted a resolution calling for happiness to be given greater priority.
At the first high level meeting on happiness and well-being in 2012 Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that “social, economic and environmental well-being are indivisible. Together they define gross global happiness.”
The happiness movement is growing. Every year, celebrations cut across countries and cultures: meditation in Bhutan, happy flash mobs in London and laughter yoga in Hong Kong.
To join in on the fun, IFAD has compiled a list of #happyfacts and stories guaranteed to brighten up your day.
#Happyfact: Cows have best friends
Cows have best friends and become stressed if they are separated, according to a scientist in the United Kingdom.
The research shows cows are very social animals which often form close bonds with friends in their herd.
Cows are partners — even best friends – in many IFAD-supported projects.
In Burundi, an IFAD-supported project is providing farmers with cows and livestock training to help combat poverty.
The programme gives farmers livestock as well as basic veterinary medicines. After one breeding cycle the farmers pass on some of the offspring to other poor rural families.
This exchange, known as a solidarity chain, is expected to reach 560,000 farmers in seven provinces.
#Happyfact: Eating dark chocolate can reduce the risk of heart disease by one-third
As if we needed another excuse to snack on chocolate!
According to researchers, eating a moderate amount of chocolate a day has been linked to a lowered risk of heart disease and stroke.
IFAD supports fair trade cocoa producers from areas like Sao Tome and Principe, which not only produce high-quality organic products, but also help families live decent lives and build their communities.
Thanks to IFAD and its partners, nearly 2,200 farmers are now growing cocoa certified as organic or fair -trade for the international chocolate industry.
#Happyfact: The word "coffee" comes from the Arabic word for "wine of the bean."
What would we do without coffee, the third most popular drink in the world?
Most coffee is grown on small, family farms, and 25 million people in over 50 countries depend on the coffee industry for survival.
To ensure that smallholder farmers have a stake in the industry, IFAD works to link producers with consumers so they are creating the type of coffee that is in demand.
develop accents from the social group, or ‘creches’ that they hang out with as a way to better identify their friends, according to a study published in the journal Animal Behaviour.
#Happyfact: Goats have accents
When they aren't being social, goats and other types of livestock are making a big difference in the lives of small farmers around the world.
Activities related to livestock development – such as the transfer of technology, training, credit for restocking, animal health services delivery, feed and breed improvement – are considered core aspects of many IFAD programmes and projects.
#Happyfact: There are millions of undiscovered species at the bottom of the ocean
Since we have only explored less than five per cent of the ocean floor, scientists believe there is a world of undiscovered marine life.
A little closer to the surface, artisanal fisheries are catching fish and making waves in Mozambique.
An IFAD-supported project is helping local fishers by sharing new fishing techniques and working with the government to establish protected fishing areas.
#Happyfact: Between 1990 and 2010, the number of people in extreme poverty was reduced by almost 1 billion
Despite the bleak headlines in the news, the world has made progress in lifting people out of extreme poverty.
Between 1990 and 2010, the number fell by half as a share of the total population in developing countries, from 43 per cent to 21 per cent—a reduction of almost 1 billion people.
Since 1978, IFAD has invested more than US$17.6 billion in grants and low-interest loans to projects in developing countries, empowering about 456 million people to break out of poverty.
By Sally Martinelli
Rome, 22 March– Water is synonymous with life and integral to sustainable development around the world.
This is why World Water Day (WWD) was established by the United Nations General Assembly, which this year falls on March 22. WWD gives people an opportunity to learn more about water related issues, be inspired to tell others and take action to make a difference.
At IFAD, we have highlighted why water is so important to rural people and small farmers.
Water means equality
When water is readily accessible, studies show that school enrollment and attainment improves for girls – much more so than for boys. And in some places, women spend more time in market-related activities when they don’t have to fetch and carry water. This is why water is a crucial step in empowering rural women.
Women make up the majority of smallholder farmers, yet often are not recognized for their work in the same way than men are. Making water accessible is one way to lessen women's work load and level the playing field. When women have the tools to improve their lives, they show remarkable ingenuity and resistance.
Water means progress
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a diverse list of benchmarks that the United Nations is using to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all. Goal 6 and 14 of the Sustainable Development goals are linked to water.
Goal 6 is to ensure the safe access to clean water for everyone by combating food scarcity, protecting water-related ecosystems, and improve water and saline management. IFAD's work with saline water in Viet Nam is just one example of how we work towards clean water for all.
