IFAD Prepares for Governing Council Meeting Against Backdrop of Food, Fuel and Financial Crises and Impacts of Climate Change

International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

12 February 2009: The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is preparing for its 32rd Governing Council meeting, to be held from 18-19 February 2009, in Rome, Italy. The meeting will feature three roundtables on challenges for smallholder farmers focusing on: unpredictable markets and high price volatility; the risks and opportunities arising out of the growing demand for land; and research and innovation needs in the context of a rapidly changing climate. 

The third roundtable will discuss how agricultural research can enhance the ability of smallholder farmers to cope with the challenges of climate change and how the research agenda can combine the objectives of resilience, adaptation to local changes, and higher productivity based on a discussion paper prepared by IFAD. The paper outlines the effects of climate change on resource-poor farmers and pastoralists, and discusses the role of agricultural research for smallholder farmer adaptation to climate change, including the potential of improved varieties, animal breeds and aquatic varieties, and integrated farming systems and management of natural resources. The paper also describes opportunities for smallholder farmers to benefit from carbon trading by mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, and lays out the organizational and financial challenges for increasing investment in international research and sharpening its focus on the challenges faced by those most vulnerable to climate change.

Governing Council delegates will also elect a successor to IFAD President Lennart Båge, who is concluding his second and final four-year term as IFAD's President. [IFAD Press Release] [32rd Governing Council Documentation] [Discussion Paper on Agricultural Research]