A partnership to eradicate rural poverty - IFAD


A partnership to eradicate rural poverty - IFAD


A partnership to

eradicate rural poverty


Enabling the

rural poor to overcome


The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is a specialized

agency of the United Nations dedicated to eradicating rural poverty in developing

countries. Through concessional and highly concessional loans and grants, IFAD

works with rural poor people, governments, donors, NGOs and other partners to

develop and finance programmes and projects that ensure rural poor people have

secure access to the assets they need to overcome poverty. These assets include

water, land and other natural resources, financial services, technology and markets.

IFAD’s activities are guided by three strategic objectives:

• strengthen the capacity of rural poor people and their organizations

• improve equitable access to productive natural resources and technologies

• increase access to financial services and markets

Underlying these strategic objectives is the belief that rural poor people must be

empowered to lead their own development if poverty is to be eradicated. Poor

people must be able to develop and strengthen their own organizations, so they

can advance their own interests and dismantle the obstacles that prevent many of

them from creating better lives for themselves. They must have more influence

over the decisions and policies that affect their lives, and more bargaining power

in the market place.

IFAD’s work is critical to achieving the MDGs. About 75 per cent of the world’s

poorest people live in rural areas and depend on agriculture and related activities

for their livelihoods. To reach the targets of halving the proportion of extremely

poor and hungry people by 2015, agriculture and rural development must be

central to development efforts.

Since starting operations in 1978, IFAD has invested almost US$8.7 billion in

689 programmes and projects that have reached more than 250 million rural poor

people. There are 192 ongoing IFAD-supported rural poverty eradication

programmes and projects, totalling US$6.1 billion. IFAD has invested almost

US$3 billion in these initiatives.

A symbol of international

cooperation among OECD, OPEC

and developing countries

IFAD’s logo, developed in 1978, is highly symbolic.

It shows an ear of grain supported by three stalks.

The stalks represent its three founding supporters –

OECD countries, OPEC countries and developing

countries.The creation of IFAD represented a new

type of partnership, between rich and poor countries,

in which each group provided substantial financing.

Making a

difference in the fight

against poverty

The OPEC Fund for International Development is an intergovernmental

development finance institution, established in 1976 by the then 13 member countries

of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The OPEC Fund

promotes cooperation between its member countries and other developing countries

as an expression of south-south solidarity. In particular, it supports the social and

economic advancement of low-income countries.

The OPEC Fund provides concessionary loans to

help finance development programmes and projects,

along with grants for technical assistance, food aid,

research and emergency relief. In addition, it

contributes to the resources of other development

institutions whose work benefits developing countries.

Of increasing importance is the OPEC Fund's

financing of private-sector activities in developing countries.

Today, the 12 member countries of the

OPEC Fund are Algeria, Gabon, Indonesia, the

Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libyan

Arab Jamahiriya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia,

the United Arab Emirates and the Bolivarian

Republic of Venezuela. Ecuador withdrew

from the OPEC Fund in 1993.

The OPEC Fund takes an integrated, participatory approach to development,

focusing on actions that directly improve the living standards of the world's poorest

people. Most of its work is in rural areas, and includes initiatives not only in the

agriculture sector, but also in health, water supply and sanitation, education, energy,

transportation, telecommunications, industry and private enterprise development.

The OPEC Fund has developed strong alliances with its partner countries, working

with them to address areas of greatest need.

Flexibility and responsiveness are among the OPEC Fund's core principles, allowing

for prompt action when new needs and opportunities arise. Recent examples include

its participation in the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Debt Initiative, its

private-sector financing window, and its special grant accounts for HIV/AIDS, food

aid and the Palestinian Authority.

All developing countries, with the exception of OPEC Fund member states, are

eligible for assistance from the OPEC Fund. Since starting operations in 1976, the

OPEC Fund has committed more than US$7.6 billion in development financing,

including US$6.3 billion in loans for well over 1,000 programmes and projects. So far,

119 countries in all developing regions of the world have benefited from its financing.

About 330 projects are currently under way.

“The creation of IFAD represented a new type of

partnership – between OPEC countries and

industrialized countries, between developing

countries and developed countries – in which

each group provided substantial financing for the

institution. It was an early example of a global

alliance across geographic or ideological

differences, joining together for the shared goal of

eradicating poverty and hunger.”

