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Showing posts with label IFAD. Show all posts
Showing posts with label IFAD. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

IFAD, championing indigenous peoples, congragates over 100 @forum - NaijaAgroNet

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The 6th Global Meeting of the Indigenous Peoples’ Forum at the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) congregated over 100 Indigenous Peoples’ representatives and observers from all over the world.
IFAD, championing indigenous peoples, congragates over 100 @forum - NaijaAgroNet
The Forum is a platform for meaningful dialogue in which Indigenous Peoples’ representatives convey their concerns, requests and recommendations to improve the partnership with IFAD towards sustainable rural transformation. The outcome of the Forum will be presented by representatives of the Indigenous Peoples to the IFAD Governing Council, the following week.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Russio-Ukraine war: IFAD launches response to protect world’s rural poor - NaijaAgroNet

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The United Nation (UN's) International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has launched a Crisis Response Initiative to ensure that small-scale farmers in high-risk countries can produce food over the next few months to feed their families and communities while reducing the threat to future harvests, reports NaijaAgroNet.

PR-21-2022 - CRI
“The disruption to global markets is shaking food systems to the core,” said Gilbert F. Houngbo, President of IFAD. “This is particularly alarming for countries already grappling with the impacts of climate change and COVID-19, where more people are likely to be pushed further into poverty and hunger. IFAD’s new initiative will help protect livelihoods and markets so that the most vulnerable people can continue to feed their families and communities, and thrive for a better future.”

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Rwandan choreographer, Sherrie Silver named IFAD advocate for rural youth - NaijaAgroNet

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) annual meeting of Member States, award-winning choreographer, dancer and actress Sherrie Silver issued an urgent call-to-action to heads-of-state, government ministers, and development leaders to listen and invest in rural youth, reports NaijaAgroNet.

“I am inviting you to come together and stand on the right side of history by investing more in young rural people, and the communities where they live,” Silver said just after being announced as the UN specialized agency’s Advocate for Rural Youth.

“It is with great delight that we welcome Sherrie Silver as our new Advocate for Rural Youth,” said Charlotte Salford, Associate Vice-President of External Relations and Governance Department at IFAD. “Dance and music are great unifiers. They help young people to express themselves and unites groups of people across cultures and countries.”

The appointment makes the 24-year-old IFAD's first-ever Advocate for Rural Youth.

Silver’s message kicked-off the 'Our Future is Here' youth-led movement that aims to capture the energy and creativity of young people to raise awareness on the importance of investing in agriculture at a time when world hunger is on the rise, driven by conflict and climate change.

Hunger, poverty, youth unemployment and forced migration all have deep roots in rural areas, however there remains a wide funding gap. To eliminate hunger it is estimated an annual investment of US$180 billion is needed for rural areas. Of this, two-thirds is required for agriculture alone.

“Imagine what would happen if governments and donors around the world spent as much on agriculture and rural people as they do on humanitarian aid,” she said. “There would be food security. There would be social stability. There would be less damage to the environment. There would be hope for our future.”

Born in Rwanda and educated in the United Kingdom, Silver was made world-famous by her choreography work in Childish Gambino’s culturally seismic video “This Is America,” which won the 'Best Choreography' category at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards and most recently at the 2019 Grammy Awards.

A social media influencer, Silver is passionate about helping young people thrive and educating the world about African cultures through the dance, while giving back to African countries through her philanthropy.

In her role as Advocate for Rural Youth, Silver will use her global platform to meet and connect with youth around the world and help campaign for the importance of reaching young people through investing in agriculture and rural communities.

More than half of the world’s youth population of 1.2 billion live in rural areas and struggle to find employment. In Africa, an estimated 11 million young people will enter the job market every year for the next decade -- the majority of them in rural areas, where agriculture is still the biggest source of livelihoods.

"Youth unemployment will be the defining challenge of this era alongside climate change, and I am committed to helping the UN as an IFAD Advocate for Rural Youth to do everything I can to provide a better future for young people everywhere," Silver said. “They need jobs and opportunities in agriculture to help feed a growing population while also building a safe and prosperous future right where they live.”

Silver added that “the only way we are going to solve complex challenges like ending extreme poverty, hunger and forced migration is by calling on governments to invest in a different way of going about development. Young people want to build a better world, but they can’t do it alone."

