• Home
  • IFAD website
  • Subscribe to posts
  • Subscribe to comments

Giant Steps: Taking stock as we move into 2011

Posted by Greg Benchwick Friday, February 25, 2011 0 comments

By Josefina Stubbs

The coming of a new year is always a time for dreamers. And as we break into 2011, the International Fund for Agricultural Development’s Latin America and the Caribbean Division is dreaming big.

In the upcoming year, we hope to bring over 10 new project-funding requests to our Executive Board for approval – plus a half dozen country and regional grants. These projects will work in places like Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Haiti and Honduras to improve market access for family farmers, ensure long-term sustainability, increase territorial approaches to multiply (and magnify) economic opportunities, and facilitate pro-poor policy dialogue. More importantly, these projects strive to leverage our collective wisdom to create better lives for the rural people living in poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean.

And while we must look forward to bigger projects, greater challenges, and a whole lot of work in 2011, I think it’s important to reflect first a little on our past.

Successes from 2010

IFAD’s Latin America and the Caribbean Division currently funds 33 ongoing programs in the region. There are projects in 20 member countries with a total investment portfolio of around US$700 million.

In 2010, the IFAD Executive Board approved six large programs in the region. The Latin America and Caribbean Division also continued working with our ever-evolving regional portfolio, as well as on a number of grants that provide the backbone of our knowledge-management and policy dialogue platform.

In the Dominican Republic, the US$48.5 million Rural Economic Development Project in the Central and Eastern Provinces will increase the incomes and assets of poor men, women and young people. It will do this by building strong organizations and by creating mechanisms for these organizations to access markets and value chains. This program will work in concert with the Development Project for Rural Poor Economic Organizations of the Border Region, which will be implemented in 11 provinces in the western area bordering Haiti, where poor smallholder farmers are cultivating high-quality organic coffee and bananas, but lack the resources to bring their produce effectively to market.

Also in the Caribbean, the US$7.5 million Market Access and Rural Enterprise Development Programme (MAREP)will increase the incomes of unemployed or self-employed young men and women in rural areas.

From there we go to Central America, where our innovative market-access and value-chain programs have been proving successful. In Guatemala, the US$41 million Sustainable Rural Development Programme in El Quiché places an emphasis on women and young people, but its benefits will extend to the business operators, family farmers, wage labourers, craftspeople, and microentrerenuers in the region.

Next door in El Salvador, the US$40 million Rural Territorial Competitiveness Programme (Amanecer Rural) will help to increase employment, incomes and food security for family farmers. The programme also seeks to expand agro-entrepreneurial associations and create more opportunities for small businessmen and women.

Heading down the Central American Isthmus to Honduras, the US$37 million Sustainable Rural Development Programme for the Southern Region (Emprende Sur) will facilitate participation of small rural enterprises in value chains, expand their access to national and external markets, increase food security and reduce vulnerability to climate change.

In Nicaragua, we have the US$15 million Development Programme for the Agricultural, Fishing and Forestry Productive Systems in the Indigenous Territories of RAAN and RAAS (NICARIBE). The programme will raise incomes in the region through enhanced production, sustainable natural resource management and development, and stronger community organizations.

And while 2010 was a challenging year for Haiti, we are working with the government to build a long-reaching plan that includes programs that will improve access to credit, markets, tools and training. In its April 2010 meeting, the Executive Board of IFAD approved a debt-relief package that provides the basis for permanent debt forgiveness of Haiti’s debt burden to the organization.

Prior to the earthquake, IFAD had three ongoing projects in Haiti, for a total amount of $50 million, and was the second-largest financier of the agricultural and rural sector. We recently allocated an additional $18 million for a project that is currently under design, plus $2.5 million for a job-creation and irrigation project.

With these new projects – plus the ones we have in the pipeline for 2011 and 2012 – we can expect our regional portfolio to become younger and more dynamic. More importantly, the projects and programs we fund will provide a greater emphasis on market-access, micro-enterprise development and value-chain strengthening, which, as we see from our newsletter article on ‘proximate context’ will be key drivers for rural poverty reduction in the region.

Imagining the inevitable
“So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.” You’ll never guess who this quote comes from… Superman himself, the late-great Christopher Reeve. And while it may require Superman- or Wonder Woman-like powers to meet our goals for 2011, I nevertheless think that what may seem improbable now will soon become inevitable.

At the heart of our 2011 work will be the design, implementation support and direct supervision missions carried out by our dedicated Country Program Managers and their teams. Especially noteworthy are the mid-term reviews of the Productive Initiatives Support Programme in Rural Areas (PAIP) in Haiti, the Sustainable Development Project for Rural and Indigenous Communities of the Semi-Arid North-West (PRODESNOS) in Mexico, and Paraguay’s national rural poverty-reduction program, Paraguay Rural.

