International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)11 – Core contribution 2019-2021

Project completed

IFAD’s mission is to enable rural women and men to overcome poverty and to improve their food security and nutrition. IFAD uses a mix of low-interest loans and grants to support agricultural and rural development projects, often in remote and environmentally fragile locations. For the period 2019-2021, the goal is to lift 44 Mio people out of poverty. IFAD is one of the 15 priority organizations of Swiss international cooperation and shares its values of focusing on the poor, addressing issues of climate change, gender, nutrition and youth.

Topic Period Budget
Agriculture & food security
Climate change and environment
Agricultural development
Agricultural policy
Agriculture value-chain development (til 2016)
Environmental policy
01.01.2019 - 31.12.2021
CHF  41’020’000
Area of responsibility

IFAD is today the only multilateral organization with a mandate specialized on smallholder agriculture. Its role is to invest in development opportunities for poor rural people in the form of loans and grants to country partners. It is a partnership of 176 members from the OECD, the OPEC other developing countries. With more than 60 % of members contributing to the Fund, IFAD’s sense of ownership is high.

IFAD is one of the three UN Rome-based agencies specialized in food and agriculture. All three agencies have different but complementary mandates, with the FAO playing an important role in developing norms and sharing knowledge on agriculture, and the WFP specialized in delivering food aid.

With its focus on rural poverty eradication, IFAD contributes primarily to SDGs 1 and 2, but has clear linkages with the whole agenda, e.g. through the mainstreaming of climate change, gender, nutrition and youth.

Switzerland's and the organisation's strategic priorities and their coherence

IFAD is one of the 15 multilateral priority organizations of Switzerland in the Dispatch on International Cooperation 2017-2020.

The clear mandate of IFAD on smallholder agriculture has enabled the organization to develop an expertise in rural development and poverty alleviation, with a focus on increasing agricultural production and productivity, sustainable management of natural resources, building sustainable and inclusive local and regional value chains, food security and nutrition, climate change adaptation, women’s empowerment and support to farmers’ organizations.

These areas of work are all central to the mandate of the Swiss development cooperation and are all integral parts of the Dispatch on Switzerland's International Cooperation 2017–2020. More specifically, objectives of IFAD are also fully compatible with the thematic priorities of the Strategy 2017-2020 of the Global Programme Food Security

Results of the organisation's previous engagement The recent Impact Assessment Initiative shows that from 2010-2015, 139 Mio individuals received project services. Through its projects in that timespan, IFAD can show for 27 Mio voluntary savers, more than 4 Mio persons trained in crop production practices and technologies and 5 Mio hectares of land under improved management practices. In 2016 alone, 91’240 enterprises accessed business promotion services, and 1.5 Mio poor smallholder farmers were supported in coping with the effects of climate change. Of particular relevance is the fact that in all of these categories, at least 50% are women
Results of Switzerland's engagement in previous phase

Independent Office of Evaluation (IOE): In 2016, phase IV of the SDC-IOE Partnership was concluded and an external review man-dated by SDC took place. The 14 year long partnership contributed in a significant way to IFAD’s current evaluation and results measurement policies. At the same time, it showed that SDC had limited absorption capacity to take full advantage of the learning opportunities that the Partnership offered.

Public-private-producer partnerships (4Ps): A stocktaking of IFAD-funded projects revealed that out of 139 projects approved between 2012 and April 2017, 101 (73 per cent) have elements of a market access approach, and 81 engaged directly with the private sector. Of these projects, 40 have either a full-fledged 4P approach or incorporate features of the 4P approach in their design.

A multi-bi contribution of CHF 7 million was approved by SDC to contribute to the Facility for Refugees, Migrants, Forced Displacement and Rural Stability (FARMS) for Jordan and Lebanon, based on the mandate of CFDB to increase the Swiss engagement in the region

Medium-term outcome of organisation's current engagement

During the IFAD11 period, the Fund aims to reach 120 million poor rural people and achieve significant attributable impact across each of its strategic objectives, as defined in the IFAD11 Results Management Framework:

(a) 47 million people with increased agricultural production

(b) 46 million people with increased market access

(c) 24 million people with greater resilience

(d) 12 million people with improved nutrition

(e) 44 million people experiencing economic mobility

In doing so, IFAD aims to mainstream nutrition, gender, youth and climate to multiply the impacts of its investments and address migration challenges.

To finance these objectives, IFAD introduces new financial tools in IFAD11 and explores the possibility of market borrowing for IFAD12.


Effect in Switzerland

Collaboration with the private sector and Principles of Responsible Agricultural Investments: In line with the Dispatch 2017-2020, Switzerland will continue to support IFAD’s policy on partnerships with the private sector, thus leveraging additional investments. However, it will also keep scrutinizing that such partnerships take into account the Principles of Responsible Agricultural Investments.

Financial Framework: Switzerland will contribute to the discussions on the introduction of market borrowing for IFAD12, advocating for a prudent approach. It will also actively follow the discussions on co-financing, bringing in the local knowledge of Swiss COOFs, whenever available.

Based on a contribution for Conflict Sensitive Programme Management (CSPM) in FARMS, Switzerland will use the lessons and recommendations of this experience to raise awareness for the approach in IFAD and, in the best scenario, to mainstream it.

Increase Swiss presence at IFAD: With the departure of Vice-President Mordasini, Switzerland no longer has any staff at senior level. Swiss presence should be strengthened to mirror correctly the high standing of Switzerland in the list of donors.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
United Nations Organization (UNO)
  • International Fund for Agricultural Development

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    41’020’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    41’019’154
Switzerland's ranking in the DonorOrder



Core contribution ranking IFAD11:

1. Netherlands, 2. China, 3. United Kingdom, and 9. Switzerland, out of 49 donors (status 12 February 2018, to be confirmed based on confirmed pledges submitted by August 2018).

Coordination with other projects and actors

Switzerland is an active Member of List A (OECD countries) and an alternate Executive Board member for the period 2018-2020.

Project phases Phase 13 01.01.2022 - 31.12.2024   (Current phase) Phase 11 01.01.2016 - 31.12.2018   (Completed) Phase 10 01.01.2013 - 31.12.2015   (Completed)