Goal 14 calls for the conservation and sustainable use of the Earth's oceans, seas, and other bodies of water. This will not only preserve our water's biodiversity and fight pollution, but also addresses the needs of Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
SIDS are susceptible to climate change and over exploitation of natural resources, and often are rural and impoverished. IFAD is currently supporting numerous projects within these regions to help them tap into their potential.
As a specialized agency of the UN, IFAD is committed to making the SDGs a reality. These goals are an essential component of making the world a better place for everyone, and water is a crucial part of this solution.
Water means hope
Climate change is a daunting problem for our planet. Without the environment, we have no future within any industry, most especially agriculture.
Smallholder farmers have to combat extreme weather conditions such as drought, floods and tropical storms that drastically impact their yields. In addition, hazardous climate conditions affect a farmer's ability to store, process, and sell their product at the market.
IFAD is working to ensure that the programs it implements gives small farmers the information, tools, and technologies to fight climate change.
The Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP) is the largest global financing source dedicated to building their resilience to climate change by channeling climate finance directly to farmers. One project that IFAD is funding through ASAP is strengthening Mozambique's cassava value chain through the use of drought tolerant, pest resistant and high yielding varieties of the plant.
Water means jobs
Impoverished areas without water see their future migrate away and suffer without their ideas and energy that spur development. When water is brought to an area, it is revitalized. Young people will stay and grow with their home as water brings in industry, and with young people comes economic growth, political stability and social harmony.
The future farmers for the world will have to feed nine billion people. IFAD hopes to draw young people into agriculture by providing the tools and training so they could have great success in this field.
In the Niger Delta, an IFAD-funded project worked to provide exciting and profitable jobs for young people in fish farming. It helped provide over 20,000 jobs, which prevented their migration or participation in violent activities.
Water means food
Water and agriculture depend on one another. Without access to water, farmers will not be able to grow enough food to feed the world's population. 70 per cent of all freshwater withdrawals are used to irrigate farmlands, and this percentage will need to increase by 10 per cent to feed the world in 2050.
Water is especially important to small farms in sub-Saharan African and parts of Asia, which provide up to 80 per cent of the regions' food.
As the food industry depends on small farmers, small farmers rely on agriculture. It is the main source of income for many people who live in developing countries.
If they are unable to work due to restricted access to water, small farmers will not survive. IFAD's mission is rooted in supporting smallholder farmers so they can improve the quality of their lives.
Working with water, like an IFAD-supported project in Ethiopia that helped farmers feed their families, is a vital part of IFAD's work.
Organized by the Near East, North Africa and Europe Division in collaboration with the Policy and Technical Advisory Division, the thematic session explored the relationships and trade-offs within the water, energy and food security (WEF) nexus.
Globally, the agrifood sector uses about 80 per cent of the world's freshwater resources, and accounts for some 30 per cent of total energy consumption. In the coming 30 years, global food production is expected to rise by 60 per cent, accompanied by the respective increases in the use of water for irrigation by 10 per cent and in energy consumption by an astounding 80 per cent .
Why is the WEF nexus so important?
These statistics are of the utmost relevance to the Near East and North Africa (NENA) region, as this is the most water scarce region in the world. The region is heavily populated (with some 170 million rural people out of a total of 390 million people in 2015), and, with the highest population growth in the world (of an estimated 250 million by 2050, including 40 million rural people ), will experience great increases in demand for water, food and energy.
By 2050, the per capita share of water as well as crop production in NENA are expected to decrease by 50 per cent, compounded by a rising cost of energy. These trends will affect some 34 per cent of rural people currently making their living from agriculture and livestock.
Considering the growing challenges in the region, there is an urgent need for innovations to optimize the use of water and energy, and to secure food production.
How can we produce more food —using less water and less energy?
How can we put the nexus approach into practice?