Prior to her appointment, Sherrie Silver visited an IFAD-supported project in southern Cameroon, where she met with young entrepreneurs from a remote farming community who have been able to earn more income and produce more food due to IFAD investments in agriculture and business training in their community.

Nenye Dom/Editor

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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Nutrition for girls: Save the Children, IFAD join forces on integrating multi-sectoral measures

Estimated 129 million children with have stunted growth due to malnutrition, mostly born of young mothers by the year 2030, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Participants at the International Conference on "Leaving no one behind - making the case for adolescent girls," organized by IFAD, Save the Children, with support of the Canadian Government in Rome noted that this would  save adolescent girls from malnutrition and prevent early deaths.

For them, the intergenerational cycle of malnutrition is as a result of various factors, which must be addressed in an integrated manner: poverty, socio-cultural norms, low education levels, lack of safe drinking water, limited access to health systems, access to resources, all of which are necessary to make young girls economically independent and aware, thereby protecting them from early marriages.

Every year in the world, about 12 million girls get married prematurely and 16 million adolescents become mothers. While girls play an essential role in the economic and human development of their families and communities, they are strongly threatened by varying experiences of exclusion and discrimination, such as early marriages and/or early pregnancies, violence, all kind of abuses, and poor access to essential services.

"Adolescent girls, especially if they are undernourished, are more likely to die in childbirth or to give life to children with nutritional deficits, who are more vulnerable and exposed to premature death," emphasizes Daniela Fatarella, Deputy CEO of Save the Children Italy, the international organization that since 1919 fights to save the lives of children and guarantee them a future. "To stop the intergenerational cycle of malnutrition  it is important to invest in young girls, improve their nutritional health and above all, empower them, providing them with  necessary life-skills to strengthen them, improve their self-esteem and ability to emancipate themselves, both socially and economically. Ensuring appropriate nutrition for adolescent girls," adds Fatarella,"requires integrated and multi-sectoral approaches. Unfortunately, there are few good practices documented and so we ask for greater commitment from the international community and governments in prioritizing adolescent girls' focused initiatives."

Supporting young girls is therefore fundamental to positively influence the nutrition of future generations, reducing stunting by 40% by 2025 and eliminating all forms of malnutrition by 2030, as foreseen by Goal 2 of the Agenda 2030.

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Sunday, July 22, 2018

IFAD names Guoqi Wu, Associate VP for Corporate Services - NaijaAgroNet


The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has named Guoqi Wu as the new Associate Vice-President of the Corporate Services Department, reports NaijaAgroNet.
In his new role, Wu will provide strategies that support IFAD’s goals and organizational leadership with regards to human resources, administrative services, safety and security, and information technology resources.

“It is an exciting time to be joining IFAD as the organization expands and decentralizes its operations to reach and better serve more rural people with its programmes and projects,” Wu said. “I am looking forward to leading the corporate services function and creating an even greater focus on attracting, developing, and retaining top-class talents.”

IFAD is a specialized agency of the United Nations dedicated to eradicating rural poverty in developing countries. Seventy-five per cent of the world's poorest people - 1.4 billion women, children and men - live in rural areas and depend on agriculture and related activities for their livelihoods.

Wu has more than 20 years of experience working with international financial institutions to promote global development cooperation. Previously he was in the position of Alternate Director of China at the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the New Development Bank, actively engaging on general and sector strategies, operational policies, business plans and budget, investment projects, as well as on membership expansion and partnership agreements.

In addition, Wu also served as Alternate Executive Director of China at the Asian Development Bank. Prior to that, he worked for the Chinese Ministry of Finance in different positions, including Chief of the G20/BRICS Division responsible for macroeconomic policy coordination under the respective Finance Ministers' Meeting mechanisms. Wu holds a PhD in Economics from the Research Institute for Fiscal Science, Ministry of Finance, China, and a Master of Science in Development Finance  from the University of Manchester, United Kingdom.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

IFAD wants increased access to finance for smallholder farmers - NaijaAgroNet

Indications have emerged that over 440,000 smallholder farmers in Mali to have better access to rural financial services thanks to a new agreement signed on 6 July by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Republic of Mali, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The new agreement will provide financial support to the Inclusive Finance in Agricultural Value Chain Project (INCLUSIF), which will be implemented in five regions of the country (Koulikoro, Sikasso, Kayes, Ségou and Mopti). By providing a range of financial products, including savings, credit and micro-insurance, the project will enable smallholder farmers to invest in the necessary infrastructure and equipment that will help them produce, store, process and better market their products.

