As Cop15 Tackles Desertification, Here Are Three Ways Ifad Is Helping Farmers in Sub-saharan Africa Build Their Resilience to Climate Change

Sub-Saharan Africa’s drylands – that is, the areas where more water is lost through evaporation than gained through rainfall – are facing widespread degradation. There are many factors causing this, but one of the most prominent is the use of agricultural practices that aren’t adapted to the land, such as overgrazing and intensive agriculture (the use of techniques that maximize productivity and yields, often in a way that disrupts the balance of natural resources).

Unfortunately, any gains brought about by these practices are short-lived. When natural resources are degraded, farms produce less. Small-scale farmers struggle to provide their families with nutritious food and risk losing their livelihoods entirely. And in recent years, shifting rainfall patterns due to climate change have begun to make places even drier, accelerating the processes of degradation.

Since 2017, IFAD has led the Resilient Food Systems programme (RFS), an initiative to promote sustainable natural resource management and transform food systems in 12 countries across sub-Saharan Africa.