Key priorities for agricultural development with IFAD President Gilbert F. Houngbo

I had the pleasure of meeting with Gilbert F. Houngbo, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), to discuss key priorities for agricultural development, in light of persisting food insecurity and malnutrition despite global progress.

Focus on supporting smallholders will be an important priority for both IFAD and IFPRI, as smallholders play a critical role in global food production, yet often face poverty and hunger. As a recent IFPRI study showed, schemes designed to support smallholders, such as contract farming, would benefit from a more integrated approach for better yields and incomes.

Employment in agriculture, especially for youth, will also be critical. As automation and technological innovations continue to accelerate, it will be important to not only create opportunities along the whole agri-food value chain, but also build linkages between agriculture and other sectors. Furthermore, leveraging innovative financing mechanisms in agriculture will be key to ensuring food security and nutrition, building resilience, and reducing poverty.

I was especially pleased to hear of IFAD’s support for the Africa Agricultural Transformation Scorecard, as accountability will be crucial for tracking progress. I look forward to our continued partnership in driving inclusive and sustainable transformation of rural areas to end hunger and poverty.