Agricultural development is one of the most powerful tools to end extreme poverty, boost shared prosperity and feed 9 billion people by 2050. Growth in the agriculture sector is about two to four times more effective in raising incomes among the poorest compared to other sectors. This is important for 78 percent of the world’s poor who live in rural areas and depend largely on farming to make a living.

Agriculture is also crucial to economic growth: it accounts for one-third of gross-domestic product (GDP) and three-quarters of employment in Sub-Saharan Africa.

But agriculture-driven growth and poverty reduction, as well as food security are at risk: A warming climate could cut crop yields by more than 25 percent. Agriculture and land use change are also responsible for between 19–29 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Mitigation in the agriculture sector is part of the solution to climate change.

Last Updated: Sep 24, 2015

The World Bank works with countries to expand agriculture financing, improve irrigation and give women farmers the right tools and opportunities. The Bank provides innovation, infrastructure and resources so that the agriculture sector:

  • is Climate-Smart: more productive and resilient in the face of climate change while reducing emissions;
  • improves livelihoods and creates more and better jobs;
  • boosts agribusiness by building inclusive and efficient value chains; and
  • helps farmers produce safe, nutritious food for everyone, everywhere, every day.

In 2015, new commitments to agriculture and related sectors were $8 billion. For IBRD/IDA, assistance to agriculture and related sectors rose to $4.7 billion, up from 4.3 billion in FY14 from $3.6 billion in FY13. The International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) investments were 3.2 billion. Altogether, the commitments meet the Bank Group target of $8 to $10 billion. World Bank IBRD/IDA agricultural assistance to Sub-Saharan Africa ($1.4 billion) and South Asia ($1.6 billion) was particularly strong. IFC’s agricultural lending goes to agribusiness value chains.

The Bank is a partner in the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) and Global Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture. 

Last Updated: Sep 24, 2015

In Afghanistan, the Bank provided farming tools and trained fruit farmers to adopt best practices for increasing their fruit harvests. 5,229 hectares of new fruit orchards have been established and 29,192 hectares of existing orchards have been rehabilitated, boosting production in 121 districts.

In Brazil, Santa Catarina State, rural competitiveness projects have helped more than 130,000 farmers reach domestic and international markets.

In Burundi, the Bank helped 115,000 farm households boost their productivity and access to markets through technology and improved irrigation.  Farmers more than doubled their rice and banana yields and increased milk production to more than 1,000 liters/annum per animal.

In Cambodia, the Bank helped improve food security for 5,000 families, providing land, infrastructure and agriculture services. 260 families now own up to 3 hectares each for crops and livelihoods. 

In Colombia, a ranching project provided assistance for setting-up environmentally sustainable cattle systems on 2,241 farms.

In Cote d’Ivoire, the Bank provided equipment and training, and rehabilitated research to boost the productivity of rice farmers. 50,000 rice farmers—25 percent of whom are women--have larger harvests. Seed productivity has improved in 36 percent of irrigated rice areas.

In water-scarce Djibouti, the Bank helped construct water harvesting structures benefiting 914 households and 4,620 livestock, while increasing grazing biomass with additional 271,400 forage units.

In Egypt, the Bank provided drainage improvements benefiting 600,000 families over 1,013,000 ‘feddan’ of irrigated areas and improved irrigation for an additional 347,030 feddan benefiting 210,000 families.

In Honduras, more than 7,000 rural producers experienced a 36 percent increase in productivity and a 60 percent increase in the value of gross sales based on implementation of the business plan

In India, the Bank introduced technologies and approaches to raise productivity, manage water resources and enable better planting decisions for more than 167,000 households in Karnataka—including 80,000 women. In Bihar, the Bank helped 400,000 farmers implement the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) to improve rice productivity by 86 percent, wheat by 72 percent and 18 other crops; SRI is now state policy.

In Kenya, the Bank has helped farmers use improved farm management practices that boost soil carbon sequestration - such as agro-forestry, mulching and intercropping - to improve soil fertility on 45,000 hectares of land.

In Kosovo, the Bank helped improve infrastructure and equipment in the horticulture and livestock industries, creating jobs and benefiting 4,000 people.

In Lao PDR, the Bank helped 42,000 rural households improve their food security through access to agricultural services and productive infrastructure.    

In Madagascar, the Bank financed a dam that is irrigating 2,100 hectares of paddy fields and benefiting 6,000 households.

In Mali, the Bank helped 175,000 farmers adopt new technologies, livestock practices and crop varieties—including high-yielding rice seeds and pest-resistant tomatoes—to revitalize productivity. Farmers reported 30 percent higher yields and a 34 percent increase in their revenues.