Kofi Annan

Secretary-General of the United Nations


Women in the Buberuka highlands of Rwanda collect clay from a streambed

to make bricks and roof tiles for sale. They are supported by a local NGO,

Duterimbere, or “Advancing Forward”.


It is 30 years since OPEC member countries set off the chain of

events that led to the establishment of IFAD and the OPEC Fund

for International Development.

Created in response to the world food crisis that was devastating

many developing countries in the mid-1970s, IFAD represented a

recognition by the international community that a global alliance

with shared goals was needed to eradicate poverty and hunger.

The establishment of the OPEC Fund was a significant gesture of

the solidarity of OPEC member states with the developing world.

The creation of both

institutions in the same

period reflected broad

acknowledgement that

partnerships were a key to

addressing urgent global


Over almost three decades,

IFAD and the OPEC Fund

have crafted a unique

partnership that transcends

mere financial cooperation. The partnership is rooted in a common

goal: enabling poor people, especially in rural areas, to secure a

better life. We work together to design, finance and implement

development programmes and projects in some of the poorest and

most vulnerable rural communities in developing countries.

What made this partnership unique at its founding is still true

today. IFAD represented a new type of partnership between OPEC

countries and industrialized countries, and between developing

countries and developed countries. OPEC member countries

provided the will and substantial resources, in partnership with

the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

(OECD), of the countries to make IFAD a reality.


Because of this unique contribution, OPEC

countries hold a special status at IFAD.

Today, the world again faces a crisis, with poverty

still the single greatest threat to security and

sustainable development. The entire international

community now has an unprecedented focus on

poverty reduction – embodied in its commitment to

achieving the Millennium Development Goals

(MDGs). Time-bound and measurable, the MDGs

call on the international community to align

priorities and approaches, and to build a global

partnership for development.

With this new global initiative, the need for effective

and flexible partnerships is greater than ever. The

first target of the MDGs – to halve the proportion of

people living in extreme poverty by 2015 – is

achievable. In Southern and Eastern Asia, there has

been considerable progress towards reducing

poverty and hunger, strongly correlated with high

levels of investment in agriculture. In sub-Saharan

Africa, where public expenditure for agriculture is

relatively low, little progress has been made.

However, it is very encouraging that African leaders

are committed to increase investment in agriculture.

Both IFAD and the OPEC Fund are fully

committed to the principle of cooperation as we

work towards achieving the MDGs. However, we

believe, too, in looking beyond the targets. Poverty

eradication is about much more than just goals. It is

about real people and real needs. It is about

grinding hardship, hunger and sickness – the daily

lot of 1.2 billion men, women and children who live

in extreme poverty.

To date, over and above their independent

agendas, IFAD and the OPEC Fund have

cofinanced 58 programmes and projects in all

developing regions of the world. Both institutions

also participate in policy dialogue and work to

harmonize activities in areas of mutual interest.

In 2004, we met officially to explore new ways to

work together.

At the same time, we acknowledge that our most

important partners are poor people themselves.

Only by responding to their needs and aspirations

will we succeed in enabling them, and their

children, to lead a better life.

In this context, the long-term partnership between

IFAD and the OPEC Fund takes on greater

significance. As development partners, we

acknowledge the many benefits of combining

resources, skills and experience. By bringing our

individual strengths to the partnership, we

generate synergies that help maximize the impact

of our joint efforts.

Lennart Båge

President of IFAD

Suleiman J. Al-Herbish

Director-General of the OPEC Fund

The key to success in our joint initiatives is

complementarity. The OPEC Fund generally

supports rural infrastructure, while IFAD focuses

on agricultural support services and investment.


With support from their crew leader, front, women from an ethnic minority in

Hoang Su Phi,Viet Nam, build roads connecting remote villages.


OPEC countries

and the origins of IFAD

In the mid-1970s, a world food crisis demanded

quick action to avert mass starvation, and to

address the underlying causes of hunger and

malnutrition over the long term. In response,

international leaders met at the United Nations

World Food Conference in Rome in 1974 to

discuss the complex dimensions of the food crisis

and the measures needed to achieve global food

security. They explored initiatives that could

forge new partnerships and mobilize additional

resources. One of these initiatives was a proposal

to create a new agency, IFAD, that would focus

on the poorest and most vulnerable people in

the world: rural poor people. But a major

stumbling block remained: where would the

resources come from? Traditional donors, while

in favour of the proposed new agency, were

reluctant to give more.