Balancing incentives and trade-offs as a way forward
|Group Picture © IFAD | D. Paqui|
In addition, a range of access gaps constrain the productive potential of young rural people. Difficulties in accessing land is a major factor inhibiting young people's participation in agricultural activities, and young women in particular, have few opportunities to access land. Constraints in accessing financial services prevents young women and men from investing in land or starting their own businesses in the rural non-farm sector. And limited access to markets and new technology makes it equally difficult for young people to participate in agricultural value chains or set up new businesses.
|Nigeria's Minister of Agriculture and IFAD's President © IFAD | D. Paqui|
There was a consensus that IFAD’s de facto target group in West and Central Africa are young rural women and men. Youth inclusion will increasingly be mainstreamed in IFAD-funded projects by:
-Involving youth representatives in design, supervision and evaluation of IFAD-supported projects
-Building capacities and skills
-Improving access to assets, inputs, agri-services and finance
-Promoting youth role models to make agriculture more attractive
-Facilitating networking between young people
|WCA Director with youth role models © IFAD | D. Paqui|
-Raising awareness and strengthening capacity
-Dedicating more financial and human resources to ECC
-Integrating tools for vulnerability analysis
-Developing simplified M&E systems to enable timely decision-making
-Enhancing implementation of GEF and ASAP projects
Finally, discussions were held on how to improve portfolio performance. Effective and efficient project management is key to achieving results and impact. Participants committed to building a management-for-sustainable-results culture by:
|Group discussions © IFAD | D. Paqui|
-Strengthening leadership skills of project coordinators and fiduciary management
-Building capacity for strategic planning (including procurement and realistic AWP&B) to ensure sustainability of results
-Developing simple M&E systems as a management tool for documenting results, learning and timely decision-making
-Strengthening local institutions
-Promoting the scaling up of best practices
By Marie-Lara Hubert Chartier and Elisabeth Steinmayr
Rome, 29 March – Land is fundamental to the lives of poor rural people. There is a growing recognition that secure access to land reduces vulnerability to hunger and poverty.
However, do we understand why land tenure security is so important? We often hear about buzzwords such as “land grabbing” – but do we know who the world’s main land grabbers are? Women’s role in food systems being crucial to global food security – do we know what percentage of the world’s land is owned by women? To what extent is land claimed and managed by communities? Who are we referring to as the “youth” in IFAD’s projects?
Harold Liversage and Elisa Mandelli, land tenure experts from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Sabine Pallas and Jan Cherlet from the International Land Coalition Secretariat vividly unpacked global trends on land and gave some answers to the questions above in their joint session Land – Unpacking global trends during the 2016 Global Staff Meeting.
|Participants discuss during the joint session Land – Unpacking global trends during the 2016 Global Staff Meeting.|
Some key messages:
• Often the main challenges IFAD projects face with regard to land grabbing are grabs within families or communities, the competition between different land users (e.g. pastoralists vs crop farmers) and national and local elites as land speculators.
• Women's secure land rights contribute to their empowerment, to household welfare and to the improvement of the land and a better environment. To achieve this, it is important on the one hand to help women become aware of their rights and able to claim them, but also on the other hand to create an enabling policy environment to guarantee those rights.
• Up to 2.5 billion people depend on lands and natural resources that are held, used or managed by indigenous peoples and local communities. They are the best custodians of their land and their existing traditional models of tenure function well if their rights are secure. Communities with secure tenure rights enable sustainable development, foster gender equality, and make the land more productive. Further, community control reduces uncertainty and conflict. A Global Call to Action
aims to double the amount of land controlled by indigenous peoples and communities by 2020.
• There is no cookie-cutter solution for strengthening youth's access to land, as "youth" is a very heterogeneous group. Taking into account their sex, marital status, stage in life cycle, etc., it is necessary to strengthen local institutions and youth organizations, foster off-farm activities, give targeted economic incentives, raise the youth's awareness and support policy dialogue.
• There is a growing or revived recognition of the importance of tenure security and equitable access to land and natural resources. Good examples therefore are the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance for Tenure or the Framework and Guidelines on Land Policy in Africa.
• To address many of the issues above, it is fundamental to strengthen the land rights of poor and vulnerable people, to develop accessible, affordable and transparent land administration systems, to promote sustainable community-investor partnerships and to engage in policy dialogue and M&E.
Engaging discussions with our colleagues from the field illustrated the wide variety of perceptions and realities in which concepts apply.
Looking forward, the IFAD land tenure desk aims to create more space for dialogue and sharing experience among peers, so that we can learn from each other.
Visit of rural investments- Rice milling Plant in Kirehe.
President Ghani, the third from the right, and Minister Zamir of the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock, (left of President), visit the IFAD-supported projects booth
|Sharifa Mohammadi (center), an extension worker from Bamyan Province, speaks about women’s participation in the projects with a 24 TV Channel reporter|
|Emadudin (center), agriculture expert from the First Micro Finance Bank (FMFB), provides information on microfinance packages to visitors|
|Visitors gather around the Khatiz Dairy Union booth|