Global fight against poverty and for sustainable agriculture: Switzerland continues its participation in the International Fund for Agricultural Development

Press release, 25.04.2018

At its meeting on 25 April 2018, the Federal Council approved a budget of CHF 40 million for the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) for the 2019–21 period. With this decision, Switzerland will, in the coming years, support 44 million farmers in remote areas where poverty is especially widespread. In the previous 2010–15 period, IFAD projects reached approximately 139 million people, for example by establishing rural savings banks that issue small loans to fund economic activities.

Thanks to IFAD’s funds, developing and transition countries receive the resources they need to economically empower their rural populations, integrate them more effectively into markets, and support them with overcoming challenges such as those resulting from climate change. IFAD focuses its activities in particular on remote areas where poverty is especially widespread.

IFAD’s objectives correspond fully with those of Swiss development cooperation. It prioritises the development of a diversified, smallholder-based, and ecologically sustainable agricultural sector with good market access. In future, it will focus its activities more on fragile contexts with the aim of increasing the resilience of rural populations and making their futures more secure.

At its meeting today, the Federal Council therefore decided to place CHF 40.25 million at the disposal of IFAD for the 2019–21 period for the implementation of its programmes. This sum corresponds to a 10% cut against the previous contribution made in 2015 of CHF 45 million, reflecting the cuts made to the budget for the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) since then.

IFAD contributes to economic empowerment, for example, by setting up rural savings banks, which to date have granted loans to some 7.7 million people. In addition, over four million smallholder farmers have received training in production methods and technologies. Closer integration of the private sector into IFAD’s activities – as direct project partners – count among the results achieved to date. Since in rural areas and in agriculture women are frequently disadvantaged, IFAD employs equal numbers of women and men in the majority of its project activities.

In its strategy for 2019–21, IFAD aims to help 44 million people improve their economic situations, giving special attention to young people in rural areas, who in many cases opt to migrate owing to the lack of prospects.

As the only multilateral organisation with the clear objective of fighting rural poverty and promoting agricultural development, IFAD also makes an important contribution to advancing the 2030 Agenda, in particular to fighting hunger and promoting sustainable agriculture.

Address for enquiries:

FDFA Information
Tel. +41 58 462 31 53


The Federal Council
Federal Department of Foreign Affairs