The willingness of OPEC countries to provide a

substantial portion of IFAD’s initial funding was one

of the turning points leading to the establishment of

the new institution. By committing significant

financial resources, the OPEC countries also

leveraged a ground-breaking agreement by which

developing countries would have a prominent role

in the governance of IFAD.

An initial target was set for US$1 billion, with the

understanding that OECD countries and OPEC

countries would contribute the bulk of the

funding, but that other developing countries

would also contribute. This new fund would also

have a unique power-sharing arrangement. Equal

voting power would be shared among the three

categories of members: OECD countries, OPEC

nations and other developing countries.


Transforming this idea into reality required

persistent and protracted negotiations. OPEC

countries generously agreed to provide almost as

large a share of contributions as the OECD

countries. OECD countries were convinced of the

value of participating in a fund where they would

not have full control over decision-making. In the

end, OPEC countries pledged US$435.5 million,

OECD countries US$569 million and other

developing countries US$20.6 million. The OPEC

Fund provided an additional US$20 million from

its resources for the First Replenishment. Given

the relative size of the GDP of its member

countries, compared to that of OECD countries,

the contribution from the OPEC countries was an

extraordinary gesture.

When the majority of participants signed the

agreement establishing IFAD in 1976, it was a

victory for all and a milestone in international

development. For the first time, an agency would

focus exclusively on the most overlooked and

marginalized poor people – those living in rural

areas of developing countries.

OPEC leaders reaffirm their

commitment to combat poverty

In September 2000, a few weeks after the

Millennium Summit, leaders of OPEC

member countries met for OPEC’s Second

Summit of Heads of State and Government,

held in Caracas, the Bolivarian Republic of

Venezuela.Their Caracas Declaration

reiterated the solidarity of OPEC nations

with the rest of the developing world.The

OPEC nations pledged to continue to help

meet the needs of poor countries through

individual and multilateral aid programmes,

and through the partnership between IFAD

and the OPEC Fund.

The Declaration also stated that economic

and social development and the eradication

of poverty should be the overriding global

priority. OPEC leaders urged the

industrialized countries to recognize that

“the biggest environmental tragedy facing

the globe is human poverty”.

Also for the first time, OPEC countries acquired a

decisive role in determining international

development priorities through their governance

role in a multilateral development institution.

OECD countries were pleased to have OPEC

resources available to finance programmes and

projects. And developing countries knew they

would have valuable allies in OPEC nations.

Even today, IFAD remains one of the few major

multilateral development finance organizations in

which OPEC and other developing countries hold

a majority of the votes.


Why invest

in agriculture and rural


Extreme poverty is overwhelmingly rural. Three

quarters of the world’s poorest people live in

rural areas and depend on agriculture and

agriculture-related small industries and services

to earn a living. Most of them are smallholder

farmers, landless wage labourers, pastoralists and

artisanal fishers.

Agriculture is the major employer, the largest

sector of the economy and the top export earner

in most developing countries. The link between

spending on agricultural development, and

economic growth and poverty reduction has

become increasingly clear. In recent years, a strong

correlation has emerged between greater levels of

spending on agriculture and progress towards

achieving the MDG targets of halving the

proportion of extremely poor and hungry people.


Gender matters

This is especially true in Eastern and Southern Asia.

By contrast, in sub-Saharan Africa where domestic

support for agriculture is extremely low, poverty is on

the rise in many countries. The commitment by

African Union members to allocate at least 10 per cent

of national budgets to agriculture and rural

development could reverse this trend.

Sixty per cent of the world’s rural poor

people are women and girls. IFAD and the

OPEC Fund encourage initiatives that

empower them.Women have enormous

potential as agents of change.When a

woman’s economic status improves, her

self-esteem and confidence increase and

she is more likely to become involved in

social action and community decisionmaking.Women

can then transform their

own lives and the lives of their families and

communities, thus becoming powerful

contributors to social and economic

development. IFAD and the OPEC Fund

support programmes and projects that

remove the obstacles preventing women

from reaching their potential. Better access

to financial services, training in new job

skills and improved access to land are key


When governments invest in agriculture, small-scale

farmers can increase productivity and gain better

access to markets. As productivity rises, demand

grows for seeds, irrigation, fertilizer, tools, processing

and transportation, leading to increased employment

by the rural non-farm sector. As the farming and rural

non-farm sectors become stronger, they help sustain

the whole economy.