“INCLUSIF’s vision is to promote the sustainable transformation of agricultural value chains by improving financial inclusion for disadvantaged groups, such as women and young people, and their organizations,” said Philippe Rémy, IFAD Country Programme Manager for Mali.

Rémy said INCLUSIF will bring 440,000 smallholders and 360 agricultural professional organizations into the banking system. In addition, over 40,000 producers will have access to financing for climate change adaptation. The project will also develop profitable and sustainable relationships with the private sector and the financial system.

Currently, financial inclusion in Mali’s rural areas stands at 20 per cent. Small and medium-sized enterprises also experience difficulties in accessing finance. In 2016, less than 1 per cent of bank credit went to the agricultural sector.

The total cost of the project is US$105.5 million, including a $22.9 million loan and $22.9 million grant from IFAD. The project will be cofinanced by the Government of Denmark ($21.6 million), rural finance institutions ($15.5 million), the ABC Microfinance (Babyloan) ($0.4 million), the private sector ($5.4 million), the Government of Mali ($4.6 million) and by the beneficiaries themselves ($1.9 million). The financing gap of $10.4 million will be covered from future IFAD financing rounds or by other potential cofinancing partners.

The financial agreement was signed by Gilbert F. Houngbo, President of IFAD, and Boubou Cissé, Minister of Economy and Finance of the Republic of Mali.

Since 1982, IFAD has financed 14 rural development programmes and projects in Mali at a total cost of $630 million, with an IFAD investment of $274.9 million. These programmes and projects have directly benefitted more than 516,000 rural households.

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Monday, June 18, 2018

IFAD says Post Offices @forefront of remittance, financial services in rural Africa

The postal services can play a pivotal role in delivering remittances, lowering the transfer costs and providing access to basic financial services in Africa, says the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), reports NaijaAgroNet.

A joint report made available to NaijaAgroNet by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the European Commission (EC) on the occasion of the International Day of Family Remittances to be observed tomorrow.

The report, entitled ‘A success story on remittances at the post office in Africa,’ analyses the results achieved by African Postal Financial Services Initiative (APFSI), a joint programme led by IFAD and financed by the European Union (EU).

The programme, NaijaAgroNet gathered, has been implemented in 11 African countries in cooperation with the World Bank, the United Nations Capital Development Fund, the Universal Postal Union and the World Savings and Retail Banking Institute.

NaijaAgroNet also reports that the APFSI programme has helped post offices develop more effective business models, upgrade their computer technology and connectivity, and improve their expertise in order to process real-time payments and offer and manage financial services.

"The remittance market is changing at a rapid pace,” said Pedro De Vasconcelos, Coordinator of the Financing Facility for Remittances at IFAD, pointing out that technology is transforming the payment systems and digitalized financial services are creating new opportunities.

“In this context, postal operators play a prominent role in delivering remittances to rural migrant families, providing them with financial services they rarely had access to,” Pedro said.

According to De Vasconcelos, the strong presence of post offices in remote and rural areas is extremely valuable. Their historic footprint helps build trust in the provision of rural financial services.

In 2017 alone, African migrant workers sent over US$70 billion to their families back home, representing an increase of more than 10 per cent from 2016 and more than 36 per cent over the past decade.

Sub-Saharan Africa remains the most expensive region in the world to send money home. In 2017 the average cost was 9.3 per cent of the amount sent.

As a result of the AFPSI joint programme, which has been implemented over the last five years, the cost of receiving remittances via post offices in four pilot countries, Benin, Ghana, Madagascar and Senegal,  decreased by 42 per cent and post offices delivered remittance services at an average cost of less than 5 per cent. This means an additional $35 million were available to migrant families between 2014 and 2016.

"The EU is committed to work with partners to lower the cost of remittances and promote faster, cheaper and safer transfers. Our collective objective is to reduce to less than 3 per cent the transaction costs and eliminate remittance corridors with transfer costs higher than 5 per cent, as stated in the 2030 Agenda and the European Consensus for Development," said Stefano Signore, Head of Unit in charge of Migration and Employment in the Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development at the EC.

