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IFAD Calls for Sustainable Agriculture to Stop Desertification

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June 2008: In a message on the occasion of UN World Day to Combat

Desertification, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

highlighted the role of poor farmers and herders in stopping or reversing land

degradation in areas affected by desertification.

The

message underlines that ill-conceived agricultural practices can worsen the situation “as poor

populations often have no choice but to adopt short-term survival methods, putting more pressure on increasingly

scarce local resources.” In light of increasing pressures from climate change, the

agency called for more efficient water use, improved cropping systems and

better forest management, adding that hardier seeds will also help poor farmers

withstand droughts and floods. The message further notes that its

poverty reduction programmes and projects, 70 percent of which are in

ecologically fragile, marginal environments, are routinely screened for

potential adverse effects on the environment, natural resources and local

populations. [UN

press release] [IFAD

statement]