G20 Agriculture Ministers Meeting: IFAD President Alvaro Lario advocates for increased investment in rural transformation
Alvaro Lario, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), made a strong pitch for increased investment in small-scale farmers and rural communities at the G20 Agriculture Ministers' meeting in Hyderabad, India, from 15-17 June. His call for greater investment in rural people echoes the recognition of G7 leaders that we urgently need more support for sustainable and resilient agriculture and food systems in response to a worsening global food crisis (outlined in their recent Hiroshima Action Statement).
Lario shared IFAD's vision for development with G20 leaders and argued that investing in rural communities is the most cost-effective way to improve global food security and support stability.
"Despite the fact that the multiple crises are staling global progress on eradicating poverty and hunger, we can still achieve our goals," said Lario. "We know what works: climate-smart technologies, improved resilience, and commercially viable nature-based solutions are proven ways to build equitable, sustainable and inclusive food systems. But to realize this potential, we must invest in small-scale producers and boost the role of rural women and youth in value chains," he added.
While in India, he also met Minister of Finance Nirmala Sitharaman and Minister of Agriculture Narendra Singh Tomar. They discussed the reform of the financial architecture and the role the global South in this process, as well as the importance of aggregation of food producers to achieve food system transformation in India. "India is a crucial and long-standing partner in our efforts to address hunger and poverty, empower rural women and build resilience to climate change," said Lario. "I am confident that under India's presidency, the G20 will develop a roadmap to feed a hungry planet sustainably and equitably."
Earlier this year, G7 leaders identified IFAD as a key player for global food security, expressing support to the Fund's action towards small-scale farmers to strengthen local food production, meet local and regional food demand, build markets and reduce food loss. Between 2019 and 2021, IFAD investments raised the incomes of 77.4 million rural people while improving food security for 57 million people.
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