Financial inclusion remains a challenge in Africa. According to recent estimates, only 41 per cent of the population above 15 years of age has an account and access to formal financial services. In this context, postal operators have an important role to play, especially in rural areas. As a result of the joint programme, at least 100,000 adults opened new postal accounts accessing financial services for the first time.

"Having a savings account and access to credit is fundamental for families to invest in income-generating activities and build their future," said Mauro Martini, an IFAD expert on remittances and migrants’ investments and co-author of the report. "Remittances can be an engine for development."

Estimates show that while 75 per cent of remittances are generally spent on basic needs such as food, housing, health and education, another 25 per cent can be invested in asset-building or activities that generate income and jobs and transform economies, in particular in rural areas.

The EC began collaborating with IFAD in 2004, with the intention of increasing the development impact of remittances while enabling poor households in rural areas to access financial services. Since 2005, the EC has mobilized euro 9.5 million for IFAD’s Financing Facility for Remittances, including the APFSI. A new euro 15 million programme focusing on Africa will be launched soon to reduce costs further and improve financial inclusion and impact for development.

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Monday, April 9, 2018

Support to smallholder farmers, women, youth top agenda @Mauritania

The imperative of supporting smallholder farmers, women and youth are top on the agenda for a forthcoming meeting between the President of International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Mr. Gilbert F. Houngbo, and Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The meeting, according to David Florentin Paqui of IFAD Communications Division in Nouakchott, affirmed to NaijaAgroNet, said would be witnessed by senior officials of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, to discuss how investment in agriculture could ensure food and nutrition security and create jobs for rural people, particularly women and youth.

NaijaAgroNet recalls that in Mauritania, 41 per cent of the population lives in rural areas, and half depend on agriculture for their income, whereas farming generates 25 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), hence, small farms are vital for the country’s food security as well as its economy.

During an official three-day visit to the country starting Monday, April 9, Houngbo hinted his meeting with the Mauritanian President and Prime Minister, Yahya Ould Hademine would have support for smallholders farmers, women and youth top on agenda.

In addition, NaijaAgroNet gathered that a joint working meeting with the Minister of Economy and Finance, the Minister of Agriculture, the Minister of Livestock and the Minister of Environment will focus on the role of smallholder farmers in ensuring food security in Mauritania, the challenge of climate change, and the opportunities agriculture can offer to young people in rural areas.

Investing in a new generation of smallholder farmers is essential. Of Mauritania’s 4 million people, 40 per cent are under 15 years of age, 60 per cent are under 25 and only 5 per cent are over 60. Half of the population derives their livelihoods from raising crops and livestock and fishing. Although the country is self-sufficient in red meat and fish, it imports 60 per cent of other staple foodstuffs, particularly rice, vegetables, sugar and cooking oil.

IFAD and the government of Mauritania are working together to improve food security and nutrition, increase the incomes of poor rural households, create jobs and reduce the country's dependence on food imports. Since 1980, IFAD has financed 14 projects and programmes in Mauritania for a total of $342.3 million, including $136.2 million from IFAD’s own resources, directly benefitting nearly 190,470 Mauritanian rural households.

Houngbo will deliver a keynote address at the opening session of the Regional Implementation Forum organized in Nouakchott by the West and Central Africa Division of IFAD. Later, he will join Lemina Mint El Ghotob Ould Moma, Minister of Agriculture, in Kiffa to meet with rural people benefiting from an IFAD-supported Poverty Reduction Project in Aftout South and Karakoro – Phase II designed to help build, an economic and social fabric based on sustainable natural resource management that is inclusive of poor rural households, particularly women and young people. Because of its achievements in promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment, this project was a recipient of a 2017 IFAD Gender Award.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

IFAD shops for President Nwanze’s replacement

The International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) is now shopping for the replacement of its current president, Dr. Kanayo Nwanze whose second tenure will end om March 31, 2017, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The President of IFAD, NaijaAgroNet gathered is appointed for four years with a two-term limit. NaijaAgroNet reports that in accordance with the Agreement Establishing IFAD, the Governing Council of IFAD will appoint the President at its forthcoming annual meeting on 14-15 February 2017. The appointed President will take office on 1 April 2017.

