International Fund for Agricultural Development


Emblem of IFADThe International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a specialized agency of the United Nations, was established as an international financial institution in 1977 as one of the major outcomes of the 1974 World Food Conference. The Conference was organized in response to the food crises of the early 1970s that primarily affected the Sahelian countries of Africa. The conference resolved that " an International Fund for Agricultural Development should be established immediately to finance agricultural development projects primarily for food production in the developing countries". One of the most important insights emerging from the conference was that the causes of food insecurity and famine were not so much failures in food production, but structural problems relating to poverty and to the fact that the majority of the developing world’s poor populations were concentrated in rural areas.


Women working on the landIFAD's mission is to enable the rural poor to overcome poverty.


IFAD is dedicated to eradicating rural poverty in developing countries. Seventy-five per cent of the world's poorest people - 800 million women, children and men - live in rural areas and depend on agriculture and related activities for their livelihoods.


Working with rural poor people, governments, donors, non-governmental organizations and many other partners, IFAD focuses on country-specific solutions, which can involve increasing rural poor peoples' access to financial services, markets, technology, land and other natural resources.


IFAD's activities are guided by the Strategic Framework for IFAD 2002-2006: Enabling the rural poor to overcome poverty. The framework's three strategic objectives are to:

  • strengthen the capacity of the rural poor and their organizations
  • improve equitable access to productive natural resources and technologies
  • increase access by the rural poor people to financial services and markets


Children's poster by IFADUnderlying these strategic objectives is IFAD's belief that rural poor people must be empowered to lead their own development if poverty is to be eradicated. Poor people must be able to develop and strengthen their own organizations, so they can advance their own interests and dismantle the obstacles that prevent many of them from creating better lives for themselves. They must be able to have a say in the decisions and policies that affect their lives, and they need to strengthen their bargaining power in the marketplace.


All of IFAD's decisions - on regional, country and thematic strategies, poverty reduction strategies, policy dialogue and development partners - are made with these principles and objectives in mind. As reflected in the strategic framework, IFAD is committed to achieving the Millennium Development Goals, in particular the target to halve the proportion of hungry and extremely poor people by 2015.





The official website of IFAD.



Stamp catalogue - 10th anniversary


Benin                          14 December 1987

Solomon Islands            12 February 1988

Suriname                     21 September 1988



Stamp catalogue - 20th anniversary


Bangladesh                  17 October 1998



Stamp catalogue - 25th anniversary


Bangladesh                  19 February 2003



Stamp catalogue - Seminar on Agricultural Loans for Rural Women


Bangladesh                  26 January 1988









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last revised: 24 September 2008