This year will also see the project completion of programs we’ve come to know and love, including the Sierra Sur program in Peru, the Management of Natural Resources in the Chaco and High Valley Regions Project (PROMARENA) in Bolivia, the second phase of the Food and Crops Intensification Program in Haiti, the Programme for the Economic Development of the Dry Region in Nicaragua (PRODESEC), and Uruguay Rural. These programs have provided invaluable lessons in rural poverty reduction and have helped improve the lives and livelihoods of thousands of poor rural people. My greatest wish for 2011 is that the bold first steps taken by these programs continue on for the next generation to enjoy.


Read the latest edition of our regional newsletter.
English | Spanish

The first day of 34th session of IFAD’s Governing Council was both intense and exciting!

IFAD was honoured to have a number of distinguished keynote speakers and the IFAD social reporting team had the privilege of using social media to bring the words of our esteemed guests to millions of people.

A silent revolution has happened at IFAD. 18 months ago, who would have imagined that one day social reporting would be mainstreamed in IFAD activities and processes? Well, now it is. The very fact that social reporters had seats assigned to them in the plenary hall is a testimony of this fact!

Thanks Andreina for reserving a strategic corner for us and given the success we are sure next year we'll have a bigger one!

Today, thanks to social media and social reporting we were able to share the moving words pronounced by Her Royal Highness Princess Haya Al Hussein United Nations Messenger of Peace; share the wise words of Mr Kofi Annan, Chairman of the Alliance and IFAD President’s call for action.

24 hours later, the soundbites of HRH Princess Haya, Kofi Annan and IFAD President have gone viral and the virtual world is talking about important issue such as the need for:

  • passion and commitment at international level to solve the hunger problem
  • more investments in agriculture
  • more investments in political capital to spearhead a transformation of the rural sector to expand financial services in rural areas and ensure they have access to infrastructure
  • more investments in human capital to develop and equip poor people, particularly the young people
  • a change in the mind set to turn agriculture into profitable business in particular for young people
The panel discussion on “Feeding future generations – Young rural people today, prosperous farmers tomorrow” that took place in the afternoon was also an intense experience. The challenging questions posed by the moderator, Tumi Makgabo, engaged the audience in the room and on social media for over 2 hours.

We had an overwhelming response on Twitter and Facebook with tweets flying in from all over the world and questions being posed on our Facebook page.

The interventions of the audience in the room - the panellists, IFAD governors and young farmers and entrepreneurs - are still vibrating on the internet – better known as the “cloud”.

With his passionate interventions, Carlo Petrini, definitively did an excellent job in engaging and more importantly challenging the ministers and governors present in the room.

Two hours was not enough to answer questions such as:
  • “What can be the role of young farmers to ensure we can feed 9.0 billion people in 2050”
  • “What are the reasons, and what are the solutions for the relative neglect of young people – men and women – in national agricultural programmes, given their critical role in feeding the world tomorrow?
  • Why do young people not want to get involved in agriculture?
At the end of the panel, there was a general consensus on the need to listen much more to young people and involve them in paving the way towards a better world.

Petrini was kind enough to grant the IFAD social reporting team an interview. Make sure you tune in and listen to his call for action!

Now we’re getting ready for the second day which will focus on discussing challenges and opportunities of young people in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Near East and North Africa.

I have just walked in the plenary hall and was pleasantly surprised to see the President sitting next to the social reporters. We could not miss the photo opportunity and also to have him on the team just for few minutes.

Make sure you stay tuned!

Browse the photo gallery on IFAD's Facebook page

IFAD Social Reporting Team

IFAD and forestry – a special relationship

Posted by Roxanna Samii Friday, February 18, 2011 7 comments

By Jesus Quintana

IFAD works to enable poor rural people to sustainably manage their natural assets to improve their food security and incomes. Given a focus on natural assets – land, water, etc. - one could easily argue that forestry should be at the core of IFAD’s work. As a matter of fact, it is. A recent portfolio review undertaken by the Division I work in (Environment and Climate) showed that nearly 10% of projects included forest activities as part of the pro-poor strategies proposed for smallholder farmers and poor communities alike. Typical forest activities that IFAD finances are community forestry, agroforestry, reforestation and sustainable forest management. And new options, such as carbon forestry and GHG reduction from deforestation and land misuse are now being explored. This is natural because IFAD recognizes that poor communities must be empowered to manage their natural assets, and should also benefit from available climate financing to help them do so.

