Luanda, 22 May 2018 – Development projects supported by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) have contributed to improve the productivity and production of main staple crops, which enabled households participating in the projects to move beyond subsistence farming, according to the findings of a new evaluation report presented today in Luanda.
The report, conducted by the Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE), has analysed over 12 years, from 2005 to 2017, and has evaluated one completed and three on-going projects in eight of Angola's 18 provinces for a total project cost of US$107.3 million, of which $54.2 million was financed by IFAD.
The results of the evaluation show that IFAD has helped to improve the production and productivity of four staple crops: bean, cassava, maize and potato. IFAD is also contributing to the development of small-scale freshwater capture fisheries and aquaculture. By the end of the Market-Oriented Smallholder Agriculture Project, the Crop Production Index (which measures agricultural production for each year relative to the baseline defined in 2011) showed an increase in productivity of 66 per cent.
Among the successes, capacities were significantly developed among staff of the national agricultural extension system. A total of 88 government extension officers attended trainings on improved production techniques that reinforced the quality of their support and assistance to farmers.
Challenges for the future
The evaluation highlights the achievements as well as the issues that still need to be addressed. "In a country where 44.2 per cent of the population works in the agriculture sector, creating sustainable and attractive opportunities in rural areas is crucial. This evaluation offers valuable recommendations for the way forward," said Oscar A. Garcia, IOE Director.
The evaluation gives recommendations for future collaboration between IFAD and the Angolan government in the fight against rural poverty. One of them is to address key issues in relation to land tenure and agro-ecology in order to promote a sustainable and fair food system. Another is to make capacity development (at the individual and institutional levels) one of the pillars and cross-cutting principles of IFAD's work in Angola.
Garcia added, “The report shows that living conditions of small producers have improved, but it also shows that the most vulnerable, such as women and youth, were not totally reached." Indeed, the national demographics of the country show that youth can play a major role in the national development process. Future initiatives between IFAD and the Government should contribute to transforming agriculture into an attractive sector in which young people can find opportunities for a dignified livelihood. Women should also have leadership roles in farmers' organizations and associations, since women are among the main players in Angolan agriculture.
IFAD has invested in rural people for 40 years, empowering them to reduce poverty, increase food security, improve nutrition and strengthen resilience. Since 1978, we have provided US$20.2 billion in grants and low-interest loans to projects that have reached about 476 million people. IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized United Nations agency based in Rome – the UN’s food and agriculture hub.
The Independent Office of Evaluation (IOE) conducts evaluations of IFAD-financed policies, strategies and operations to promote accountability and learning. The main purpose is to contribute to improving IFAD's and its partners' performance in reducing rural poverty in recipient countries. IOE's independent evaluations assess the impact of IFAD-funded activities and give an analysis of successes and shortcomings – to tell it the way it is – as well as identify factors affecting performance. Based on the key insights and recommendations drawn from evaluation findings, IOE also shares IFAD’s knowledge and experience in agriculture and rural development with a wider audience.
Press release No.: IFAD/38/2018