By Country

Investing FAO’s Knowledge in the Field

The FAO Investment Centre assembles multi-disciplinary teams to work on behalf of countries in collaboration with our investment partners, donors and other stakeholders. Programmes and projects to which we are currently contributing are underway in roughly 100 countries. The following profiles illustrate the diversity of the Investment Centre's work.

Asia and Pacific

Europe and Central Asia

Latin America and Caribbean

Near East and North Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa


Asia and Pacific

©FAO/Joerg BoethlingIndia
While India’s overall economy is growing rapidly, its agricultural growth rate is declining. Most of India’s many poor still live in rural areas and are dependent on agriculture for their livelihoods. Raising agricultural productivity, improving the livelihoods in an equitable manner, and using resources, especially soil and water in a sustainable manner,  thus remains key to poverty reduction.

Currently, the Investment Centre’s efforts on behalf of India are largely focused on planning and management of water resource investments. These include developing a national project to promote sustained and effective use of India’s Hydrological Information System by both the public and private sectors. The Investment Centre is also assisting three states in reforming and restructuring management of their water sectors:  Orissa (OCTMP), Uttar Pradesh (UPWSRP), Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. In Rajasthan, home of the Great Indian (Thar) Desert and Aravalli Range, this includes an emphasis on the sustainable development and management of surface and groundwater resources. In Madhya Pradesh, the focus is on improving the productivity of water resources in four river basins and across multiple sectors – irrigation and drainage, flood control, industry, drinking water, etc. An integrated information system for irrigated agriculture will be established. In the south eastern coastal state of Tamil Nadu, a major effort is underway to modernize irrigation systems covering more than 600,000 hectares in 63 sub-basins, and to improve cooperation among the multiple agencies involved with irrigation. Additional projects in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh are enabling user groups to take responsibility for water tank development. The Investment Centre has also played important role in the evaluation and design of watershed projects, most recently in Karnataka. An important element of TCI support is strengthening the agriculture service support on these projects.

The Investment Centre is also contributing to poverty reduction through a national project to strengthen the market orientation and innovation in India’s agriculture sector. We have supporting efforts to enable tribal forest-dependent communities in Andhra Pradesh to better manage forest resources. In Assam, India’s most north-eastern state, we are participating in efforts to stimulate the growth of the agricultural economy through support for increased yields of crops, fish and livestock products.

TCI has also provide assistance to a range of livelihoods projects in India. For example an initiative in Madhya Pradesh aims to help the poor to organize themselves into a range of community based organizations – self-help groups, village development committees, producer collectives, etc. – which can leverage their combined resources to build capacity and strengthen business operations. TCI has been involved in a Stocktaking of these livelihoods projects, as well as inputs on M&E, processes and economic and financial analysis.

Building the capacities of tribal communities in Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Orissa through sustainable self management of their natural resources will improve income of tribal families, especially women. In densely populated Uttar Pradesh, sodicity has degraded productive fields into to waste lands, a series of projects supported by the IC have resulted in a sustainable reclaimation into fields that are producing two to three crops per year in large parts of the State.

A project to improve sustainable management of the Bay of Bengal marine resources among its eight constituent coastal countries, including India, was also prepared with Investment Centre support.

Programmes & projects currently in operation
USD 3.8 billion
USD 3.1 billion in loans/credits/grants from the World Bank, IFAD, WFP and bilateral donors (Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom)

©FAO/Hoang Dinh NamViet Nam

Since the mid-1990’s, poverty in Viet Nam has been halved. Because 70 percent of Viet Nam’s population relies on agriculture for their livelihoods, agricultural development has been a key factor in this success.

