Investments in rural transformation (IFAD)

Photo credit: IFAD

Farmers in their asparagus field, Attapeu province, Lao People’s Democratic Republic.


Rural transformation: Key to sustainable development


The 38th session of the Governing Council, IFAD’s annual meeting of Member States, will highlight rural transformation as a key to sustainable development. Here is one in a series of articles exploring that theme in the run-up to the meeting.

This year represents a critical juncture for global development. The process of defining new Sustainable Development Goals provides an opportunity to refocus policies, investments and partnerships for more inclusive, sustainable and people-centred development. Consultations on the post-2015 development agenda have already helped give shape to a shared vision: a world where extreme poverty has disappeared, everyone has access to adequate and nutritious food, decent jobs are available to all, and natural resources are preserved and restored.

Smallholder farmers and other rural people have enormous potential to help achieve this vision. Realizing their potential will require increasing productivity, as well as improving their access to markets, finance, technology and information to build more diversified and resilient rural economies. Poverty has multiple dimensions that go beyond low levels of income, consumption and material assets. This is why IFAD targets its investments towards rural transformation – a sustainable and comprehensive level of change that is social as well as economic.

Read the full article: IFAD

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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