Forest ecosystems, which cover approximately one-third of the Earth’s surface, deliver a multiple range of goods and services to humans, supporting livelihoods, maintaining essential ecosystem services and regulating the global carbon cycle. Forests are particularly important for the world’s poorest rural people. Over 1.6 billion people, mainly in developing countries, depend on forests for their livelihoods, either as a dominant or supplementary source of cash income and subsistence. Forests are home to nearly 300 million people – and more than 60 million indigenous peoples are wholly dependent on forests for their livings. In addition to the economic value of forests to poor communities, the social and cultural value may be equally important for them.

One reason for the relative invisibility of forests, and forestry in IFAD’s work is the “unnatural” separation between agriculture and forestry as sectors. Their interaction is too often seen (rather simplistically) as conflictive – the story of agricultural lands replacing or encroaching on forests dominates headlines. But this is a failure to appreciate the complexity, richness and complementarity of land uses. Although agricultural practices can of course be detrimental to forests and other natural resources, there is so much more potential to reap benefits from a more healthy relationship between them. Forests, big and small, provide genetic biodiversity and other services – pollination, water quality and flow regulation - that benefit communities and crops alike. Farmers and many other land users rely directly on forests to complement their diet or income, for medicines and also to satisfy social and cultural needs. Farmers across the world successfully combine forests, trees and agriculture in harmonious ways through agroforestry that raises yields without damaging the natural resource base. It’s time the international community recognize that agriculture and forestry are “two sides of the same coin,” and stop separating them.

Celebrating forests for people – International Year of Forests 2011

Because IFAD as a specialized agency, is an United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) member. I represented IFAD in the UNFF9 earlier this month in New York. The UNFF is celebrating the special relationship between people and forests during 2011 through the International Year of Forests. The United Nations General Assembly declared IYF 2011 to raise awareness on sustainable management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests, and to highlight the dynamic relationship between forests and the people who depend on them, including millions of smallholder farmers.

I co-organized a side-event on agroforestry with the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), FAO and the African Forest Forum that highlighted partnership successes in impacting the asset base of poor households with farm-grown trees, enhancing soil fertility and livestock productivity, linking poor households to markets, balancing improved productivity with the sustainable management of natural resources, and maintaining or enhancing the supply of environmental services in agricultural landscapes.

In particular, we emphasized the interconnections between agriculture and forestry, promoting sustainable uses of cropland, pastures and forests through integrated, land-based approaches. Our message: we must invest in these “sustainable agriculture” approaches to improve agricultural productivity while at the same time reducing poverty and improving food security (and also increasing resilience to climate change). And for these impacts to last in the long run, do it without depleting natural resources. We need a new, “evergreen” revolution using agroforestry as a key component globally (along with conservation agriculture, integrated pest management and others).

What’s next?

IFAD will participate actively in the IYF 2011 producing some publications which will analyse the IFAD experience on agriculture-forestry activities, detailing new perspectives and opportunities for IFAD to promote, and benefit from, agroforestry and sustainable forest management.

The UN Forum on Forests Secretariat (UNFF), an intergovernmental policy forum established in 2000 to promote the management, conservation and sustainable use of all types of forests, is the focal point for IYF 2011, in collaboration with Governments, the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), major groups and other relevant organisations. The official launch ceremony of the IYF 2011 took place as part of the high level ministerial segment of the 9th session of the UNFF, at UN Headquarters on 2 February 2011.

New Opportunities in Guatemala

Posted by Greg Benchwick 0 comments

In August 2010, IFAD President Kanayo F. Nwanze visited the small community of Laguna Iztacoba in Guatemala's Las Verapaces region. A dirt road of just 200 meters separated this community from the outside world... and from new opportunities. Now with funds from IFAD, the community has a new road... and a new outlook on life.

IFAD's relationship with the Guatemalan government goes back 30 years. Since 1986, the organization has provided US$131 million in loans for 9 projects at a total cost of US$272 million. During this weekend's Governing Council at IFAD's headquarters, Guatemalan Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Food, Juan Alfonso de León García, will come to Rome to share his thoughts, reflections and dreams for rural poverty reduction in Guatemala and the world over... New opportunities are truly just a few steps away.

Indigenous peoples have repeatedly asked for a more systematic dialogue with United Nations agencies. In response to this request, IFAD has taken a series of initiatives in the past seven years and accumulated valuable experience in establishing constructive dialogue with indigenous peoples.

In 2009 IFAD developed its Policy on Engagement with Indigenous Peoples. The policy proposed to establish an Indigenous Peoples’ Forum as a concrete attempt to institutionalize a process of consultation and dialogue with indigenous peoples’ representatives at the national, regional and international levels.

From IFAD’s perspective, the objectives of such forum is to:
  • share and discuss the assessment of IFAD’s engagement with indigenous peoples among IFAD staff, Member States and indigenous peoples’ representatives;
  • consult on rural development and poverty reduction; and
  • promote the participation of indigenous peoples’ organizations in IFAD’s activities at the country, regional and international levels.

