Alvaro Lario, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), will attend the G20 Agriculture Ministers’ meeting in Hyderabad from 15-17 June to advocate for increased support for small-scale farmers and poor rural communities. His call for greater investment in rural people echoes the recognition of G7 leaders that we urgently need more support for sustainable and resilient agriculture and food systems in response to a worsening global food crisis (outlined in their recent Hiroshima Action Statement).
Lario will share IFAD’s vision for development with G20 leaders and make the case for investing in rural communities as the most cost-effective way to improve global food security and support global stability. While in India, he will also meet Minister of Finance Nirmala Sitharaman and Minister of Agriculture Narendra Singh Tomar. India is an important partner for IFAD, and IFAD has worked in and with India for more than 40 years.
India and IFAD share a commitment to achieve global food security and improved nutrition. India has progressed from food aid dependency to becoming a consistent, net exporter of food, a trajectory holding valuable lessons for other low- and middle-income countries. Under India’s leadership, the G20 is a critical forum to increase investments in small-scale farmers, which will help them adapt to climate change, implement new practices and access markets, technologies and financial services. The partnership between IFAD and India has shown how such investments can transform the lives of millions of rural women, men and children.
G7 leaders identified IFAD as a key player for global food security, expressing support to the Fund’s action towards small-scale farmers to strengthen local food production, meet local and regional food demand, build markets and reduce food loss. IFAD supports small-scale farmers and rural communities to be better able to boost local food production, adapt to climate change and build solid, reliable and pro-poor food supply chains. Between 2019 and 2021, IFAD investments raised the incomes of 77.4 million rural people while improving food security for 57 million people.
Small-scale farmers produce at least one third of the world’s food and up to 70 per cent of the food produced in low- and middle -income countries. They are key to global food security and stability more generally, as hunger and poverty can also fuel forced migration and conflict. They are increasingly impacted by climate change, conflicts and economic volatility. But official development aid (ODA) directed at agriculture has been stagnant at 4 to 6 percent of ODA for at least two decades, and small-scale farmers receive less than 2 percent of global climate finance globally.