Our current in-country work includes efforts to further extend poverty reduction and rural development, and emergency response strategies. For example, Viet Nam was hardest hit by Avian Influenza. The Investment Centre, together with colleagues in FAO’s Animal Production and Health Division, is participating in the implementation of a project to help the country’s poultry sector recover and better cope with disease outbreaks. Viet Nam is prone to natural disasters, especially flooding and storms, which frequently threaten its agricultural resources. The Investment Centre is supervising efforts to help Viet Nam strengthen its natural disaster prevention, preparedness, mitigation and recovery measures. To help lift rural populations out of poverty, the Government is targeting the poorest communes in remote and mountainous regions, where the majority of Viet Nam’s ethnic minorities reside. Through programmes the Investment Centre helped to develop, Viet Nam aims to improve agricultural production and income generation in these locales. The Investment Centre is now evaluating programmes nearing implementation completion and helping to prepare for subsequent phases. We are also supporting a four-year effort, now concluding, to improve the competitiveness of smallholder farmers in eight central provinces. This is being achieved by enhancing agricultural technology; fostering demand-driven partnerships to improve value chain initiatives and networking; providing critical public infrastructure; and through effective management of the project overall.

Programmes & projects currently in operation
USD 1 billion in total investments
USD 659 billion of that in loans/credits/grants through the World Bank, IFAD, GEF bilateral donors (Finland, Germany, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and others)

Europe and Central Asia

Tajikistan has the highest rate of poverty of all the countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Nearly two-thirds of the country’s 7 million people are classified as poor, living on less than USD 2.15 per day; 76 percent live in rural areas. The country is a net importer of food and fuel, and is particularly vulnerable to high food prices.

Supporting Tajikistan’s efforts to increase food security and reduce poverty is a primary focus of Investment Centre activities currently underway. The Investment Centre provided assistance to identify, design and evaluate the country’s food security investment programmes, which has led to the development of a National Food Security Strategy through 2015. The Investment Centre has helped to prepare a programme to reduce poverty among cotton farmers in low income areas of Tajikistan through debt resolution, improved policy environment, and increased cotton output and profitability. We have assisted the design of financing for the purchase of seed cotton, which would allow for immediate payments to cotton farmers.

The Investment Centre is also supervising a projects aimed at improving water resource management in the Ferghana Valley and preparing further irrigation infrastructure rehabilitation activities for additional financing.  We have contributed to the socio-economic baseline surveys and other assistance for projects in irrigation infrastructure targeting selected mountain watersheds.

The Investment Centre has also assisted national capacity in Avian Influenza preparedness and response by improving coordination among various government ministries and donor agencies in that regard. Working have supported efforts to provide assistance to private agribusiness and financial sectors in Tajikistan through the Micro and Small Enterprise Finance Facility, Agricultural Finance Facility and the TurnAround Management (TAM) and Business Advisory Services (BAS) Programme by encouraging promotion of entrepreneurial activities and strengthening Tajikistan’s financial services sector.

The Investment Centre helps farmers in the Pamir Mountains to cope with climate change and improve their livelihoods through the breeding of cashmere goats, sustainable pasture management and cashmere value chain development and market linkages.

Background studies are underway for a programme to make best use of the agricultural potential of the upper Amu Darya Basin (Panj and Vakhsh rivers), situated at the meeting point of seven countries, including Tajikistan. This will provide knowledge exchange via the internet; improve cashmere goat breading, as well as the production, marketing and profitability of cashmere products, while ensuring protection of the alpine ecosystem.

Programmes & projects currently in operation
USD 95 million
USD 86 million of that in loans/credits/grants from the World Bank, EBRD, IFAD and GEF

Latin America and the Caribbean

Owing to a period of fairly steady growth, Argentina’s economy rebounded from a devastating economic crisis in 2001-2002. In addition to tourism and the service industries, agriculture has played a key role in this growth spurt, helping to reduce poverty and unemployment in the country.

Argentina’s vast, fertile Pampas region –the country’s breadbasket – produces most of the country’s grain, soy and meat. Regions outside the Pampas, however, enjoy less favourable natural conditions. Poorly developed infrastructure and limited access to productive services have hindered agricultural performance in these regions, which are home to many small farming communities. In 1996, the Government of Argentina launched an initiative to strengthen agricultural support services and finance investment projects to promote the agricultural competitiveness of these region’s economies.

