Canada and the International Fund for Agricultural Development Work Together to Achieve Food Security and Overcome Poverty

Ottawa, Ontario — Canada’s long-term partnership with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) supports global commitments to improve food security, enhance nutrition, and assist smallholder farmers, their families, communities and countries move from poverty to prosperity. The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of International Cooperation, met yesterday with IFAD President, Kanayo F. Nwanze, to reiterate Canada’s commitment to support smallholder farmers, particularly women.

“Canada is committed to helping families and communities in developing countries address the challenges of food insecurity,” said Minister Fantino. “We strongly support IFAD‘s efforts to broaden and strengthen its partnerships, including those with the private sector, while maintaining its focus on smallholder farmers.”

“For more than 30 years IFAD has continued to invest in agriculture and rural women and people and we will never tire of emphasizing that smallholder farmers can feed themselves and their communities if they get the right support,” Nwanze said. “We need to invest in rural communities with an approach that is market-oriented, sustainable and most importantly inclusive. To reduce poverty and increase food and nutrition security we have to enable poor rural women and men to build the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to overcome poverty themselves.”

Canada is a founding member of IFAD. Since 1978, IFAD has empowered about 400 million people to grow more food, better manage their land and other natural resources, learn new skills, start small businesses, build strong organizations and gain a voice in the decisions that affect their lives. In 2011, with the support of Canada and other donors, IFAD achieved the following:

  • trained more than 4.5 million people to use improved agricultural practices and technologies, enabling them to increase productivity;
  • improved 5.5 million hectares of common-property resource land;
  • constructed or repaired 18,000 kilometres of roads, connecting often remote rural communities to services, markets and urban centres;
  • formed or strengthened 13,000 marketing groups; and
  • trained 716,000 people in business and entrepreneurship

Canada is a leader in advancing the global food security and nutrition agenda, including the need to adapt agricultural practices and inputs. The Government’s Economic Action Plan 2013 affirms Canada’s commitment to international development investments such as increasing food security. The new Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development will maintain the mandate of poverty alleviation. The amalgamation will help the Government of Canada achieve greater efficiency, accountability and focus to continue to improve the lives of people in need around the world.