On Thursday 17 February, approximately 100 people participated in the workshop establishing indigenous people's forum. The indigenous delegated kicked off the meeting with a traditional ritual of blessing and calling on the spirits of different regions for guidance.

In his welcoming address, IFAD's President, Dr Kanayo Nwanze, reiterated that indigenous peoples have a "vast well of untapped potential, with unique forms of knowledge, practices and understanding of ecosystem management."

"Indigenous peoples’ ancestral memory is a storehouse full of thousands of different species capable of responding to new challenges and climatic conditions – just as they have done for centuries before", said Nwanze

"And we must place special emphasis on creating opportunities for the young people of indigenous communities. Theirs is a special challenge: to build a bridge between their rich cultural heritage and the demands and opportunities of today’s world. As was described in the Kari-Oca Declaration of 1992, they must be able to walk to the future in the footprint of their ancestors."

Dr Nwanze concluded that "We must listen to each other, learn from each other, and work together – today, tomorrow, and many days into the future."

Kevin Cleaver talked about IFAD's engagement with indigenous peoples, underscoring the importance of access to ancestral land and other natural resources such as water, forest. IFAD colleagues  gave an overview of situation and status of indigenous peoples in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, executive director Tebtebba Foundation and former Chair of the UNPFII gave a history of IFAD's engagement with indigenous peoples.

Mirna Cunningham, director of the Center for indigenous peoples’ autonomy and development and Member of the UNPFII, talked about how the important role indigenous peoples in producing food to ensure food security.  She complimented IFAD for giving indigenous peoples a voice.

Later during the day, in an interview, Mirna outlined the challenges and opportunities facing indigenous peoples. We immediately posted the interview on Facebook and tweeted about it. Some of our fans have asked us to add Spanish subtitles. We'll definitely do so!

The participants spent the rest of the day discussing issues and options for the forum's modalities, organization, participation and governance. They will be sharing the outcomes of these discussion on Friday afternoon.

The IFAD social reporting team will be reporting live from the final session of the workshop. Make sure you tune in. Follow us on Facebook and on Twitter. Follow #ip2011.

One last comment before filing this report: We often talk about bridging the digital divide and in doing so, we talk about providing the appropriate technology and locally relevant content to the people we work with. 

We also know that both modern and old information communication technologies (ICTs), be it computers, mobile phones, radio allow poor rural people and indigenous groups to take part in socio-economic activities of their respective communities. ICTs can be used to help indigenous peoples to preserve and promote their ancestral traditions and allows them to share knowledge.

So you can imagine how pleasantly surprised I was when I saw our Ethiopian indigenous delegate with an iPad! He is using it to connect to the world and also to share what he is learning with the rest of his community. Wonder which indicator we need to use to assess the impact of Steve Jobs!

See photo gallery

IFAD country office staff come to town

Posted by Roxanna Samii Wednesday, February 16, 2011 2 comments

Annual  occasions and recurrences are healthy rituals. They provide an opportunity to come together, take stock and celebrate. In less than 72 hours, IFAD family will have its annual reunion. Our 165 member states will gather in Rome for the 34th session of the Governing Council.

As we’re getting ready for this annual event, we are also preparing to welcome 33 country office colleagues from 15 different countries who will be attending the corporate induction workshop.

Some of our country office colleagues are already in the building and it is so nice to run into them in the lifts or meet with them in person instead of via skype or video conference.

As part of the annual family reunion ritual, not only they will be attending the Governing Council, but also participating in corporate activities such as learning events, brown-bag lunches and of course their divisional retreats.

Their visit to headquarters is a great opportunity for the HQ staff to get to know them and put a face to their email addresses. There is nothing in the world that can replace a face-to-face encounter and inevitably when this happens the quality of the next “virtual” interaction improves exponentially.

Next week, thanks to the corporate induction programme, they will have a chance to meet colleagues from the different departments and divisions. They’ll be able to discuss how they can enhance their contribution to IFAD’s work and also put on the table some of the challenges they are facing.

“ I hope that by the end of the week, we all have a better understanding of each other’s works and build all the necessary bridges”, says Agnes Kiragu, our country office colleague in Kenya.  “I am looking forward to sharing our challenges and walk away with solutions!”

Eric Rwabidadi, who is a veteran country office staff, having served first in Rwanda and now in Kenya said: “ I am looking forward to getting answers to all the operational questions, for example, how can I put together key files, how do I prepare myself for a quality enhancement and quality assurance session”.

“We’ve tried our best to put together a comprehensive induction programme and I hope at the end of the 27 different sessions,  our 33 colleagues coming from far afield will get answers to their many questions”, explains Richard Aiello, Human Resource officer responsible for putting together the induction programme.

