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 global food security are at risk: Agriculture is more vulnerable to climate change than any other sector. A warming climate could cut crop yields by more than 25%. Agriculture and land use change are also responsible for between 19–29% of global greenhouse gas emissions. 


Last Updated: Apr 01, 2015

The World Bank Group works across sectors to engage countries on agriculture so that the sector is resilient and sustainable in the face of climate change, creates jobs and economic growth and produces healthy, nutritious food—especially for the world’s poorest people.

In 2014, new commitments to agriculture and related sectors were $8.3 billion. For IBRD/IDA, assistance to agriculture and related sectors rose to $4.3 billion in FY14 from $3.6 billion in FY13. At $4 billion, the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) investments were at one of its highest levels ever. Altogether, the commitments meet the Bank Group Agriculture Action Plan’s projection of between $8 to $10 billion. World Bank IBRD/IDA agricultural assistance to Sub-Saharan Africa was particularly strong, reaching $1.6 billion, a 59% increase over FY10–12. 75% of our agriculture lending goes to increasing productivity and 21% is for improving access to markets. IFC’s agricultural lending goes to agribusiness value chains.

The Bank Group is also a partner in the Global Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture, which seeks to improve food and nutrition security through a broad coalition of public and private sector partners.



Last Updated: Apr 01, 2015

The World Bank works with countries to help farmers increase yields and produce more nutritious and safe food for a growing population, improve their livelihoods and create rural jobs. The Bank provides farmers with the infrastructure, innovation and resources they need to farm more productively in the face of climate change, including:

  • Advancing approaches, such as Climate-Smart Agriculture, which allow farmers to sustainably produce more food, be resilient to climate shocks, adapt to climate change, reduce GHG emissions and reduce negative impact on the environment
  • Expanding agriculture financing
  • Improving irrigation
  • Supporting agribusiness
  • Providing training on best practices and innovative approaches to farming, livestock and food production
  • Giving women farmers the right tools and opportunities

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

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

In Cote d’Ivoire, the Bank provided equipment and training, and rehabilitated research centers to boost the productivity of rice farmers. 50,000 rice farmers—25% of whom are women--have benefited from higher harvests. Seed productivity has improved in 36% of irrigated rice areas and is expected to yield 219,000 tons of paddy rice.

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 andimproved irrigation for an additional 347,030 feddan benefiting 210,000 families.

In Indiathe Bank introduced new technologies and approaches to raise farm productivity, manage scarce water resources and enable better planting decisions for more than 167,000 farm households in Karnataka—including 80,000 women. In Bihar, the Bank helped nearly 400,000 farmers implement the System of Root Intensification (SRI) to improve productivity of rice by 86% ,wheat by 72% and 18 other crops; SRI is now state policy. The Bank also helped implement a dairy intervention in more than 25,000 households that brought in incomes of up to Rs 15,000.

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

In Madagascarthe 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 feeding practices and crop varieties—including high-yielding rice seeds and pest-resistant tomatoes—to revitalize productivity. Farmers reported 30% higher yields and a 34% increase in their revenues.

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 updated 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. To date, nearly a million cocoa trees have been rehabilitated or planted, raising yields and incomes for thousands of families.

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 tointensify rice production for 18,724 farmers and 1,056 hectares of land. High-yielding rice varieties have been adopted by 10,865 farmers.

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 Yemen, where 68% 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.

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

Last Updated: Apr 01, 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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