International Fund for Agricultural Development


IFAD, was established as an international financial institution in 1977 as one of the major outcomes of the 1974 World Food Conference. The conference was organized in response to the food crises of the early 1970s that primarily affected the Sahelian countries of Africa. One of the most important insights emerging from the conference was that the causes of food insecurity and famine were not so much failures in food production but structural problems relating to poverty, and to the fact that the majority of the developing world's poor populations were concentrated in rural areas.


Working with poor rural people, governments, donors, non-governmental organizations and many other partners, IFAD focuses on country-specific solutions, which can involve increasing poor rural people's access to financial services, markets, technology, land and other natural resources.


IFAD presence in Sudan

Sudan has been a priority country for IFAD since 1979. IFAD's activities target areas in which there is a concentration of poor rural people. In the first half of the 1980s, IFAD's work focused on rehabilitation of the irrigated farming sector. Later, the emphasis shifted towards developing the traditional rainfed farming sector. Today, the country programme focuses on agriculture, livestock and forestry in rainfed areas, targeting smallholder crop producers and subsistence farmers, pastoralists and smallholder agropastoralists, rural women and young people.


The country programme takes into account the significant economic and social changes brought about by the secession of South Sudan, with negative impacts on agriculture and the rural population. In broad terms, IFAD supports the efforts the Government to improve the incomes and food security of poor rural people as part of a comprehensive development and peace-building process.


IFAD aims to:

  • Enhance productivity of crops, livestock and forestry in rain fed farming systems, and make them more resilient
  • Increase poor rural households' access to sustainable rural finance services, markets and profitable value chains.

In addition, IFAD supports the government's efforts to promote decentralization and strengthen local governance of natural resources, helps to empower local communities, protect and assert traditional rights to resources, and promote good local governance. Local management of land and water rights is an important feature of IFAD-funded projects.