Tuesday, December 2, 2014

New online series cultivates a change in thinking about how to feed a growing global population

Rome, 02 December 2014 – As the International Year of Family Farming comes to a close, an engaging new online video series produced by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) promises to keep issues affecting the world’s 500 million smallholder family farms alive and topical.

Launched today at IFAD’s headquarters in Rome, AgTalks: Cultivating Change asks prominent and emerging thought leaders to share their insights and views on how to address the challenge of feeding an expanding global population at a time when many of the family farms that grow 80 percent of food in developing countries are faced with enormous obstacles such as insufficient national policies, limited access to markets and changing weather patterns due to climate change.

“AgTalks presents the human face of family farming by sharing the latest thinking, the latest policy research and diverse perspectives on smallholder farming,” said IFAD Secretary Rasit Pertev during the closing ceremony of the International Year of Family Farming in Manila last week. “Rural transformation and the development of national, regional and international markets can contribute to the prosperity of smallholders and food security for all.”

As national governments around the world conceive of new Sustainable Development Goals meant to replace the Millennium Development Goals expiring at the end of 2015, Pertev added that AgTalks is part of IFAD’s commitment to galvanize global support for agriculture that goes beyond the usual rhetoric and the usual development jargon.

Each AgTalks episode is created from presentations recorded at events hosted by IFAD. The first to be released is a talk by the Founder and CEO of Good African Coffee, Andrew Rugasira. In a world where monetary value is often added in countries where crops like coffee beans are processed and not grown, Rugasira presents the challenges he faced in building an African company that did both. He discusses the importance of partnering with thousands of poor Ugandan small farmers and providing them with needed training and incentives.

In the coming months, AgTalks events and online videos will explore a range of topical issues – from the fairness of fair trade to the untold story of fertilizer subsidies – and how each of these will impact the future of smallholder family farming.
Watch AgTalks: www.ifad.org/agtalks

Press release No.: IFAD/77/2014
IFAD invests in rural people, empowering them to reduce poverty, increase food security, improve nutrition and strengthen resilience. Since 1978, we have provided over US$16 billion in grants and low-interest loans to projects that have reached more than 430 million people. IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized United Nations agency based in Rome – the UN’s food and agriculture hub.

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