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 made a living through agriculture.

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

    But agriculture-driven growth, poverty reduction, and 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 food system also threatens the health of people and the planet: agriculture accounts for 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 three billion people are either not eating enough or eating the wrong types of food, resulting in illnesses and health crises. A 2016 report found that hunger is a challenge for 815 million people worldwide and in 2014, 2.1 billion people were overweight and obese, 62% of them in developing countries.

    Last Updated: Sep 25, 2017

  • The World Bank Group 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 2017, there was US$ 4 billion in new IBRD/IDA commitments to agriculture and related sectors.  From 2015-17, 158 projects were implemented to provide 20 million farmers with agricultural assets and services.  4.8 million farmers adopted improved agricultural technology. Irrigation and drainage was improved on 3.5 million hectares of agricultural land.

    The International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) investments were US$ 3.8 billion. IFC financing goes to agribusiness, food companies, and banks. IFC also help clients improve productivity, climate-smart practices and food safety.

    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: Sep 25, 2017

  • In Afghanistan since 2010, 60,700 people—50% of them women—have joined savings groups in 694 villages. The savings groups have saved over US$ 4.7 million and provided 41,900 loans. 1,424 enterprise groups and 617 small and medium enterprises have also benefited from stronger links to markets and value chains.

    In Brazil between 2010 and 2017, 60,000 farmers became more competitive and increased annual sales by 64% with the help of business management assistance, grants and animal health certifications. Public services also improved in Santa Catarina State—65% of water is now community-managed, and 10% of territory is now managed under an ‘ecological corridor’.

    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 Burkina Faso between 2007 and 2017, a Bank-financed project benefitted more than 385,000 people—30% of them women. The project developed value chains for livestock, poultry, onion and mango. Most beneficiaries’ incomes rose by more 50% and agricultural exports from these supply chains increased by 10 times.

    In China since 2014, a Bank-supported project has helped expand climate-smart agriculture. Better water-use efficiency on 44,000 hectares of farmland and new technologies have improved soil conditions, and boosted production of rice by 12% and maize by 9%.  More than 29,000 farmers’ cooperatives report higher incomes and increased climate resilience.

    In Cote d’Ivoire between 2011 and 2017, the Bank provided equipment and training to boost productivity for 50,000 rice farmers—25% of them women. A Bank-supported initiative helped rehabilitate 3,013 kilometers of rural roads and provide planting material for 9,820 hectares of cocoa, 8,570 hectares of rubber trees and 8,101 hectares of palm oil trees—ultimately benefiting 117,855 people. The West Africa Agricultural Productivity Program boosted the productivity of 118,000 cocoa, palm oil, rubber, cotton and cashew nut farmers and rehabilitated 2685 kilometers of rural roads. The Bank also helped leverage US$ 21 million in private sector investment to boost productivity on at least 26,500 hectares.

    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 2011 and 2017, 105,556 beneficiaries benefited from better access to agricultural services and rural infrastructure. Their cassava yields rose to 19 tons per hectare from 7. They also received access to 2,884 tons of improved maize, rice, groundnut and sorghum seed and mobilized US$400,000 through savings groups.

    In Egypt, the Bank helped provide 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 Ethiopiathe 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, a quick response to Hurricane Matthew provided seeds, fertilizer and plowing services to over 8,000 farmers during the 2016 and 2017 planting seasons. 6500 hectares were put back into production, ultimately supporting food security.

    In Honduras between 2010 and 2017, ‘productive alliances’ helped 7,200 small farmers improve their productivity and access to local and global markets. Land productivity increased by 24 % and gross sales of producer organizations rose by 23 %.

    In Bihar, India until 2016, the Jeevika project transformed the livelihoods and economic well-being of 7 million women and their families. Women saved US$ 64 million and leveraged US$ 500 million from the formal financial sector.  Nearly 600,000 households benefited from additional income from new livelihood opportunities—including backyard poultry, dairy interventions and non-farm activities. 65% of surveyed households reported higher incomes.  

    Since 2013, Bank support has strengthened Indonesia’s agricultural research system. 33 centers now have the capacity to develop improved rice, vegetable, fruit varieties. The project has supported 138 agriculture researchers through degree programs; upgraded 27 labs and 9 research stations, and funded 421 research activities.

    In Jamaica between 2009 and 2017, an initiative focused on sustainable growth and stronger value chains helped over 4,320 farmers in 13 Parishes. The initiative introduced drip irrigation, water storage, livestock production and processing plants; organized 180 greenhouses for year-round crop production and established relationships between farmers and buyers.

    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 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 Nepal, the Bank-supported Nepal Poverty Alleviation Fund helped small farmers and rural poor people access microcredit, assets, services and training. Since 2004, it has  created over 30,000 community organizations and impacted over 900,000 households.

    In Papua New Guinea, the Bank helped provide 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 since 2015, the Bank has helped improve provincial planning for priority commodities in 81 provinces. 1,200 kilometers of rural roads have been improved, benefiting 427,000 households.  110,000 beneficiaries received support through 590 enterprise projects. 

    In Rwanda between 2010 and 2017, the Bank helped support more than 370,000 farmers—50 % of them women-- in improving their agricultural production by developing over 7,400 hectares for marshland irrigation 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 and around 2.50 tons of vegetables are exported to Europe every week.

    In the Sahel in 2016, the Bank helped vaccinate an additional 28.8 million ruminants such as cattle and sheep against major diseases and leverage additional funding for animal health.

    In Togo between 2012 and 2016, the Bank helped farmers adopt better breeding techniques, allowing 14,600 livestock producers to grow their incomes and raise healthier livestock. The Bank also provided planting material to boost production for 31,160 farmers—8% of them female-- working on16,246 hectares of cocoa, and 30, 443 hectares of coffee plantations.

    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 since 2010, the Bank has promoted sustainable livelihoods by helping develop 9,000 ‘common interest groups’ (CIGs) comprising over 15,500 households, and partnering them with agro-enterprises. The Bank also helped over 20,000 farmers improve their livestock production and benefited an additional 130,000 people through capacity building and investments in food safety.

    In Yemen in 2014, where 68 % 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: Sep 25, 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: Sep 25, 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