International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is being working in India since 1979 for reducing poverty and improving the livelihoods of rural poor people in India. The fund has invested more than $928 million in 27 projects with impacting 4.4 million households.
IFAD stressed that there is a dire need to focus on technical solutions for rain-fed agriculture, especially in light of climate change. An independent evaluation report pointed out that from a technical perspective, interventions need clearer emphasis on reducing the risk factors, and to better analyse the constraints and opportunities of farming systems.
It further stressed out that investments in agriculture need to be crafted more strategically by organizing them around territorial and commodity clusters, to better concentrate on critical mass of initiatives. Accordingly to the panelists, this would also place projects in a better position to support linkages to markets and opportunities for value addition.
IFAD also stressed to improve farmers' information on markets and reduce risks, attention needs to be paid to information technology, and insurance products as many of the problems experienced by farmers in certain regions can be reduced through these inputs.
Traditionally, IFAD-funded projects were geared to support subsistence agriculture in very poor areas and were mostly demand-based. Non-governmental organizations (national and international) and state or district departments were in charge of providing improved varieties of seeds or livestock breeds and extension support.