The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a specialized international financial institution of the United Nations (UN), and supporter of the Farmers’ Forum, was established in response to the food crises of the 1970s. IFAD was established with a primary focus on financing agricultural development projects in emerging countries. According to IFAD, “causes of food insecurity and famine were not so much failures in food production but structural problems relating to poverty, and to the fact that the majority of the developing world’s poor populations were concentrated in rural areas.”
IFAD’s strategic framework is centered upon “enabling poor rural people to improve their food security and nutrition, raise their incomes, and strengthen their resilience.” The Farmers’ Forum, started in 2005, promotes discussion between small farmers’ and rural producers’ organizations (FOs), governments, and IFAD, with a specific focused on rural development and poverty reduction.This forum meets biennially for global discussion. The fifth global meeting of the Farmers’ Forum will be held February 17-20, 2014 at IFAD headquarters in Rome, Italy.
During the Farmers’ Forum, more than 90 innovators, which represent millions of rural producers and smallholder farmers globally, will come together to celebrate the International Year of Family Farming and interact with the IFAD staff and its partners. Some of the organizations that IFAD partners with include the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the European Commission (EC), Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC), Agence Française de Développement (AFD), and the Bill and Melissa Gates Foundation (BMGF).
IFAD is also sponsoring an event on family farming and a session on small-scale fisheries.
IFADTV’s video, highlights the tremendous impact rural producers have in creating a more sustainable food system around the world. h This video features discussions from the 2010 Forum, with excerpts on increasing food security and diminishing poverty.