Kakuy Ouanko’s family has relied — for generations — on the sale of cotton and cereals to earn a living. The size of the crop determines how much food his family will have for the year — and whether he can afford to send his children to school.
Without access to proper inputs or technology, there’s little Kakuy can do to reduce his vulnerability to bad weather.
But a project being implemented by the Société Burkinabè des Fibres Textiles (SOFITEX) — with support from IFC and the World Bank — aims to address this challenge in west Burkina Faso, where Kakuy lives. The project provides farmers with financing and training for soil and water management, rainwater capture, and irrigation to stabilize and increase cotton yields, boosting their incomes. The goal is to reach 1,000 farmers in four years — Kakuy being one of them.
Making smallholder farmers more productive and resilient is an important step in the effort to end global poverty. About three-quarters of the world’s poor live in rural areas, toiling on tiny plots of land that yield barely enough to support basic family needs.
IFC supports programs that link smallholder farmers to modern supply chains, enabling them to adopt farming practices that will increase productivity and profitability. This is one element of our comprehensive approach to agribusiness. In FY18, our overall investments in agribusiness and forestry totaled nearly $1.6 billion, including funds mobilized from other investors. Our clients created opportunities for about 3.7 million farmers.
We work with the entire supply chain to build sustainable food-production systems. To help clients finance inventories, seeds, and farm chemicals, we offer working-capital facilities. To facilitate trade and reduce cost, we invest in infrastructure, including ports and warehouses.
In India, we worked with the state of Odisha on a public-private partnership to develop, finance, and maintain facilities for rice storage. The reserves will provide food security to the poor in remote areas of the state, which is often hit by cyclones and other natural disasters. The project is now being replicated in other locations in Odisha, potentially benefiting more than 300,000 people.
We also help agribusiness companies in developing countries become more competitive. In Argentina, we partnered with Rabobank to arrange a $410 million finance package to help Renova build a new grain port and boost its soy-processing capacity.