Investment in small-scale farmers, resilience to climate change, rural women and youth, and food security at centre of discussions
The President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Alvaro Lario, will travel to Madagascar from 4 to 7 December 2022. It is his first visit to the country since he took office as President of IFAD on 1 October 2022.
With the world facing tremendous challenges such as increasing hunger and poverty, as well as devastating climate change impacts, the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, this visit comes at a critical time for Madagascar.
Small-scale farmers of Madagascar are frequently exposed to pest and disease outbreaks and extreme weather events, particularly cyclones, which cause significant crop and income losses and exacerbate food insecurity.
There is an urgent need to focus attention on identifying measures that can help the Malagasy farmers improve productivity, reduce their vulnerability to climate change and cope with adverse consequences. With support they can develop the agricultural sector which is the backbone of the national economy.
The sector employs nearly 70% of the population and contributes to 24.8% of the country’s GDP. So, investing in agriculture in Madagascar is investing in people, in food security and in economic growth.
Small-scale farmers in Madagascar, and in Africa as a whole, often hold the key to the successful solutions needed to meet global challenges. Increased investments in commodity value chains, climate resilience and employment opportunities in rural areas help rural people increase their incomes and improve their food and nutrition security, and create jobs for young people, strengthening communities.
When in Antananarivo, Lario will meet with Andry Rajoelina, President of the Republic of Madagascar. He will also meet the Minister of Agriculture, the Minister of Economy and Finance and other high-ranking government officials, and with other development partners to discuss the importance of investing to achieve zero hunger and poverty reduction targets in the country by 2030.
Lario will then travel to the southern region of Madagascar and then to Analamanga Region to visit the IFAD-supported investment programmes in the country. The visit is an opportunity to see first-hand how project participants, in particular women and young people, have improved their lives, and discuss with them what further challenges they face.
To date, IFAD has helped finance 18 rural development programmes and projects in Madagascar for a total investment of US$1.0 billion, of which US$ 502.83 million came from IFAD’s own resources. These investments have a total outreach of more than 1.7 million households in Madagascar.