Hopefully our country office colleagues will see the corporate induction programme as the beginning of a long-term relationship and use the opportunity of their visit to HQ to meet and know as many colleagues as possible, so that the next time they need anything they can immediately get to the right person! They are indeed an integral part of and an important constituency for IFAD. We may have our offices in wing A, B or C and they are the "Field wing".

And let’s hope that they continue this annual ritual of coming to HQ at least once a year if not more!

Talking to Richard Aiello, the man behind the corporate induction programme, this is what he had to say:
On Monday 21 February, we'll launch the new IFAD corporate induction programme withs 33 staff from 15 country offices.

For the last couple of months Willem, Shyam, Martin, Lalita and I have been working together to build this programme and as we did so, we gradually understood how this is really a practical IFAD wide sign of care towards its staff.

Colleagues from across the house, including senior management despite overlapping commitments in preparation for the GC, have been meeting with us a number of times, are preparing presentations and have been going through extensive dry runs with us.

We are almost ready and our colleagues are already in town and in the building. As of Monday for the entire week, our team and our 30 facilitators will start illustrating to our new colleagues what makes IFAD so unique and so special,

So while we look forward to sharing impressions of participants and facilitators, join us in welcoming them to IFAD HQ!!!

Los jóvenes son la clave

Posted by Greg Benchwick Tuesday, February 8, 2011 2 comments

Cinco jóvenes comparten sus esperanzas, desafíos y sueños antes del Consejo de Gobernadores

Los jóvenes emprendedores son los que van a alimentar al mundo en 50 años. Son los que van a crear nuevas tecnologías y romper viejos paradigmas. Los jóvenes son la clave. Y durante el Consejo de Gobernadores este 19 al 20 de febrero, los jóvenes campesinos de América Latina vendrán al FIDA a decirnos cómo deberíamos avanzar. En un evento paralelo, "Apoyo a la juventud rural y sus iniciativas microempresariales en América Latina y el Caribe", cinco jóvenes compartirán sus esperanzas, sus desafíos y sus sueños. Estas son sus historias:

Tecnóloga en Procesos Gerenciales, Red de Cooperativas del Vale Do Rio Gaviao (Bahia, Brasil)
Tiene 23 años, y nació en la comunidad rural de Boa sorte, município de Jacaraci, Estado de Bahia. Desde que era niña tuvo grandes dificultades para estudiar, ya que el acceso a las escuelas era muy difícil, pues no le permitía el espacio para trabajar con sus padres en el campo, por lo que tuvo que suspender sus estudios en varias ocasiones. A finales de 2006 se le presentó la oportunidad de hacer una pasantía en la red de cooperativas de actividades agrícolas, de la cual sus padres son miembros. Esto le permitió adquirir un aprendizaje a través de la práctica en diversos aspectos como procesos gerenciales y administrativos e incluso aspectos técnicos para el mejoramiento de procesos productivos. Con el propósito de mejorar sus capacidades e incrementar sus conocimientos, estudió a distancia Tecnología de Procesos Gerenciales. Esto le permitió entender aún más la gestión cooperativa, la administración y el manejo de recursos humanos, y los procesos para su funcionamiento eficiente.

Actualmente trabaja como gerente de oficina de la red, en la elaboración de nuevos proyectos y maneja parte del área administrativa y de recursos humanos. De igual manera viene promoviendo fuertemente inclusión y el trabajo con jóvenes y mujeres en las comunidades con las cuales la red opera.

Tesorera, Cooperativa La Quinta Libre (Estela, Nicaragua)
Aunque Isaura sólo posee un año de Contaduría Pública y Finanzas, se encuentra desempeñando el cargo de tesorera del plan de negocios. Confiesa que cuando ingresó a la cooperativa, no tenía ningún conocimiento sobre el proceso de producción del frijol y su comercialización, pero gracias a su trabajo ha logrado un aprendizaje práctico y rápido que le ha permitido desempeñarse satisfactoriamente. Además de ser la tesorera del grupo, se desempeña como administradora del centro de acopio de granos básicos. Las funciones que cumple actualmente le fueron asignados por la junta directiva, y consisten en llevar la contabilidad básica, estructura de costos de los productos a comercializar, utilidad, y rentabilidad del negocio.

Además de sus actividades en la cooperativa, Isaura tiene activa participación social y política en su comunidad. Viene realizando trabajo comunitario prestando su servicio solidario en el preescolar comunitario, facilitando el aprendizaje de hijos de los productores y productoras. También participa en las reuniones que realiza el poder ciudadano en su comunidad, ayuda a la toma de decisiones y se integra a las actividades de desarrollo de su territorio. De igual manera, su tiempo libre lo dedica ayudando a jóvenes de su municipio, a través de la promoción y desarrollo de actividades artísticas. Ella da clases de baile, teatro y canto. Esta trayectoria define a Isaura como una autentica líder en su comunidad.

