News

IFAD President Urges G8 to Increase Support to Smallholder Farmers

Lennart Båge

7

July 2008: In a contribution to a G8 special report published by the Financial

Times, Lennart Båge, President of the International Fund for Agricultural

Development (IFAD), said the G8 Summit being held from 7-9 July 2008, in Japan,

represents a “unique opportunity to start undoing the damage wrought by decades

of neglect of agriculture.”

Noting

that the most pressing issues of our time - food security, climate change,

energy and poverty reduction - are interdependent, he urged leaders to take

measures for supporting smallholder farmers in poor countries. “The world's 450

million smallholder farms are often efficient producers on a yield-per-hectare

basis. They have the potential to be even more productive,” Båge said. He

proposed that G8 leaders: accelerate the implementation of their commitment to

increase overseas aid; direct much of this additional aid to agriculture and

rural development; push for support to small farmers both to adapt the way they

farm in response to the impact of climate change and to access carbon markets;

prioritize the interests of smallholder farmers in trade negotiations to ensure

fair market access; and support the UN Secretary-General's effort to develop an

international framework for addressing the global food crisis. [IFAD press release]