Under the direction of IFAD’s governing bodies, the President of IFAD is responsible for conducting the business of the Fund and for organizing its work. The President is the chairperson of the Executive Board, whose membership consists of representatives of IFAD’s Member States.

The Secretary of IFAD Council, Cheryl Morden in a letter addressed to the Governor, with the subject “Appoint of the President of IFAD,” and dated September 27, 2016, said  “I have the honour to inform you that, in accordance with article 6, section 8(a) of the Agreement Establishing IFAD, the appointment of the President of IFAD will be considered at the fortieth session of the Governing Council, to be held in Rome on 14 and 15 February 2017. Information on relevant procedures and modalities for the appointment of the President of IFAD was made available on 20 June and 26 August 2016, and can be found on IFAD’s Member States Interactive Platform.

NaijaAgroNet recalls that the duties and responsibilities of the President are mainly set out in IFAD’s basic documents, just as nominations will be communicated to all Members and the Bureau by the President no later than 21 December 2016.

For the first time, the call for nominations is accompanied by a list of questions to which candidates are invited to respond in writing, bearing in mind that both the responses and the nominations must be received by the Secretary of IFAD by midnight, 1 December 2016, Rome time.

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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Prioritise rural people in post-Ebola recovery plans - IFAD

The President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Dr. Kanayo F. Nwanze, has tasked the government and people of Sierra Leone and Liberia to prioritise rural people in the post-Ebola recovery plans, reports NaijaAgroNet.
IFAD president who was in the two West-African countries made this call during his visit to Sierra Leone (4-6 August) and in Liberia (6-8 August), where he met with presidents of both countries.
In Sierra Leone, Nwanze met President Ernest Bai Koroma, the Ministers of Agriculture, Finance and Gender and the Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone. While in Liberia he met President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the Minister of Agriculture and project implementation partners.
For him, Ebola has had an enormous impact on the lives of rural people – many of whom are small-scale farmers who could not grow food or earn a living during the epidemic.
“If we do not channel our investments to the rural areas now, these farmers may have to migrate in search of work. This could compromise the future food security of these countries,” he said.
NaijaAgroNet gathered that discussions were focused on how IFAD could further support the two countries post-Ebola recovery plans, particularly in rural areas.
Over 11,310 people, NaijaAgroNet recalls died from the Ebola virus between 2014 and 2016 in the three affected countries, namely Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
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Pix: Nwanze and labourers tilling the land for recovery

Monday, August 15, 2016

IFAD, Mexico sign rural development support pact

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the United Nations agency for rural development, and the Government of Mexico have signed a pact to promote entrepreneurship among the country’s poor rural people receiving social benefits, reports NaijaAgroNet.
The agreement to be implemented under the aegis of Rural Productive Inclusion Project (RPIP), IFAD said, will take effect in 26 municipalities in the states of Guerrero, Hidalgo and Zacatecas and expected to benefit some 12,800 families.
The total cost of the project is US$19.5 million, with IFAD financing covering $7.1 million. The rest will be funded by the Government of Mexico and by the beneficiaries themselves.
NaijaAgroNet reports that the project is designed to facilitate the access of beneficiaries of the country's largest conditional cash transfer programme (PROSPERA) to public programmes aimed at increasing rural productivity.
The IFAD’s Regional Economist for Latin America and the Caribbean, Tomás Rosada, explained that basic social assistance in the form of cash transfers allows people to live in a more dignified way. This project aims to go beyond that.”
“It will help transform the lives of poor rural people who are currently dependent on the State’s transfers and make them rural entrepreneurs, capable of making a living by themselves,” he added.
To address rural poverty in a more effective way, the current Mexican administration has made “productive inclusion” a key policy objective. One way of achieving this is through the creation of synergies between conditional cash transfers and productive development programmes, which is at the heart of the Rural Productive Inclusion Project.
The Project will allow local promoters to assist beneficiaries in identifying profitable productive activities, which could vary from organic farming to small rural businesses. These promoters will then facilitate beneficiaries’ access to technical assistance and productive investments, so that they can increase their production and improve the quality of their products, making them suitable for markets.
Despite efforts made in recent decades by the Government of Mexico, large segments of the country’s rural population still live in poverty. Family farms – subsistence farms, not linked to markets and extremely low in productivity– represent 51 per cent of farms in rural areas. Increasing their capacity to produce will both improve the lives of family farmers and boost rural economies as a whole.