Representante Legal, Asociación de Artesanos de Ramiriqui -ARTERAMI (Boyacá, Colombia)
Tiene 22 años, es madre de Arian Martín de 4, y se desempeña como representante legal de la asociación. Ha vivido siempre en Ramiriqui, aunque luego de terminar el bachillerato, se desplazó a Tunja (Capital de Boyacá) para desarrollar estudios técnicos en Guía Turística y Auxiliar en sistemas y comunicaciones. En 2009 regresó a su municipio donde realizó prácticas en turismo en la Oficina de Cultura y Turismo de la Alcaldía Municipal. Bajo esta práctica, conoció y se involucró con artesanos del municipio, con los cuales deciden formar la Asociación. Desde entonces ha tenido la oportunidad de incrementar su aprendizaje y formación, pues ha participado en diversas capacitaciones como un Diplomado en Gestión Pública, Cursos en el SENA de diseños de productos, diseños de empaques, Dibujo Básico etc. Con el Programa Oportunidades Rurales, ha tenido la oportunidad de asistir a diversos encuentros como foros, ferias y talleres en temas como Banca Comunal, Intercambio de Conocimientos etc., que le han permitido fortalecer sus conocimientos. Fue elegida como jurado nacional e internacional en el Concurso Regional Experiencias de Jóvenes Innovadores realizado por la Corporación PROCASUR, que le permitió conocer otros proyectos de jóvenes rurales, y viajar a Venezuela a conocer a los jóvenes ganadores. El año pasado su organización fue elegida como Escuela Empresa y Tutora Empresarial, en la cual su función es transmitir su experiencia y conocimientos adquiridos como empresa a otras empresas rurales, y deben hacer seguimiento y asistencia a los planes de mejoramiento desarrollados por los aprendices. Esta función la viene liderando Alexandra.

LEIDY DAYANA RIVERA RIVAS Promotora Rural Campesina, Asociación de pequeños caficultores del corregimiento de la marina - ASOPECAM (Valle del Cauca, Colombia)
Leidy Dayana Rivera Rivas tiene 23 años, y se vinculó a la organización desde que su padre se asoció lo cual le dio la oportunidad de asistir a reuniones y capacitaciones. Comenzó su formación especializada realizando una capacitación técnica en recursos naturales en el SENA de BUGA, que la hizo comprender su amor por el campo y su interés en la agroecología y las formas de desarrollarla en su organización. Su vinculación laboral con la Asociación inicia en el comité de control interno como inspectora, donde participó activamente en los diálogos y debates sobre la estrategia de asistencia técnica en la organización, la cual estaba manejada y centralizada en un ingeniero. Gracias a su intervención activa, logró que a ella y dos jóvenes más les abrieran espacio su manejo. Logran implementar una estrategia de Promotoría rural campesina, y fue tanto el éxito de la nueva metodología que un año más tarde la asamblea general decide la contratación permanente de los tres jóvenes para que tomaran las riendas de la asistencia técnica. Desde entonces, Leidy Dayana se desempeña como Coordinadora de calidad en los procesos de certificación, y brinda asesoría técnica en manejo e implementación del café agroecológico, tomando un esquema de intercambio de conocimientos. También lidera la asesoría en la formulación de proyectos, y paralelamente es miembro activo del grupo de jóvenes GELPEMA durante los tres últimos años, lo cual le ha permitido participar en diferentes eventos, ferias y talleres, enfocados a temas de desarrollo rural, agroecología, sistemas participativos de garantía y certificación. Actualmente está muy involucrada a nivel nacional con el tema de inclusión de jóvenes en el Movimiento agroecológico para América Latina y el Caribe. Adicionalmente ha realizado cursos en técnica forestal, y actualmente está terminando la carrera de Ingeniería Agroforestal. Vive con sus padres en el campo, y está convencida que el desarrollo sostenible está en el campo y en la agricultura agroecológica, ámbito donde continuará su futuro profesional.

SANDRA GUADALUPE SANDOVAL Gerenta Local, Asociación Cooperativa Agropecuaria y Pesquera “LOS TEPEMECHINES” de r.l (Metapán, Salvador)
Testimonios Directos - Sandra Guadalupe Sandoval Orellana
Sandra Guadalupe tiene 20 años, es socia de la Cooperativa y actualmente se desempeña como Gerenta Local, en el negocio. Es hija de un socio pescador, con lo cual desde niña ha tenido contacto con la actividad de pesca en agua dulce. A la edad de 17 años comenzó a formar parte de la cooperativa y al iniciar la ejecución del proyecto “Producción y Comercialización de Tilapia en Jaulas Flotantes” en el lago de Guija, se presentó la oportunidad de desempeñar el rol como Gerenta Local. Esta gran oportunidad le permitió aprender mucho sobre la administración del negocio, así como también, conocer el proceso de producción y comercialización de la Tilapia. Aprendió también las formas de alimentarlo de una manera empresarial, con estrategias para bajar costos y aumentar utilidades, los distintos tipos de mercado y canales de distribución.

