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IFAD launches online tool for agricultural and rural development

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has launched the world’s first web-based tool, designed to collect and share agriculture and rural development solutions implemented in developing countries

The main objective of the rural solutions portal is to promote the uptake of successful innovative agricultural and rural practices, technologies and methodologies across diverse contexts to support development in rural communities and rural transformation. The portal is a major commitment by IFAD to advance the "Brasilia Declaration and Action Agenda," adopted during the International Conference on South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC) held in Brasilia in November 2017.

“Common challenges can be addressed by common solutions,” said Ashwani K Muthoo, director of global engagement and multilateral relations at IFAD, at the first presentation of the platform to government officials, development partners and representatives of diplomatic missions in India. “The potential for smallholder farmers, development practitioners and institutions from the Global South to learn from each other is immense, and the first step is sharing information about what works.”

Developing countries share common challenges related to food security, the management of scarce natural resources, household nutrition, climate change and the marginalisation of rural communities. Often, solutions that work in a specific environment can be adapted and successfully replicated in another.

The rural solutions portal is a user-friendly repository of knowledge and information about innovative solutions, success stories and case studies in agriculture and rural development. The portal will facilitate peer-to-peer learning and encourage the cross-fertilisation of ideas among smallholders, organisations and institutions of developing countries. Users can request access to the different solution providers for more information and support.

The portal presents solutions from IFAD operations implemented in different countries. Each solution focuses on specific problems that smallholder farmers, rural small business or fisherfolk face, and have been validated by technical experts for their reliability and replicability.

IFAD focuses on facilitating SSTC in the areas of agriculture, rural development and inclusive rural transformation. According to Muthoo, SSTC is an important method for implementing the 2030 Global Agenda because it encourages innovation, knowledge sharing and scaling up successful and cost-effective practices. SSTC also strengthens developing country leadership and ownership of development programmes.

As part of its organisational commitments, IFAD has recently set up three SSTC and Knowledge Centres in Brazil, China and Ethiopia to support this important agenda.