International trade is another key engine for growth

and poverty reduction. With improved quality and

quantity of goods produced by the agriculture sector,

and equitable access to export markets, developing

countries can generate valuable foreign exchange

earnings for domestic investment.

Following a long period of underinvestment, there is

growing recognition by developing country

governments and donors of the critical importance of

investing in agriculture and rural development. Along

with investment resources, IFAD and the OPEC Fund

provide borrowing governments with access to

knowledge and expertise that helps translate concern

for agricultural and rural development into activities

leading to increased production, economic growth

and improvements in the lives of rural people.



Small farmers in Achaca, Bolivia meet to discuss

their yoghurt processing microenterprise.

Reversing land degradation through

the Global Mechanism


in partnership

IFAD and the OPEC Fund work together as

partners to finance development programmes and

projects in some of the poorest and most

vulnerable communities in developing countries.

Their cooperation goes beyond simply combining

financial resources. They share a common belief in

the need to empower rural poor people to

overcome poverty, and a conviction that to succeed,

development programmes and projects must be

built on the experience, insights and perspectives

of rural poor people themselves.

When land is degraded, animal and farm

productivity drops, contributing to

increased poverty.The Global Mechanism of

the United Nations Convention to Combat

Desertification (UNCCD), which is hosted

at IFAD, helps countries focus their

energies, resources and knowledge on

reversing this destructive process. IFAD has

contributed US$6.25 million to support this

work.The OPEC Fund also supports the

Global Mechanism, for instance through a

US$300,000 grant to mitigate land

degradation, manage drought and improve

land management practices in West Asia

and North Africa.Another US$350,000

grant is fighting desertification by improving

water harvesting in rainfed lands, enhancing

soil fertility, and planting trees, shrubs and

fodder crops.

Support must respond to the needs of small-scale

producers who, although food producers

themselves, are among the hungriest and the

poorest. At the same time, efforts to improve

agricultural production must be part of an

integrated approach to rural development that

addresses the many dimensions of rural poverty.

The OPEC Fund is the largest cofinancier of IFADsponsored

programmes and projects after the

World Bank. Together, the partners have

cofinanced 58 projects in over 30 countries, and

more joint initiatives are in the pipeline.


These projects bring clean water to remote villages,

and help communities form water users’

associations so that new wells and pumps are

maintained after projects end. They build new

roads and repair existing ones, making sure farm

inputs reach villages and allowing farmers to bring

their harvests to markets where they fetch a good

price. Often, projects contain a savings and loans

component, enabling people to safely save their

income and take out a loan to start a business.

Projects strengthen agricultural production by

increasing access to improved seeds and other

farm inputs, holding training courses, improving

animal health and increasing the value of crops

through processing. The partners also use grants

to finance research in agriculture, animal health,

fisheries and other areas that can ease the burden

of poverty in developing nations.

IFAD projects cofinanced with the OPEC Fund

(approved amounts in US$ 000)

