India has strengthened its commitment to fight hunger and poverty in rural areas by agreeing to loan US$ 20 million to the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). This financial agreement will help ensure that food systems support remunerative, sustainable and resilient livelihoods for millions of small-scale farmers and producers in some of the world’s poorest countries.
Last year’s UN Food Systems Summit, held in September, highlighted the fragility of current global food systems. Food systems, which include all aspects of feeding and nourishing people (growing, harvesting, packaging, processing, transporting, marketing and consuming food), are not fulfilling the right to safe and adequate food. Moreover, the Covid-19 pandemic has also exacerbated hunger and food insecurity, particularly among marginalized rural groups, including women and youth.
IFAD’s investments are designed to improve the livelihoods of rural small-scale producers and people, build their resilience and help them adapt to all crises, from health shocks to extreme weather events and climate change.
“India’s contribution to IFAD is incredibly timely. It demonstrates the strong ownership and support of an important member such as India and shows trust in our work,” said Gilbert F. Houngbo, President of International Fund for Agricultural Development. “International Fund for Agricultural Development and the Government of India are very much aligned with ensuring rural prosperity and investing in tackling hunger and poverty in the face of critical challenges.”
India’s full support to IFAD to improve livelihoods of rural producers
India also offers its rich development experience and proven pro-poor innovations that enhance the quality of IFAD’s operations and institutional knowledge, thereby also benefiting IFAD’s other members.
International Fund for Agricultural Development will use the loan from the Government of India to help finance its program of loans and grants, which is expected to total up to US$ 3.5 billion in 2022-2024.
This will help approximately 140 million rural people increase their production and income through better market access and rural financial services. It will also increase climate resilience and contribute to creating employment and improved food security and nutrition for the world’s most vulnerable people.
India is one of the largest recipients of IFAD’s investments and a significant contributor to financial support and corporate policy engagement as an executive board member. India’s cumulative contributions to IFAD’s regular resources amount to over US$ 260 million. This includes the most recent contribution of US$ 47 million to IFAD12.
International Fund for Agricultural Development is an international financial institution and specialized agency of the United Nations dedicated to eradicating rural poverty in developing countries. It is focused on transforming agriculture, rural economies and food systems by making them more inclusive, productive, and sustainable. Eight out of 10 of the world’s poorest people live in rural areas, and most depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. Adaptation to climate change is critical for small-scale farmers who provide a third of the world’s food.
India is a founding member of the International Fund for Agricultural Development, and the committee has worked in India for more than 40 years. The current country’s strategic opportunities program is fully aligned with the government’s policy framework and efforts to ensure that smallholder food and agricultural production systems are remunerative, sustainable, and resilient to climate change and price shocks. It has supported 32 rural development projects in India worth US$1.2 billion. These interventions have directly benefitted 6,341,436 families.