IFAD in Brazil
IFAD began its operations in Brazil in 1980. To date, IFAD has provided a total of US$211.6 million in loans for nine programmes and projects.
IFAD works closely with the Brazilian government and supports its efforts to reduce poverty and increase the productivity of rural poor people in ways that are both sustainable and environmentally friendly. Over the years IFAD has developed a strategic partnership with the federal and state governments and has welcomed the participation of municipal governments, the private sector and locally based organizations.
The organization's strategy in Brazil focuses on developing a well-defined niche within the general area of rural development and poverty reduction, in which IFAD loans can be most effective at the level of state governments. IFAD's interventions focus on the semi-arid North-East, the region with the greatest concentration of rural poor people. Target groups include poor farmers, agrarian reform settlers and rural workers, and particularly women and young people within those groups.
The Country Strategic Opportunities Programme, developed jointly with the government, was approved by IFAD in 2008. It outlines the organization's current strategy in the country, which is to:
- Focus investment projects at the state level, with new loans agreed between IFAD and the state governments, with the guarantee of the federal government
- Continue to focus on the North-East but also to explore the possibility of working in other regions in the future
- Prioritize knowledge management to take advantage of the production potential of the North-East, and prioritize policy dialogue, with special attention to improving the dialogue with the federal government
The goal is to break the vicious cycle of poverty perpetuated by the lack of sustainable sources of income and employment for poor rural people.
The strategic objectives of IFAD's interventions in Brazil are to:
- Increase small-scale farmers' commercial agricultural production and improve their access to markets
- Improve poor rural people's access to off-farm employment and to other income-generating and business activities, with a focus on women and young people
- Foster knowledge generation and dissemination to improve the capacity of poor rural people and local institutions to co-exist with semi-arid climatic conditions, adapt to climate change and exploit the region's development potential
- Deepen the discussion on rural poverty reduction and family farming policies at national and international levels
To strengthen its presence in the country, IFAD will set up an office in Brazil. The office would interact with programmes and projects on a day-to-day basis and follow up on knowledge management and policy dialogue activities. IFAD will directly supervise all ongoing and new programmes and projects, contributing to a closer relationship with the country.
Building partnerships is a priority for IFAD. They include partnerships with government agencies at state and federal levels and with civil society organizations, international cooperation agencies, academic and research institutions and the private sector.
IFAD-funded operations contribute to increasing incomes and improving livelihoods mainly by promoting water security, supporting agricultural development and natural resource management, and encouraging poor people's participation in development processes through improved access to education, infrastructure and other support services.