“By supporting rural poor people who live on government benefits to set up agricultural and non-agricultural rural enterprises, the project will not only improve their lives but also, and more importantly, will do so in a sustainable way,” explained Rosada.
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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

FAO, IFAD, WFP host joint high-level meeting on El Nino impact

The rise on impact of El Niño climate devastation on agriculture in the Central America’s Dry Corridor has forced the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP) to organize a high-level meeting in Rome, tomorrow, June 30, 2016, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Central America, NaijaAgroNet gathered has become one of the worst droughts zones in decades leaving some 3.5 million people food insecure, with most affected countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras having estimated 2.8 million people who are dependent on food aid.

The high-level meeting in Rome, NaijaAgroNet reports, would focus on the urgent need for long-term action to address the impact of El Niño, including building resilience for food security and nutrition for the most vulnerable populations in the affected countries.

NaijaAgroNet further gathered that El Niño and its counterpart La Niña occur cyclically, but in recent years, mainly due to the effects of global climate change, extreme weather events associated with these phenomena, such as droughts and floods, have increased in frequency and severity.

As said by FAO’s Peter Mayer, IFAD’s Joanne Levitan, and WFP’s Frances Kennedy, in a joint press statement made available to NaijaAgroNet, this situation has put at risk the livelihoods of millions of small-scale family farmers in the Dry Corridor, many of whom are heavily dependent on subsistence agriculture.

The trio equally clarified that the aim of the high-level meeting is to increase awareness of and the response to, this protracted and recurrent crisis, and to mobilize the international community to support the efforts of governments, UN agencies and other partners.

This includes strengthening of early warning systems, disaster risk management, and improving preparedness and coordination for emergency responses at national and regional levels.

In addition to relief work, they said, responding to the impacts of El Niño requires investing in improving poor rural communities’ ability to access land, credit and other resources while also ensuring they are provided with basic services like water, sanitation, health, education, transport infrastructure and electricity.  

Just as the FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva, IFAD President Kanayo F. Nwanze, and World Food Programme Executive Director Ertharin Cousin, would deliver the opening remarks, while the meeting would include a roundtable session with ministers from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Mexico.

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Monday, June 20, 2016

Rice production: Ebonyi pays N87.1m IFAD’s counterpart fund

The Ebonyi State government has paid N87.1million as one year counterpart fund to the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to boost rice production in the state, NaijaAgroNet reports.

Affirming this, Sunday, the state Programme Coordinator of IFAD, Mr Sunday Ituma, disclosed this in Abakaliki, the state capital, at the conclusion of its national office assessment of some rice production and processing clusters across the state.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports, he said, the intervention, would also cover the production and processing of crops like cassava and yam as well as general agricultural enhancement.

He commended the government for the prompt release of fund and promised IFAD`s readiness to partner with the government to achieve its rice production and other objectives.

Ituma also told the visiting team that the state office had intensified its drive to reduce poverty among farmers through increase agricultural production in the state.

“We have strived to enhance income and food security of the poor and rural households engaged in production, processing and marketing of rice and cassava in targeted local government areas on a sustainable basis.

“The programme targets small-holder farmers engaged in rice and cassava value chain in the councils, as we provide them with improved seedlings, fertiliser and agro chemicals, among others at highly subsidised rates,’’ he said.

“Adequate enhancement would be made in creating awareness of IFAD’s intervention to farmers, especially on requirements from them and the intervention’s time frame.

“We, however, appeal to the national office to assist us with irrigation facilities to ensure all season farming and modalities to check flooding which submerge cultivated rice and other produce farmlands,’’ he said.

He said he led the IFAD team to assess rice clusters Ikwo, Izzi, Ezillo local government areas and the Abakaliki Rice Mill Company, among other areas.

Equally, Dr Samuel Eremie, Leader of the IFAD National Office team, commended the Ebonyi Office of the organisation for its efforts and outlined areas of defects, sustenance and overall improvement.
“It was observed that one of your greatest challenges is how to get water off the fields, especially rice farms during flooding but we assure you that the problem will be effectively tackled.

