Investments and innovative approaches in rural areas: Switzerland increases contribution to International Fund for Agricultural Development

Press releases, 30.06.2021

The Federal Council is committed to eradicating extreme poverty and hunger in rural areas. At its meeting on 30 June 2021, it decided to renew and increase its contribution to the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). With a contribution of CHF 47 million, Switzerland is supporting IFAD's ambition to double its impact by 2030 by enabling 74 million people living in rural areas to raise their incomes by at least 20%. The focus will be on women and young people.

IFAD plays a crucial role in mobilising and consolidating co-funding for agricultural and rural development. In parallel, it informs and helps develop sectoral policy reforms. Its mission is to transform rural economies and food systems to make them more inclusive, productive, resilient and sustainable.

IFAD as a unique pioneer
IFAD is the only international organisation that combines the status of a specialised development agency with that of an international funding institution. It is also the only one devoted exclusively to the transformation of agriculture, rural economies and food systems.

The organisation invests in agricultural and rural entrepreneurship, supports employment and promotes fair market access for millions of smallholders farmers. Women, young people and other vulnerable groups living in rural areas also benefit from this assistance.

At the end of 2019, IFAD's active portfolio amounted to USD 7.5 billion invested in 90 countries (80% in Africa and Asia). IFAD's actions in 2019 reached 132 million people, of whom 50% were women and 20% were young people; nearly 165,000 rural microenterprises gained access to entrepreneurial development services, 2.6 million people were trained in improved and sustainable farming practices and techniques, and 22 million people acquired access to inclusive financial services.

Switzerland's International Cooperation Strategy and the 2030 Agenda
IFAD's priorities dovetail with the objectives of Switzerland's International Cooperation Strategy 2021–24. Specifically, IFAD supports entrepreneurship and innovation through private sector engagement. The organisation also actively fights the effects of climate change, helps preserve and valorise natural resources, and promotes gender equality and young people's prospects.

Switzerland's contribution of CHF 47 million to the IFAD programme is in line with the 2030 Agenda, above all in terms of eradicating hunger and promoting sustainable agriculture. This amount represents an increase of 15% over Switzerland's previous contribution.

Further information:

Switzerland's International Cooperation Strategy 2021-24
IFAD's website

Address for enquiries:

For further information:
FDFA Communication
Tel. +41 58 462 31 53
Tel. Press service +41 460 55 55


The Federal Council
Federal Department of Foreign Affairs