Time to step up investments in rural communities on the frontline of climate change in the Pacific islands
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is advocating for more investments in small-scale farming communities in the Pacific. With climate change intensifying and more frequent disruptions in food value chains, such investments are critical to fight poverty and malnutrition, and to enable rural populations to grow more food today and in the future.
At the Pacific Week for Agriculture taking place in Fiji this week, IFAD delegates shared their organization's vision and new strategy to work with Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
"Rural communities in the Pacific islands are on the frontline of climate change. Extreme weather events are becoming more frequent, so investments to help people adapt must accelerate," said Satu Santala, IFAD Associate Vice-President. "Small-scale producers must build their resilience to shocks now, be it climatic or economic. Tomorrow will be too late."
IFAD aims to accelerate rural development to ensure small-scale producers are resilient to shocks, can grow their crops, access more nutritious and healthy foods, and earn an income by diversifying their livelihoods.
"Solutions exist to help small-scale producers adapt to climate change, increase harvests and grow more nutritious foods. The solutions combine cutting-edge science and the most advanced climate-smart techniques with traditional knowledge and practices," explained Santala. "We need to scale-up solutions urgently."
IFAD supports climate-smart and nutrition sensitive practices such as planting drought resistant fruit and vegetable crops, establishing community nurseries, and promoting agroforestry and home gardens. The Fund also helps producers connect to commercial value chains and export markets.
Since 1978, IFAD has invested US$420 million in the Pacific region, resulting in significant impact on the ground.
IFAD is an international financial institution and a United Nations specialized agency. Based in Rome – the United Nations food and agriculture hub – IFAD invests in rural people, empowering them to reduce poverty, increase food security, improve nutrition and strengthen resilience. Since 1978, we have provided more than US$24 billion in grants and low-interest loans to fund projects in developing countries.