Our Financial Partners

Working together for investments in agriculture

Funding for agriculture and rural development investments comes from a variety of sources including governments, financing institutions, bilateral donors, foundations and the farmers themselves. All are important partners in the fight against poverty and hunger and actively promote increased and more effective investment in agriculture and rural development.

FAO has cooperative work agreements with 27 financing institutions investing in agriculture. These allow us to collaborate on a country’s behalf at no direct cost to that country. Rather, costs are shared between FAO and the financing entity. Overall, FAO funds roughly 40 percent of the Investment Centre’s operating costs. The remainder comes from the cooperating financing institutions.

Since 1964, they have facilitated more than USD 105,2 billion in agriculture and rural development investment for 1952 projects with the participation of the Investment Centre. Of that amount, these International Financing Institutions (IFIs) have financed USD 65,4 billion. Among them, six are our most active partners.

Major financing partners

Approved Projects

Total investments

External financing



USD million


World Bank Group (since 1964)





IFAD (since 1977)





African Development Bank (since 1968)





Asian Development Bank (since 1968)





Inter-American Development Bank (since 1965)





EBRD (since 1994)




Total 1964-2012




The World Bank
The World Bank is our largest partner, engaging roughly 60 percent of total staff time.  The Bank is comprised of two development institutions:  the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), which assists middle-income and creditworthy poorer countries; and The International Development Association (IDA), which helps the world’s poorest countries.

The World Bank expects to increase its support to agriculture and related sectors from USD 4.2 billion annually in Fiscal Year (FY) 2006-2008 to between USD 6.2 and USD 8.3 billion annually FY 2010-2012.  Its priority areas for the upcoming biennium are to:  raise agricultural productivity; link farmers to market and strengthen value addition; reduce risk and vulnerability (e.g. support to Global Food Crisis Response Programs); facilitate stake-holder movement into and out of the agricultural sector – including urban migration – and  rural non-farm income; and enhance environmental services and sustainability.

International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
A specialized agency of the United Nations, IFAD is dedicated to eradicating poverty and hunger in rural areas of developing countries. IFAD works closely with rural women and men to develop opportunities for improving their access to financial services, markets, technology, land and other natural resources. IFAD’s work with the Investment Centre spans the full gamut of agricultural investing, with special emphasis on helping the rural poor increase their food production, raise their incomes and improve their health, nutrition, education and quality of life.

African Development Bank (AfDB)
The African Development Bank works to stimulate sustainable economic development and social progress in its member countries as a means to reduce poverty and improve living conditions. Small-scale farmers are critically important to agriculture in Africa, yet they have received only a small share of agricultural investment. The African Development Bank supports efforts to enhance rural livelihoods through investment in improved agricultural infrastructure and natural resource management.

Asian Development Bank (ADB)
The Asian Development Bank is working to achieve its goal of an Asia and Pacific region free of poverty. Inclusive growth, environmental sustainability and regional integration are the cornerstones of the ADB’s long-term strategy for reducing poverty in the region. Over the last 40 years, the ADB has channelled much of its support to infrastructure projects, helping to pave the way for social and economic growth and improved access to services.

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)
Reducing poverty and promoting social equity throughout Latin America and the Caribbean are key goals of The Inter-American Development Bank, a major source of multilateral financing and expertise for sustainable economic, social and institutional development in the region. For the last 50 years, the Bank has partnered with governments, the private sector and civil society to promote sustainable growth and improve competitiveness and innovation. Recognising the vast potential of the agricultural sector in the region, the Bank encourages countries to increase attention to agricultural development and assists them in developing sound agricultural policies and national strategies to improve overall food systems.

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)
As the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) helps the economies of Central Asia and Central and Eastern Europe become market-driven, it is distinctive among the Investment Centre’s partners for its concentration on private sector development. The EBRD finances agro-industrial and agro-marketing ventures, which build market opportunities for farmers throughout the region. Ensuring that all its development activities are environmentally sound and sustainable is central to the Bank’s mission.