Country No. of projects IFAD financing OPEC Fund cofinancing Total project cost

Angola 1 7,190 3,130 11,950

Armenia 1 15,301 5,000 28,721

Benin 1 9,000 4,000 17,000

Bolivia 3 29,500 4,500 43,051

Bosnia and Herzegovina 1 12,000 5,000 25,489

Burkina Faso 1 16,029 2,886 38,314

Burundi 4 57,846 27,423 120,315

Dominican Republic 1 14,000 5,000 24,000

Equatorial Guinea 1 4,983 1,482 18,002

Ethiopia 1 11,000 4,000 33,700

Guatemala 5 76,229 35,430 151,639

Guinea 2 25,214 11,182 43,723

Guyana 1 6,000 1,000 9,000

Haiti 1 10,572 3,275 22,314

Honduras 1 7,682 3,339 15,722

Jordan 2 21,920 10,273 70,090

Kenya 1 8,000 5,000 19,200

Laos 2 11,473 7,811 40,100

Lebanon 1 9,961 4,924 21,894

Madagascar 2 25,340 10,764 45,638

Maldives 2 4,920 3,115 21,410

Mali 2 21,700 6,010 38,000

Mauritania 2 22,327 5,990 41,294

Morocco 2 41,735 5,627 101,952

Mozambique 2 18,428 6,088 31,372

Paraguay 2 22,115 6,157 46,465

Peru 1 12,278 4,000 19,142

Rwanda 3 30,721 17,832 62,603

Sudan 2 22,002 13,616 55,614

Thailand 1 10,000 3,000 18,300

Tunisia 1 18,746 6,987 44,337

Turkey 1 13,079 9,902 30,043

United Republic of Tanzania 2 31,176 2,168 43,789

Zambia 2 36,833 1,000 46,200

Total 58 685,300 246,911 1400,383


Each partner focuses on certain sectors in their

cofinanced programmes and projects. The OPEC

Fund generally supports rural infrastructure,

including water supply and rural roads, as well as

farming assets, including agricultural equipment,

animal restocking and private-sector

agroprocessing facilities.

IFAD focuses on agricultural support services,

including research and extension, rural financial

services, community development and creation of

local institutions, and on agricultural investments,

such as installing irrigation equipment or

developing tree plantations.

The partnership between IFAD and the OPEC

Fund combines their particular strengths to

maximize the impact of their efforts. The OPEC

Fund has special insight into the problems

associated with poverty because its member states

are themselves developing countries. This makes

the OPEC Fund a valuable ally to other developing

nations and a good partner to IFAD.

To date, the cumulative pledges of OPEC Fund

member states to IFAD amount to US$1.3 billion.

This includes US$861 million towards IFAD’s initial

capital and First Replenishment, US$430.6 million

towards subsequent replenishments, and a special

contribution of US$20 million from the OPEC

Fund’s own resources.

Of the total pledged amount, just over

US$1.1 billion has so far been paid in.

Encouraging the private sector

to help reduce poverty

The lack of a vibrant domestic private

sector is one of the reasons why the gap

between the rich and poor in many

developing countries fails to narrow.Today,

nine of every ten new jobs in the

developing world are created in the private

sector. In addition to creating jobs and

providing valuable training, the private

sector can promote efficiency and growth

by introducing competition into the

economy. It also generates trade and spurs


The OPEC Fund has, all along, provided

support indirectly to the private sector,

through, for instance, lines of credit and

extension services. In the late 1990s,

however, the Fund decided to create a

dedicated Private Sector Facility to help

promote productive private enterprise in

developing countries, including loans

directly to small, medium- and micro-sized

private enterprises.With access to

adequate funding, private entrepreneurs in

poor countries can break the cycle of low

savings, low investment and low growth and

begin contributing to a nation’s economic


IFAD’s strategy on private-sector

development and partnership includes

promoting policy dialogue for local privatesector

development, investing in local

private-sector initiatives and encouraging

partnership with the private sector as a

source of additional investment and

knowledge that can help reduce poverty in

rural areas.



and the OPEC Fund

work together

IFAD and the OPEC Fund are dedicated to making a

difference in the lives of poor people.They cofinance joint

programmes and projects in developing countries that help

poor people create better lives for themselves by

improving infrastructure, boosting literacy and business

skills, increasing access to financial services and introducing

modern farming methods and materials.

And because developing nations depend so heavily on

agriculture as an employer and source of revenue, the

partners invest in agricultural research to make the most

from farming, fishing and livestock production.




The following are examples of some of the 58 programmes and projects

cofinanced by IFAD and the OPEC Fund in over 30 countries.

Modern technology boosts farming in

the highlands of Guatemala

Many of the poorest people in Guatemala are

indigenous people of Mayan descent living in harsh

mountainous environments where the high altitude

restricts the growth of many crops.

The Government of Guatemala asked IFAD to

help design a project to increase food production,

raise family income and reduce poverty in nine

districts in the northwest of the country. The

US$20.8 million Cuchumatanes Highlands Rural

Development Project received cofinancing from the

OPEC Fund, and was active from 1993 to 2000.

Farmers used new technologies and modern

tools that made it easier for them to increase

production. They adopted post-harvest storage

methods that meant less of their harvest was lost to

spoilage and they planted higher-value crops, such as

fruit trees, to boost family incomes. Small-scale

irrigation systems and catchment basins improved

water management, while measures including tree

planting were adopted to improve soil conservation.

