Overview

  • Agricultural development is one of the most powerful tools to end extreme poverty, boost shared prosperity and feed a projected 9.7 billion people by 2050.  Growth in the agriculture sector is two to four times more effective in raising incomes among the poorest compared to other sectors. 2016 analyses found that 65% of poor working adults relied on agriculture to make a living.

    Agriculture is also crucial to economic growth: in 2014, it accounted for one-third of global gross-domestic product (GDP).

    But agriculture-driven growth and poverty reduction, as well as food security are at risk:  Climate change could cut crop yields, especially in the world’s most food-insecure regions. Agriculture, forestry and land use change are responsible for 25% of greenhouse gas emissions. Mitigation in the agriculture sector is part of the solution to climate change.

    The current global food system also threatens the health of people and planet: agriculture accounts for about 70% of water use and generates unsustainable levels of pollution and waste. Risks associated with poor diets are also the leading cause of death worldwide. Approximately 3 billion people are either not eating enough or eating the wrong types of food, resulting in illnesses and a public health crisis. Hunger is a challenge for 795 million people worldwide and in 2014, 2.1 billion people were overweight and obese, 62% of them in developing countries.

    Last Updated: Apr 04, 2017

  • The Bank works with countries, providing innovation, infrastructure and resources so that the food and agriculture sector:

    • is Climate-Smart: more productive and resilient in the face of climate change while reducing emissions, both for crops and livestock;
    • improves livelihoods and creates more and better jobs, including for women and youth;
    • boosts agribusiness by building inclusive and efficient value chains; and
    • improves food security and produces enough safe, nutritious food for everyone, everywhere, every day.

    In 2016, new IBRD/IDA commitments to agriculture and related sectors were $2.9 billion. IBRD/IDA commitments are expected to increase in 2017.  The International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) investments were 3.3 billion. World Bank IBRD/IDA agricultural assistance to Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia were $.7 billion and $.8 billion respectively. IFC’s agricultural financing goes to agribusiness value chains.

    From 2014-16, 146 projects were implemented to provide 17 million farmers with agricultural assets and services.  Four million farmers adopted improved agricultural technology. Three million hectares of agricultural land benefited from improved irrigation or drainage services.

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

    Last Updated: Apr 04, 2017

  • In Afghanistan between 2006 and 2011, the Bank provided tools and trained fruit farmers on practices for increasing their harvests. 5,229 hectares of new fruit orchards have been established and 29,192 hectares of existing orchards have been rehabilitated in 121 districts.

    In Brazil, rural competitiveness projects have helped more than 130,000 farmers reach domestic and international markets between 2010 and 2016. Credit lines, training and assistance are helping farmers adopt climate-smart agriculture— 2500 producers in the Cerrado region and 13,000 producers—50% of them women--in the Bahia region have benefited.

    In Bolivia in 2016, more than 18,600 rural households benefited from linkages to market opportunities and climate and nutrition-smart technologies are improving resilience.

    In Burundi, the Bank helped 129,000 farm households boost productivity and market access.  Farmers more than doubled their banana yields from 9 to 22.9 tons per hectare, and increased milk production to more than 1,260 liters/annum per animal.

    In Colombia in 2016, efforts are underway to build system capacities for sustainable cattle production, including support for the implementation of a livestock NAMA.

    In Cote d’Ivoire between 2011 and 2016, the Bank provided equipment and training, to boost the productivity of 50,000 rice farmers—25 percent of whom are women. Seed productivity has improved in 36 percent of irrigated rice areas.

    In Djibouti between 2012 and 2016 the Bank helped construct water harvesters benefiting 914 households and 4,620 livestock, while increasing grazing biomass with 271,400 forage units.

    In the Democratic Republic of Congo between 2010 and 2016, about 105,556 beneficiaries benefited from increased cassava yields, which rose to 19 tons per hectare from 7. They also benefited from access to 2,884 tons of improved maize, rice, groundnut and sorghum seed; and 16 village storage facilities.

    In the Dominican Republic between 2009 and 2016, 24 irrigation systems that were destroyed by tropical storms Noel and Olga were rehabilitated, restoring irrigation and drainage services on 37,218 hectares benefiting 18,779 family farmers countrywide.

    In Egypt, the Bank provided drainage improvements benefiting 600,000 families over 1,013,000 'feddan' of irrigated areas in 2015 and improved irrigation for an additional 347,030 feddan benefiting 210,000 families in 2016.