In Mexico, advisory services to the review of agricultural insurance policies and programs have supported reforms to bring 1,000,000 additional hectares of small-holdings under coverage.

In Moldova, the Bank helped farming communities cope with climate change through grants for anti-hail nets and microclimate systems, as well as a weather-alert app that provides information to 6,000 farmers.

In Mongolia, the Bank helped make index insurance accessible and affordable for herders whose livestock are vulnerable to extreme weather. Over 19,500 herders purchased insurance in 2014.

In Papua New Guinea, the Bank is providing cocoa farmers with training and tools to revive the cocoa industry. Nearly a million cocoa trees have been rehabilitated or planted, raising yields and incomes.

In the Philippines, the Bank helped build 330 kilometers of rural roads benefiting 229000 people in 15,200 hectares of agriculture areas. 

In Samoa, the Bank helped farmers invest in tools, technology, water storage and livestock through a program that has already benefited 190 livestock, fruit and vegetable farmers.

In Sierra Leone, the Bank worked with farmers on using herbicides, organic fertilizers and innovative farming methods to intensify rice production for 18,724 farmers and 1,056 hectares of land.

In Togo, the Bank helped farmers adopt better breeding techniques, allowing  12,500 livestock producers to expand their businesses, grow their incomes and raise healthier livestock.

In Uruguay, incentives have led to the adoption of Climate-Smart Agriculture techniques on 2,840,000 hectares, providing for a carbon sequestration potential of up to 8.8 million tons CO2 annually.

In Vietnam, the Bank promoted sustainable livelihoods for poor minorities by developing 9,000 ‘common interest groups’ (CIGs) comprising over 15,500 households, and partnering them with agro-enterprises.

In Yemen, where 68 percent of the population is rural, the Bank helped improve the yield of 60,000 farmers who now use improved seeds and seed technology on a total of 24,000 hectares.


Last Updated: Sep 24, 2015

The Agriculture Finance Support Facility (AgriFin) works with bankers, banker associations and others to foster learning and build capacity on financing agriculture in developing countries.

CGIAR Global Agricultural Research advances cutting-edge science to reduce rural poverty, increase food security, improve human health and nutrition, and ensure the sustainable management of natural resources.

The Forum for Agricultural Risk Management in Development (FARMD) is a knowledge platform that provides information and best practices on agricultural risk management.

The Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) finances investments that increase incomes and improve food and nutrition security in developing countries.

The Global Food Safety Partnership (GFSP) is dedicated to improving the safety of food worldwide through capacity building in middle-income and developing countries.

The Global Donor Platform for Rural Development is a network of 34 bilateral and multilateral donors, international financing institutions, intergovernmental organizations and development agencies that work to increase and improve the quality of development assistance in agriculture and rural development.

The Global Partnership for Oceans (GPO) is a multi-sectoral convening platform that can help countries gain access to the capital, knowledge and capacity they need to restore ocean health and address poverty.

Wealth Accounting and Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES) is a World Bank-facilitated global partnership that promotes sustainable development by mainstreaming natural resources into a country’s development planning and system of national accounting.

The Program on Forests (PROFOR), hosted by the World Bank, has made forest governance one of its priority issues, providing technical assistance to improve the monitoring of forest activities and helping create consensus and political will around priority reforms. 

SecureNutrition is a knowledge platform that links Agriculture, Food Security and Nutrition. 

The Alliance for Good Fisheries Governance (ALLFISH) is a public-private partnership created by the seafood industry to establish sustainable fisheries and successful aquaculture operations, particularly in developing countries.

The Global Program on Fisheries (PROFISH) was established with key donors and stakeholders to engage the World Bank in improving environmental sustainability, human wellbeing and economic performance in the world’s fisheries and aquaculture, with a focus on the welfare of the poor in fisheries and fish farming communities in the developing world.

The Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS) is an inter-Agency platform that seeks to enhance food market transparency and encourage coordination of policy action in response to market uncertainty. It assembles food balance data, monitors trends, provides market analysis, builds capacity in participating countries, and facilitates information among policy makers. 

Gender in Agriculture is a knowledge platform that provides resources, tools and information that can help practitioners mainstream gender into agricultural development.

ICT in Agriculture is a knowledge platform that provides resources on applying information and communication technologies in agriculture.

Knowledge Exchange Platform for Responsible Agro-Investment (RAI) is a one-stop shop on RAI issues for policymakers, practitioners and stakeholders. 

Last Updated: Jun 09, 2014

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