With access to small loans, project participants

could finance new businesses, such as selling farm

inputs and consumer goods. Grass-roots groups

were strengthened, enabling rural poor people to

design and implement project activities. Self-esteem

workshops encouraged women to play a greater role

in project activities and training courses sensitized

both sexes to gender discrimination.

Food production and income increased as a

result of the project, but one of the most significant

outcomes was the impact on women, who took a

much greater role in community decisions.

Better use of soil and water yields more

income in Jordan

In north-east Jordan, limited arable land and

increasing soil degradation put severe strain on small

farmers. The US$28.1 million Yarmouk Agricultural

Resources Development Project is introducing

better farming practices that protect soil and water

resources.The six-year project started in 1999 and is


Farmers are using stone walls, earth banks and

terraces to stabilize the soil, while crop rotation and

other techniques allow the soil to recover. Farmers

and their families are planting orchards to provide

vitamin-rich fruits that can also be sold as cash crops.

A network of cisterns and rehabilitated springs

provide water to irrigate the orchards.

The growth of non-farm activities is helping

reduce pressure on the land and raise family

incomes. Local women are taking out small loans to

start businesses, improving the quality of their goods

and with project support, getting them to market.

More than 160 km of roads have been constructed

to ensure access to local markets.


Healthier livestock produces more milk in Lebanon

Lebanon’s 17-year civil war left rural families with few cattle,sheep and goats.IFAD

and the OPEC Fund cofinanced the US$21.9 million Smallholder Livestock

Rehabilitation Project, to enable herding families in the Bekaa Valley to purchase

animals and obtain technical assistance to improve the production of milk, meat

and wool.The project ran from 1993 to 2002.

Farmers secured loans to buy high-yielding imported dairy cows and local

varieties of sheep and goats. Dairy cattle were vaccinated against foot-and-mouth

disease. The project constructed ten milk collection centres to provide a more

hygienic way of collecting milk.

Five extension centres trained nearly 1,000 participants in animal health,

livestock breeding and post-harvest processing.Women took courses in how to

organize small-scale entrepreneurial activities, such as selling handicrafts. Many

women formed food production cooperatives to process fruits and vegetables.

One of greatest impacts of the project was an increase in annual milk

production, from about 3,500 litres per cow to more than 6,000 litres. More

hygienic processing reduced the amount of milk rejected because of poor

quality from 20 per cent to 1.7 per cent and led to a 50 per cent rise in the

price farmers received for their milk. The vaccination campaign reduced the

incidence of animal diseases.

Harnessing the life-giving force of the Niger River in Mali

In the desert of Mali, where there is water, there is life.When rainfall is abundant,

the Niger River floods its banks, raising the water levels of lakes and ponds. In

the dry season, the lakes recede and in some years rainfall is so sparse the lakes

dry up. The limited availability of water contributes to poor agricultural


The US$11 million Development Project in the Zone Lacustre helped

farmers, fishers and herders in the northern Niafunké region of the country to

conserve water and use improved farming techniques to boost yields.The project

received cofinancing from IFAD and the OPEC Fund, and ran from 1987 to 1996.

Land was levelled so that water from the lakes and ponds could be used for

irrigation. Dams and floodgates helped maintain water in the lakes for longer

periods and small pumps transferred water to nearby fields. Technical advice

enabled farmers to make the most of the floating rice system, a way of planting

seedlings in the flooded plains and transferring them as the water recedes.

Women’s groups worked plots of 5 ha of irrigated vegetable gardens using

improved varieties of rice, sorghum and other crops.The yields were large enough

so the women could feed their families and still have a surplus to sell or trade.

As the water levels of lakes and ponds rose and remained high for longer

periods, more families were able to settle there, engaging in both farming and


A second phase of the project, approved in 1996 and ongoing, is building on

these achievements and introducing new efforts to improve health and nutrition,

including better access to clean water and sanitation.


Improved irrigation and better animal health reduces poverty in


In the southern arid zones of Morocco, population pressure and limited natural

resources are major constraints.The US$52.5 million Tafilalet and Dades Rural

Development Project was implemented between 1994 and 2001 to modernize

irrigation systems and improve animal health. IFAD and the OPEC Fund

contributed to the financing of the project.

