Response to Global Food Price Crisis. In response to the 2008 food crisis, the Bank launched the Global Food Price Crisis Response Program (GFRP) to provide relief to countries hit by high food prices. The GFRP has reached nearly 70 million people in 49 countries—through $1.6 billion in emergency funds for farming, seeds and fertilizer, and emergency school feeding programs.
Global Agriculture and Food Security Program. The Bank administers the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP), which supports country-led agriculture and food security plans and helps to promote investments, especially for smallholder farmers. So far, nine countries and the Gates Foundation have pledged about $1.4 billion over three years, with $1.2 billion received.
Climate-Smart Agriculture and Landscape Approaches Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) seeks to increase productivity, enhance resilience, and lower emissions from agriculture by working across landscapes on crop- and pasturelands, forests and fishing grounds. Focused on achieving impact on these three goals, the Bank sees CSA as an approach to ensuring food security for a growing population in the face of climate change, while avoiding negative impacts on natural resources. In Vietnam, rice farmers deploying alternate wetting and drying techniques increased their yields (+9 to 15%) and incomes (+$95 to $260 per hectare) while dramatically improving water efficiency (-33%) and reducing emissions – and costs – from synthetic fertilizer (-20 to 25%). The Bank joined the “The Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture” launched in September 2014.
Community Driven Development. This approach gives community groups and local governments control over planning decisions and investment resources. Our rural livelihoods projects promote inclusive growth and address rural poverty by supporting representative institutions of the rural poor. The Sujala project in India is boosting agricultural competitiveness by organizing communities to manage their watersheds, while introducing new crops and technologies to increase production.
Supporting Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture. The livelihoods of up to 820 million people rely on fisheries, aquaculture and related industries. Bank lending seeks to rebuild fisheries and expand sustainable aquaculture, with a focus on small-scale operators.
Water for Agriculture. Worldwide, about 70% of freshwater is used by agriculture. The Bank is increasing investments that target the policy, technical and governance aspects of agricultural water management. Our efforts include: promoting smallholder irrigation development, modernizing large irrigation schemes, and improving irrigation water use amidst growing competition for water resources.
Cultivating Innovation. Innovation helps farmers and entrepreneurs boost productivity to meet rising demand, cope with food price volatility and climate change and seize new business opportunities. In addition to increased lending to agricultural research, advisory and extension services, and agricultural competitiveness, the World Bank has developed operational guidance and tools including good practices to encourage investment in ICT integration and agricultural innovation.
Pro-poor Sustainable Livestock Development. More than 1 billion people depend on livestock for their livelihoods. The Bank works to grow the sector in a way that is equitable, safe and sustainable so that it is a better pathway out of poverty. The India National Dairy Support Project supported over 120,000 small dairy farmers. Improved feeding for 68,099 animals in 1,400 villages, cut feed costs by 11% and GHG emissions by 12%.
Land Tenure. Improved security, access, and transferability of land generate higher levels of agricultural productivity. World Bank support helped Malawi facilitate access to land for over 15,000 families.
Responsible Agro-investment. The Bank and UNCTAD published a study on responsible agriculture investment that outlined steps governments and investors can take to enable positive outcomes for local communities. The Bank Group is working on Benchmarking the Business of Agriculture, which will be published in 2015.
Agriculture Finance. The Bank supports increasing access to financial services--such as credit and payments--that help grow the agriculture sector. It also facilitates knowledge sharing on innovations, good practices, and sustainable business models in agriculture finance. AgriFin works to demonstrate that all levels of the agricultural value chain, including smallholders, can be financed profitably.
Agricultural Risk Management. Adoption of agricultural risk management practices by client countries leads to improved resilience and reduced vulnerability of the agricultural sector. The Bank is conducting agricultural sector risk assessments in 14 countries including Ghana, Paraguay, Mongolia, Tajikistan, to help clients develop risk management action plans and prioritize investments, policy reforms, and technical assistance activities.
Mainstreaming Gender to Enhance Relevance and Impact. Women are 43% of the agricultural labor force in developing countries. This figure is close to 50% in Sub-Saharan Africa, and in agriculture-based economies this figure can top 50%. However, women have less access to land and services like extension, training and credit, which severely hampers growth. To reduce the gender gap, the Bank is mainstreaming gender in its agriculture work, including lending, tracking outcomes, and learning from analytical work.
Last Updated: Oct 10, 2014