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20/12/2006

Innovative investment project for young farmers wins award

A project jointly prepared by a team of experts from Mexico’s Secretariat of Agrarian Reform, the World Bank and FAO’s Investment Centre, working in the Latin America and Caribbean region, has been awarded the 2006 “Golden Plough for Innovation” for Agriculture and Rural Development by the World Bank.

The award was given to the “Access to Land for Young Farmers Project” in Mexico, a five-year, US$ 100 million effort that started operations in January 2006.

“The project focuses on rural youth and aims at rejuvenating the proprietary structure of land ownership in Mexico”, says Klaus Urban, the Investment Centre’s team leader in the project. “By providing capacity building and financial resources to young farmers, the project will assist them to acquire land and finance small-scale enterprises”.

The project is promoting entrepreneurship, investment and income generation in rural communities throughout Mexico. In parallel, the project will also help facilitate the access of senior landowners to social welfare schemes.

The Investment Centre has a long history of collaboration with the World Bank in the Latin America and Caribbean region, particularly in joint efforts to alleviate rural poverty and hunger through sector work and the preparation of investment projects. In recent years, the Centre has worked with the Bank in assisting Latin American and Caribbean governments to meet the requirements of international trade agreements, to develop land administration programmes, to promote new information technologies and best practices in natural resources and water management, and to support community-driven development.