The project focused on people living in two main ecosystems. One was arid

and pre-Saharan, where agricultural production depended on the availability of

water for irrigation.The other was steppe, where raising goats, sheep and other

livestock was the main source of income.

The use of small-scale irrigation is a tradition in Morocco. Equipment was

repaired and reinforced and dykes were installed to protect cultivated fields

from flooding. Rotation, land-resting schemes and other techniques allowed

farming and grazing lands to recover from degradation. Farmers planted

fodder shrubs to prevent soil erosion and ensure improved grazing lands for

livestock. More than 2 million animals were vaccinated against disease and

another 3 million were treated against parasites.

Women learned new skills to help them generate income. They also

attended literacy classes to improve their business skills.The project introduced

a new breed of goat that women could purchase for a third of the market price

and pay for in several instalments.

The women also had access to free veterinary care for their animals. A

cooperative made it possible for 1,200 women to process goat’s milk into

cheese. Women formed five associations, made up of more than 200 women

farmers and livestock herders. Women’s groups helped other women share

experiences and develop marketing plans to ensure that agricultural products

found a market outlet.


Rebuilding lives after years of civil war in Rwanda

Following the genocide in 1994, refugees poured into Rwanda’s north-east

Umutara province, doubling the population and contributing to increased

poverty. With cofinancing from IFAD and the OPEC Fund, the Umutara

Community Resource and Infrastructure Development Project is empowering

communities to improve their lives through a ten-year project to boost crop

yields, bring clean water to villages and repair and construct rural roads. The

project was approved in 2000 and is ongoing.

The project is working with the Government of Rwanda to mobilize the

local offices of public administration and to support newly established

decentralized government bodies to provide the services villagers need. It is also

promoting the development of farmers’ and women’s organizations so rural

poor people can manage the development process and decide which activities

are most urgent.

One of the most pressing needs is clean water. Umutara is one of the driest

areas of Rwanda, and women and children often spend hours every day

collecting water. The project is drilling boreholes to reach underground water

reserves, laying 200 km of water pipes and constructing and rehabilitating dams

to provide drinking water for cattle.

More than 300 km of roads are being built or upgraded, making sure

every community has an all-weather road within 5 km so harvests can be

brought to market.

Seed-multiplication and fertilizer-marketing centres are being built in six

communes to help farmers increase production.To make sure that the poorest

and most vulnerable families can take advantage of opportunities offered by the

project, 12,000 free starter packages are being distributed, containing highyielding

maize and bean seeds, fertilizers, forage seedlings and fruit tree seedlings.

The Umutara Community Resource and Infrastructure Twin Project,

approved in 2001, is using the same strategy to bring benefits to 35,000 families

not reached through the first effort.

Community groups gain the

know-how to reduce poverty in Turkey

Per capita annual income in eastern Turkey hovers

around US$800, far lower than the national average of

US$2,800. Yet the area has well-developed roads and

good communication networks, and has considerable

economic potential.The US$30 million, seven-year Sivas-

Erzincan Development Project was approved in 2003. It

targets 50,000 people in 200 villages in two eastern

provinces, helping increase their income and improve

their quality of life. The project is receiving cofinancing

from IFAD and the OPEC Fund.

Community participation through village

associations is at the heart of the project. Training

courses offer support in planning, management and

administration so the groups can prioritize community

needs, manage grazing lands and water, and increase

their bargaining power in the market place.

Herders are learning about better animal health,

marketing and improved rangeland management.

Farmers are organizing and holding demonstrations of

farming techniques, including contour tillage, contour

strip cropping and other improved tillage techniques, to

pass what they learn on to others.

About 70 new or existing cooperatives are receiving

advice on how to serve their members better by

delivering essential services in production,marketing and

processing. Training in bookkeeping, accounting and

general business skills is enabling the groups to develop

plans to market agricultural products.

Priority is being given to needy households headed

by women, and to families with little or no land and few

or no farm animals.




Agriculture in developing countries not only provides food, it employs the

majority of people and earns substantial revenue. Yet many poor nations

contend with harsh climates, limited water resources, depleted soils, farm

pests and other constraints that limit their ability to make the most of the

sector. Eradicating rural poverty and achieving global food security depend

significantly on insights from research that is geared to the needs of smallscale

farmers in resource-poor conditions.

