Agriculture and Rural Development

Agriculture is a social, economic, ecological and health issue. Proper management and development of agriculture helps to fight food and nutritional insecurity, which has been exacerbated by climate change and political instability. Agriculture is also the world's largest employer, with 40% of the population working in that sector.
AFD works on agricultural value chains, at all levels, to promote inclusive and sustainable rural development and to ensure people’s food security.
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Agriculture and rural development, woman, Gabon
AFD and Agriculture: SUPPORTING RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND STRENGTHENING FOOD SECURITY
Paysage de rizières près du village de Miarinarivo, Madagascar

Improving the management of natural resources

Pousse, agriculture, Cameroun

Improving the management of natural resources

Food and nutritional security for a given population depends largely on how agricultural products are managed and processed. That’s why AFD Group provides support to farmers for improving management of their production and for strengthening the economic sustainability of local value chains.

In Côte d’Ivoire, for example, we have financed a project to improve facilities and trails needed to develop agriculture. We also provide Ivorian producers and their organizations with both management advice and innovative tools to preserve natural resources. In Laos, we promote agriculture adapted to local nutritional needs, and we provide capacity building for national and local authorities. These actions are improving incomes in 400 villages and helping to ensure food security for their inhabitants.

AFD is also encouraging regional governance of resources and land-use planning. In the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), an agricultural project fights food insecurity by addressing the structural factors behind it. Similarly, we are providing support for transhumance management and are helping to secure pastoral resources, in the Sahel for example. This approach promotes food security and a climate of peace in the ECOWAS countries.

Structuring and consolidating agricultural value chains

 tractor, Senegal, agriculture and rural development

Structuring and consolidating agricultural value chains

Although agriculture is the main source of income for the people of developing countries, its growth is hampered by the sector’s low levels of competitiveness and productivity. That’s why AFD supports innovative projects to enhance the attractiveness of the agriculture and agrifood processing sectors. These projects target youth and women in particular.

In Tunisia, we are using three incubators to support the emergence of a new, inclusive model of agricultural development that is adapted to climate change. In Guyana, increasing the attractiveness of the agricultural sector requires improving access to land. We also provide training support, to strengthen youth qualifications and to help make the sector more professional.

To support the decentralization and professionalization of farmer organizations, AFD finances local development projects to promote the creation of very small and small businesses. In Georgia, a technical assistance program is facilitating access to finance for small farms and cooperatives. In Cameroon, a program is working on setting up public policy tools such as credit refinancing funds, to support the creation of small and medium-sized enterprises – an essential step towards self-sufficiency.

Building resilience to climate change

farmer, Mexico, coffee, agriculture and rural development

Building resilience to climate change

The agricultural sector is under serious threat from climate change and the loss of biodiversity. Climate change both alters the natural cycles that have punctuated production for centuries and increases the risk of disasters such as droughts and floods. In doing so it endangers entire harvests. In addition, the loss of nearly 75% of crop biodiversity since the beginning of the 20th century has resulted in nutrient loss for local populations.

To reduce this climate impact, AFD supports projects to help farming families adapt to climate change. It finances the construction of greenhouses and the purchase of equipment powered by renewable energy, in Bolivia for example.

We also help guide farmers in improving their farming practices and in using more environmentally friendly technologies, especially in Peru.

805
million euros committed by AFD to support the agricultural sector in 2018

In line with United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 2, AFD Group is working to strengthen autonomy, sustainability and resilience in agricultural value chains. 

We have adopted an integrated strategy that combines several objectives: preservation of natural resources and biodiversity, the economic development of agriculture, and territorial development in rural areas.

Finally, we are paying special attention to gender inequalities, which are very pronounced in rural areas and in the agricultural sector and, as such, constitute a key development focus.

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