“You should, however, seek other ways of driving the rice production, processing and markets in the state and not depend entirely on the government to ensure stability.

Prof. Jones Nlemchi, another member of the team, also commended the Ebonyi IFAD Office but urged it to involve more women and youths in the various rice production and processing clusters.
“The beneficiaries should be adequately informed on the contents of IFAD interventions and what it requires of them for effective collaboration.

“You should also ensure adequate data reportage and collation so that documented data would be the same with information obtained from the fields,’’ he said.

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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Investments in agriculture will unlock prosperity in Africa – IFAD President

The President of the United Nations (UN's) International Fund For Agricultural Development (IFAD), Dr. Kanayo Nwanze, has told African leaders that investments in agriculture have the capacity to unlock prosperity of the continent, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Nwanze in a message to African leaders participating in the ongoing World Economic Forum (WEF) in Kigali that he is optimistic that such investment which must be a collaborative one between government and businesses will grow Africa tremendously.

"Investments in agriculture can generate great riches for the continent and lift millions out of poverty and hunger," said Nwanze en route to Rwanda. "There are high returns to those countries that take agriculture seriously."

Since 2009, he said, Africa has been seen as the next great investment frontier yet, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), economic growth on the continent is now predicted to be slower than the rest of the world for the first time in sixteen years.

He emphasised that with many countries in southern and eastern Africa suffering from the worst drought in decades, coupled with fiscal deficits widening and conflicts increasing, some experts are questioning whether Africa is still on the rise.

Despite these dire predictions, Nwanze said Africa is still a continent of unprecedented opportunity, and supporting small-scale farmers and investing in rural areas are some of the best ways for countries to meet their broader development objectives, including poverty reduction.

“With the right investments, Africa could double its agricultural productivity in the next five years,” he said, stressing that half of the world's uncultivated land which is suited for growing food crops is in Africa.

"We need to work together to harness the continent's potential and this means investing in small-scale farmers who are the backbone of African agriculture," Nwanze said.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE
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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Mo Ibrahim delivers IFAD lecture, canvasses creating opportunities for African youngsters

Globally recognized entrepreneur and founder of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, Dr Mohamed Ibrahim, at the weekend delivered the annual lecture for the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), canvassing for the creation of opportunities for African youngsters in agriculture, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Dr. Ibrahim who spoke in Rome, took African governments to task for not living up to their commitments to invest in agriculture and rural development, stressing that its essential that they create opportunities for young people in agriculture so that they are able to resist the dangerous call of extremism. 

“No jobs, no hope,” he said, adding that Africa has more hungry, malnourished people than anywhere else in the world. “We are by far the least productive region in the agriculture sector but because we have more uncultivated, arable land than anywhere else, it presents opportunities.”

NaijaAgroNet equally gathered that a private-sector panel which included Sunny Verghese, Co-founder and Group CEO of Olam International, highlighted the need for bold initiatives to better link smallholder farmers to markets. Panel participants emphasized that everyone – government, the private sector, financing institutions such as IFAD, small- and medium-sized enterprises and smallholders farmers – have a role to play. 

While the second panel discussion, facilitated by IFAD Associate Vice President Périn Saint Ange, focused on innovative agricultural solutions to many of the global challenges discussed over the two days, including IFAD investments in farming technologies, approaches to empower women and youth, and the use of new technology to enhance rural development project design and management.

Dr Ismahane Elouafi, Director General of the International Centre for Biosaline Agriculture, told correspondent that the world is at a crossroad in terms of its overuse of natural resources, and that the Middle East and North Africa region already has some of the highest water scarcity in the world.

"Climate change impacts the poor and marginalized most of all,” she said, underlining that they have huge challenges ahead, and there is need to act now.

NaijaAgroNet further gathered that some of the outcomes from the Farmers’ Forum, a two-day meeting held in conjunction with IFAD’s Governing Council, organizers announced a plan to make the platform for dialogue more inclusive, inviting pastoralists and livestock breeders to take part, and more decentralized creating stronger links to smallholders and family farmers on the ground.

+Remmy Nweke (ITRealms) +Naija AgroNet

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Pix: Mo Ibrahim