This includes research that helps improve the quantity and quality of

agricultural production by testing new seeds, better breeds and farming

methods that respond to the specific needs of rural poor people.This is why

both IFAD and the OPEC Fund invest heavily in agricultural research.

The OPEC Fund has provided more than US$16.5 million in grants to

the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).

Current support is helping to strengthen resistance to the maize streak

virus in East Africa; to fund research on barley, a key crop in the West Asia

and North Africa region; and to implement an integrated crop management

scheme among potato farmers in Latin America. The OPEC Fund is also

working with the Arab Organization for Agricultural Development to

control agricultural pests and livestock disease, through campaigns to fight

the red palm weevil, Old World screwworm, Rift Valley fever and foot-andmouth


Together with the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture, the

OPEC Fund is studying how forage and food crops can be irrigated using

saline water. The OPEC Fund has provided grants of over US$2 million

towards the initial construction of the centre, capacity building, and

research programmes.

IFAD also provides significant support to agricultural research. It has

provided US$163 million in grants to programmes and projects implemented

by centres supported by the CGIAR. It is funding a follow-up phase of a

successful US$2.7 million programme to combat the red palm weevil using

environmentally friendly control methods. The new two-year, US$7 million

programme is paying for a full-time specialist and consultants to carry out

further research and field trials in nine Middle Eastern countries.

IFAD contributed US$1.5 million to a four-year integrated crop and

livestock programme to boost the production of sheep and goats in low

rainfall areas in eight countries in the Middle East and North Africa. About

14,000 farmers and herders participated in the programme to improve

animal health, boost fertility levels, plant disease-resistant, high-yielding

fodder crops, and form collectives so they could qualify for loans. On-farm

research made sure farmers’ needs could be assessed accurately and then

farmers shared what they had learned through farmer-to-farmer training

and travelling workshops.The programme ended in 2002.


Milestones in the history

of IFAD and the OPEC Fund

1974 One of the most concrete results of the World Food Conference is the creation of IFAD.

The Conference adopts Resolution XIII, initiated and sponsored by 11 of 12 OPEC

nations, along with 19 other developing and three developed countries.

1976 In an expression of south-south solidarity, OPEC nations establish the OPEC Special

Fund and mandate it to provide financial support to non-OPEC developing countries

to aid their social and economic advancement.

1977 At IFAD’s first Governing Council meeting, US$1 billion is contributed jointly by

OECD, OPEC countries and other developing countries, launching an important

example of north-south cooperation.

1978 The IFAD logo is developed, representing the tripartite cooperation between OECD,

OPEC and other developing nations.

1979 IFAD and the OPEC Fund approve their first cofinancing initiative, the East Mpanda

Rural Development Project in Burundi.

1980 The 13 OPEC Fund member countries agree to turn the OPEC Special Fund into a

permanent international development agency called the OPEC Fund for International


1982 OPEC Fund nations contribute US$425.6 million to the First Replenishment of IFAD’s

Resources. Together with a special donation from the OPEC Fund, this allows IFAD to

reach its replenishment target.

1986 – 2003 OPEC Fund member states contribute to further IFAD replenishments and consolidate

their programme of joint operations.

2004 (February) Newly incumbent Director-General of the OPEC Fund, Suleiman J. Al-Herbish,

addresses the 27th Session of IFAD’s Governing Council, noting: “Our [the OPEC

Fund’s] commitment to the eradication of abject poverty is so absolute that the rural

world has become our world as much as it is that of IFAD.”

2004 (April) IFAD President, Lennart Båge, is welcomed to the OPEC Fund headquarters in Vienna

by OPEC Fund Director-General Al-Herbish. The talks reaffirm and lend fresh impetus

to the strategic partnership between the two institutions.


Cover photo: A man prepares vegetables for sale

at the central market in Antsirabè, Madagascar.

All photos IFAD by: S. Beccio - A. Boulat - A. Conti - R. Grossman -

N. McGirr - J. Morando - J. Spaul - P.Tartagni - H.Wagner

Printed by Palombi & Lanci srl - September 2005

Via del Serafico 107

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Telephone: +39 06 54591

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E-mail: ifad@ifad.org


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Telephone: +43 1 515 64-0

Fax: +43 1 513 92 38

E-mail: info@opecfund.org


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