    In Ethiopia, the Bank helped provide 1.7 million pastoral and agro-pastoral communities access to reliable water; construct 1,536 km of roads; and implement irrigation schemes for 1,380 hectares. It mobilized US$ 1.9 billion dollars for rural saving and credit cooperatives to lend to members, with a repayment rate of 97%.

    In Haiti in 2016, a quick response to Hurricane Matthew secured over 100 tons of winter bean seed and streamlined a systems for providing seeds, fertilizer and plowing services to 3,060 affected farmers, effectively supporting food security of vulnerable people

    In Honduras, Mexico and Peru in 2016, agricultural producers are benefitting from productive inclusion: 34,000 in Peru --51 percent of whom are women, 7,000 in Honduras, 40,000 in Mexico.

    In India between 2008 and 2015, a Bank-financed project increased productivity and incomes for 566,000 farmers and rural poor people in Assam and 578,000 farmers in Tamil Nadu through diversification into high-value crops, new technologies, improved water management, and enhanced market access. In Madhya Pradesh 415,754 rural poor people joined Self Help Groups, gaining access to services and resources that boosted incomes. Close to 80,000 farmers benefited from better access to markets, including through 63 newly-established Ajeevika Fresh retail outlets.

    In Kosovo, the Bank helped improve infrastructure and equipment in the horticulture and livestock industries, creating jobs and benefiting 4,000 people in 2014.

    In Mali in 2014 the Bank helped 175,000 farmers adopt new technologies, livestock practices and crop varieties—including high-yielding rice seeds and pest-resistant tomatoes. Farmers reported 30 percent higher yields and a 34 percent increase in their revenues.

    In Mexico in 2016, 1,165 small and medium agribusiness have adopted environmentally sustainable energy technologies, reducing C02 emissions by 3,388,670 tons.

    In Moldova in 2014, the Bank helped farmers cope with climate change through grants for anti-hail nets and microclimate systems, and a weather app used by 6,000 farmers.

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

    In Pakistan, the Bank-supported Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund helped small farmers and rural poor people access microcredit. Since 2000, it has organized over 1 million households into 65,558 community organizations that have better access to services, assets and training.

    In Papua New Guinea, the Bank is providing cocoa farmers with training and tools to revive the cocoa industry. Since 2011, nearly one million cocoa trees have been rehabilitated or planted.

    In the Philippines between 2014 and 2016, the Bank helped build 330 kilometers of rural roads benefiting 229000 people in 15,200 hectares of agriculture areas. 

    In Rwanda between 2010 and 2016, the Bank supported more than 360,000 farmers to improve their agricultural production by developing over 7400 hectares of marshlands and improving soil conservation and erosion on more than 33,600 hectares of hillsides. Maize yields, rice yields and potato yields have all more than doubled.

    In Togo in 2015, 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 Tunisia, the Bank helped 113 remote rural villages improve land management practices on 37,000 hectares of land to increase productivity and sustainability and build and rehabilitate 930 km of rural roads serving some 160 villages. 

    In Uruguay since 2014, climate-smart agriculture techniques have been adopted on 2,946,000 hectares, providing for a carbon sequestration potential of up to 9 million tons CO2 annually

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

    In Yemen in 2014, where 68 percent of the population is rural, the Bank helped improve the yield of 60,000 farmers who now use improved seeds on 24,000 hectares.

    Last Updated: Apr 04, 2017

  • 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 that increase and improve development assistance in agriculture and rural development.

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

    The Alliance for Good Fisheries Governance (ALLFISH) is a public-private partnership to establish sustainable fisheries and successful aquaculture operations in developing countries.

    The Global Program on Fisheries (PROFISH) was established to improve environmental sustainability, human wellbeing and economic performance in the world’s fisheries and aquaculture, with a focus on fisheries and fish farming communities in the developing world.

    The Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS) is an inter-Agency platform that enhances food market transparency and encourages coordinated policy action. It assembles food balance data, monitors trends, provides market analysis and builds capacity in countries.

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

    ICT in Agriculture provides resources on information and communication technologies in agriculture.

    Last Updated: Apr 04, 2017

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In Depth

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CGIAR Global Agricultural Research

CGIAR advances cutting-edge science to reduce rural poverty, increase food security, improve human health and nutrition, and ensure the ...

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AgriFin: Agriculture Finance Support Facility

Find out how AgriFin works with banks, banker associations and others to foster learning and build capacity on financing agriculture in ...

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Forum for Agricultural Risk Management in Development

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

Image

Global Agriculture and Food Security Program

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

Image

Global Food Safety Partnership

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

Additional Resources

Media Inquiries

Washington, D.C.
Flore de Preneuf
fdepreneuf@worldbank.org