IFAD President Discusses Agricultural Development in Sao Paulo

Agriculture tractor plowing field

Gilbert F. Houngbo, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development of the United Nations (IFAD), will highlight the importance of innovation in reducing rural poverty during his keynote speech at this year’s Brazil Africa Forum, 23-24 November in Sao Paulo.

The fifth edition of the Forum focuses on trends in innovation and technology for sustainable development. More specifically, it aims to foster a broad debate on the opportunities of the innovation and technology sector in Brazil and Africa around agriculture, social innovation and the creative industry.

“Despite global progress, many countries and regions are lagging behind on the 2030 agenda, and social and economic inequalities are growing,” Houngbo said. “By promoting successful innovations, by scaling up ideas and strategies, and by promoting partnerships between like-minded partners, we have been able to lift millions of people out of poverty.”

The Brazil Africa Forum is a flagship event organized by the Brazil Africa Institute. Over the two days, global leaders from governments and the private sector, business leaders, potential investors and academics will be involved in a high-level discussions on innovation and technology in key sectors of Brazil and Africa.

During his visit, Houngbo will meet with João Bosco Monte, founder and current President of the Brazil Africa Institute, to discuss the Youth Technical Training Program (YTTP) launched recently by the Brazil-Africa Institute. The YTTP uses an array of professional development schemes to meet the diverse needs of African countries by utilizing Brazil’s technology, skills and knowledge.

Since 1980, IFAD has financed 12 rural development programmes and projects in Brazil for a total cost of US$864.5 million. This includes $565 million ($220.4 million of direct IFAD investment) for current operations in the country’s northeast states which benefits nearly 400,000 rural households. While initial IFAD investments focused on rural development activities in the north-eastern, semi-arid region of the country known as sertão, today IFAD has expanded its operations to the Maranhão Amazonian transition area, Pernambuco pre-sertão area (agreste) and coastal rainforest (mata atlantica).

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