Durante el tiempo que tiene como Gerente Local, ha tenido que vencer muchos obstáculos como envidias, críticas, dificultades de mercadeo etc. También el bajo valor económico de los ingresos que recibe por su trabajo, se convierte en una limitante para poder seguir su crecimiento y éxito, ya que proviene de una familia muy humilde y de escasos recursos. Gracias a su vinculación con la cooperativa ha descubierto que posee un gran liderazgo, con suficientes capacidades para guiar un grupo y andar una empresa.

Como joven de proyección, desea superarse para lo cual quiere estudiar una carrera universitaria que le permita obtener mejores empleos y poder mejorar sus condiciones futuras. Quiere hacer crecer su cooperativa como una empresa próspera y competitiva que brinde oportunidades de empleo a más personas que lo necesitan, especialmente jóvenes, con mejor preparación que les permita afrontar mejor las demandas del mundo actual. Considera esencial poder continuar sus estudios, para lo cual ha solicitado una beca y se encuentra a la espera de una respuesta favorable ya que el dinero es una de las principales limitantes por las cuales aun no ha ingresado a la universidad, pues quiere estudiar administración de empresas.

Adicionalmente a sus actividades laborales, Sandra dedica su tiempo participando como líder de grupo juvenil de la iglesia católica de su comunidad; asesora de infancia, misionera y catequista para niños y niñas que se preparan para su primera comunión en la misma iglesia; participa como secretaria en la junta de administración de agua potable de cinco comunidades (1,500 familias); guía naturalista voluntaria en el parque nacional San Diego La Barra; y Secretaria de comunicaciones de la asociación para la protección de las Cuencas Hidrográficas del Lago de Güija, ASPROGÜIJA.

Leer Más

Sobre el evento paralelo
Sobre el Consejo de Gobernadores

Should IFAD become a learning organization?

Posted by Roxanna Samii Friday, February 4, 2011 2 comments

Should IFAD become a learning organization? Are we effectively sharing the learning emerging from our activities across regions, internally and externally? These are some of the questions that Cristina Sparacino - IFAD's Oprah Winfrey - will be posing to IFAD colleagues.

Today, at IFAD we are hosting a mini knowledge share fair to share the highlights of IFAD-funded projects and programme (better known as IFAD project portfolio) and discuss the challenges and opportunities for 2011 portfolio.

What triggered this event was the realization that we are producing quite a number of "knowledge products". However, these products are of different quality, some are adding value to the overall development discourse, while others may be lagging a bit behind. We also know that these outputs are not always widely shared to trigger learning and generate knowledge.

If we want to expand our horizons and learn from others, we need to look beyond our own horizons and learn about what is happening in the bigger world.

Now, "the bigger world" is relative, it can be the entire development world, or the colleague sitting in the next office. What we're noticing is that we do not necessarily know what everyone is working on and what challenges colleagues are facing. So what is happening is that there are times that we end up reinventing the wheel. When we face a challenge, our prime preoccupation is to overcome it and just get on with it. This is perhaps our Achilles Heal because we do not take the necessary time to ask around and find out if others were confronted with a similar challenge and how did they go overcoming it.

Experience shows us that when we organize learning and sharing events we get an overwhelming response. This means that while we are all keen to learn and share, we do not seem to make it quite a "way of life". Our role as KM/KS facilitators is to create that enabling environment and encourage colleagues to come out of their offices and share their gems and nuggets.

The mini knowledge share fair aims to do exactly that, and do it in a fun way. We'll kick off with an overview of the 2010 portfolio, highlighting the lessons and what we need to do more of and better in 2011. We'll then have a chat show discussing "should IFAD become a learning organization". And then we'll open the market place.

At the market place we have a chill-out corner, where Thomas Rath and Roberto Haudry will share the back-story of why their projects received highest possible rating and will answer to your questions.

Colleagues will alternate at the speaker's corner discussing issues such as Will climate change kill the fisheries and aquaculture sector? and what are the gender dimensions of value chain?

