Three out of four poor people in developing countries live in rural areas, and most of them depend directly or indirectly on agriculture for their livelihood. Thus, sustainable agricultural development is a strong factor in stimulating growth, reducing poverty, and enhancing food security. Enhancing agricultural productivity is also vital for spurring growth in other parts of the economy.
GFA intervention options
With rising land and water scarcity and the added pressures of a globalizing world, the future of agriculture is intrinsically tied to better stewardship of natural resources. GFA has contributed to empirical evidence that, given the right incentives, investments and policies, agriculture’s environmental footprint can be lessened in order to protect watersheds and to safeguard biodiversity.
Today, many exciting opportunities come up to promote rural and overall development through realizing agriculture’s potential: rapidly expanding domestic and global markets, institutional innovations in markets, finance and collective action, as well as revolutions in bio- and information technology. GFA has taken up these challenges and opportunities. The company’s approach to raise agricultural productivity is based on several pillars which are briefly highlighted below. Additional information is presented in separate profiles on ‘Rural Development’, ‘Irrigation’ and ‘Land Management’. GFA teams support technology adoption to reduce the significant gap between yields achieved in farm trials and average national yields, and to focus on improving the relevance and effectiveness of agricultural advice through improved demand-led extension services to farmers. With regards to promoting efficient agricultural services, GFA focuses on developing and strengthening food and non-food value chains in agribusiness.
Farmers still face enormous hurdles in gaining access to markets and inputs. GFA regards creating an enabling environment the most promising option to boost agricultural productivity. This can be achieved by linking farmers to markets more effectively through targeted investments in market places, rural roads, market information, and increasing access to finance. We provide in-depth analysis and sound advice with regard to effective trade and market policies, including issues such as access to European Union markets.
Efficient land markets are a cornerstone of raising productivity. GFA has developed long-standing experiences in land management. Our competence is based on consulting services in establishing clear legal tenure and property rights, setting up reliable land registries and introducing cadastre systems, as well as utilizing GIS-based land use planning.
Climate change has led to rising uncertainties in rain-fed agriculture. Hence, access to water and irrigation becomes an ever more important determinant of land productivity, the stability of yields and the adaptation to the effects of climate change. GFA’s approach to irrigation reflects the principles of integrated water resource management as well as participatory irrigation management.
GFA works as General Agent for the Bilateral Cooperation Programme of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture and as General Agent for the International Sustainable Forest Management Programme of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL).