IFAD President Urges G8 to Increase Support to Smallholder Farmers
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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.” […]

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]

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