In the Show and tell corner, participants will be able navigate the Globalremittance gateway and track who sends money where, navigate land rights on the web, learn more about innovative approaches to documenting gender in Latin America and the Caribbean, find out how IFAD has built the capacity of pro-poor institutions and learn about Rural Finance Learning Centre. In this corner, colleagues can familiarize themselves with the operations application alphabet soup: PPMS, RIMS, PLF, PSR. Learn about the treasures stored in these applications and learn about the system that keeps track of money and helps them have less headaches, reduces the number of emails and phone calls.

Participants while touring the market place can stop to watch a selection of IFAD-produced videos featuring the people we work for and with or go on a virtual tour and visit where IFAD works by experiencing the power and potential of Geographic Information System and Google Maps. They can also go behind what meets the eye and see how national and international media cover rural development, agriculture, food security, gender-related issues.

In the knowledge sharing corner, participants have an opportunity to learn about ‘capitalization’ or knowledge capturing methodology and see how ‘capitalization’ is put into practice, learn how to conduct an open space or a peer assist.

We dedicated a corner to talk about the value and potential of social media, where colleagues can experience first-hand how social media channels are used as knowledge sharing tool.

In the process corner, will be discussing where does the knowledge emanating from our global and regional grants end up? Who is using this knowledge? And how does this knowledge inform new global and regional grants? And last but not least, in the publications corner we have on display all the publications produced in 2010.

As one of the organizers, I am looking forward to have a fun day. We'll be tweeting - so follow #sharefair - and will also be blogging. So tune back in.

View picture

Mapping Gender In Latin America

Posted by Greg Benchwick Thursday, February 3, 2011 0 comments

Explore contemporary issues facing women in Latin America and the Caribbean today with this interactive map.

Entérese más acerca de temas de mujeres con este mapa interactivo.

View Mapeando el Género en América Latina y el Caribe in a larger map

Learn More
IFAD gender portal
Blogs on Gender

Entérese más
El Poder de Ser Mujer
Blogs sobre temas de género
Participe en el debate en nuestro foro en español

In a recent series of “study tours” focused on gender and rural empowerment, people from across Latin America (and across the world) came together in El Salvador and Guatemala to share their insights on gender equality and contemporary issues affecting people living in rural poverty across the region. The study tours were made possible through the IFAD-FAO Gender Capacity Building and Knowledge Management Grant.

And while plenty of reports and emails will come out documenting the study tours (a video is even in the works), the insightful letters of thanks from the study tour participants, themselves, provide a surprising glimpse into many of the pressing issues facing the region.

“The tour in El Salvador was really beneficial for me to understand and experience gender mainstreaming in the rural development process. Truly, many concepts as were presented are not commonly utilized in Grenada, however, they represent valuable approaches for rural individuals, family and community development. During the tour I reflected on some of the challenges that may be encountered in implementing some aspects, however, I also recognize that as Human and Social Capital Building Specialist, there are several feasible approaches that can be taken to enable people to address socio-economic issues in the rural settings in Grenada. Emphasis on the value chain, "inclusive family development" and the use of "demonstrator families" within communities were of special interest. The inclusive community development approach was also notable…” – Lindonne Glasgow, Human and Social Capital Specialist, MAREP, Grenada.

“Primero que todo tengo que agradecerle la oportunidad que me ha brindado, en tan bonita experiencia de conocer las diferentes punto de vista de género y empoderamiento rural, de nuestros hermanos latinoamericanos. La experiencia fue y es enriquecedora, que ha ampliado mis horizontes profesionales, y que todo éstos conocimientos, de seguro se van aplicar en pro de un proyecto PARTICIPA mejor, siempre visualizando la equidad y oportunidad de participación de hombres, mujeres, jóvenes y niños…” – Ing. Miguel Rivera. H. Coordinador. Proyecto de Desarrollo Participativo y Modernización Rural. PARTICIPA

Campesino 2.0

Posted by Greg Benchwick Tuesday, February 1, 2011 0 comments

Cooperativas rurales en Paraguay reciben un software contable
La Federación de Cooperativas de Producción (Fecoprod), una organización beneficiada por el Fondo Internacional de Desarrollo Agrícola, lanza un software contable para pequeñas cooperativas rurales en Paraguay.

“Es con el fin de proveer una herramienta informática capaz de facilitar y agilizar las tareas administrativas de las pequeñas cooperativas, en los ámbitos de otorgamiento de préstamos, apertura de cajas de ahorro, acopio de productos o las actividades propias de servicio de contabilidad”, según un informe de Fecoprod. “Esta iniciativa permitirá lograr mayor eficiencia en las pequeñas cooperativas rurales.”

“Las primeras dos cooperativas que cuentan con el Software son 4 Vientos y Carolina, ambas del departamento de San Pedro. Las cooperativas Volendam y Friesland, a través de sus programas de cooperación vecinal, han hecho que este proyecto sea una realidad”, según el informe.