Biotech Updates

Renewed Investments and Enabling Policies for Poverty Reduction

June 3, 2011

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) are joining hands to support sustainable agriculture with focus on smallholder farmers to drive green growth and reduce poverty. Among the strategies being considered is the increased support to farmers by way of investments and scaling-up and accelerating government policies.

"Well-managed, sustainable agriculture can not only overcome hunger and poverty, but can address other challenges from climate change to the loss of biodiversity," said UNEP chief Achim Steiner. This statement was supported by Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of IFAD who said that "Smallholders in developing countries – the majority of them women – manage to feed 2 billion people, despite working on ecologically and climatically precarious land, with difficult or no access to infrastructure and institutional services, and often lacking land tenure rights that farmers in developed countries take for granted."

Nwanze also added that investments in sustainable smallholder agriculture must go hand-in-hand with policy and institutional reforms, investments in infrastructure and improvements in market access. Authorities must also be informed of the needs and problems of the rural poor.

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