The initiative, known as PROSAP, supported implementation of 36 sub-projects in rural infrastructure, animal and plant health, non-infrastructure services, and the capacity building of provinces to plan and carry out agricultural development activities. The Investment Centre has been supervising all stages of the initiative since the 1990s. Its current emphasis is to boost production and sales among small and medium-size farmers through the provision of technical assistance, capacity-building, and direct investments, which will contribute to long-term improvements in agricultural productivity, competitiveness and market access.

The Investment Centre is working with the Government of Argentina government to ensure that development activities are environmentally sustainable. To this end, the Investment Centre has helped to prepare a project for the sustainable management of natural resources, focusing on: native forests and biodiversity; sustainable forest plantations; and protected areas and conservation corridors. The Investment Centre has also helped prepare a project for smallholder farmer development.

Programmes & projects currently in operation
USD 913 million
USD 658 million of that in loans/credits/grants from the World Bank, GEF and the Inter-American Development Bank (BID)

©FAO/Alberto ContiBrazil
Brazil is making progress in its fight against hunger. FAO estimates that it is on track to achieve both the first Millennium Development Goal and the World Food Summit target by 2015. Its investments in agriculture have played a key role, especially its Zero Hunger programme (Fome Zero), launched in 2003 and prepared with assistance from the Investment Centre.

Among current projects, many focus on reducing poverty while improving the sustainable management of natural resources. In South and Southeast Brazil, the Investment Centre is assisting in the preparation and supervision of projects to increase the competitiveness of family agriculture; and to tackle problems associated with unsustainable agricultural practices, weak supply/value chains and degradation of natural resources.

In the Amazon, the Investment Centre is supporting efforts to improve sustainable fisheries and forestry management for income generation. We helped prepare the end-of-programme report for the Amazon Region Protected Areas Program (ARPA), the largest joint initiative in history for the conservation of tropical forests. The Centre is supporting conservation and biodiversity efforts in both terrestrial (Amazon and Atlantic forests) and aquatic (Amazon) ecosystems. We are beginning a study of efforts to improve cooperation among institutions for research and development of land use systems that will reverse and prevent natural resource degradation throughout the Amazon. We are providing guidance on analyzing the effects of an initiative to better understand how forests, agro-forestry and agriculture activities improve the livelihoods of Amazon communities in seven countries. In the drought-prone Northeast Region, the Investment Centre is assisting supervision of a water resources management project, which is optimizing the storage, use and delivery of water supplies in the semi-arid area.

Programmes & projects currently in operation
USD 325 million
USD 196 million of that in loans/credits/grants from the World Bank and GEF

©FAO/Antonello ProtoPeru
Agriculture, fisheries, mining and industry are the main drivers of Peru’s economy. Steady economic growth in recent years has helped Peru make considerable headway in reducing poverty.

In recent years, the Peruvian government has focused its attention and resources on improving the competitiveness of its agriculture and fishing sector and on developing the economic productivity of the Andean highlands. In addition to these areas, the Investment Centre is working on the sustainable management of the country’s drainage basins, water resources, irrigation systems and forest resources; rural land development; and poverty reduction and food security.

Peru is prone to natural disasters, from flooding and landslides to drought and earthquakes. In 2007, a powerful quake devastated parts of the country, causing loss of life, massive displacement and infrastructure damage; the coastal province of Ica was the hardest hit. The Investment Centre has developed a rehabilitation project to help jumpstart agriculture and fishing activities in the quake-affected areas. The project covers the provinces of Ica, Cañete, Castrovirreyna, Chincha Huaytará, Lucanas, Pisco and Yauyos.

Most of Peru’s commercial agriculture is grown in coastal areas and is largely dependent on irrigation. The Investment Centre is supporting technical and environmental aspects of an irrigation project that aims to boost agricultural productivity, and improve irrigation systems and the efficient use of water resources. While most of the activities are focused on the coastal areas, the Investment Centre has also prepared an irrigation project for the Peruvian highlands. The Investment Centre has also helped to develop a project to promote the efficient, equitable and sustainable use of water and other natural resources in the 10 main coastal basin areas. We are supporting a GEF-funded project to promote climate change adaptation in irrigated agriculture.

The Investment Centre is also working on a project to provide financial and technical support to rural businesses in the Peruvian highlands. The project is focused on building productive public-private partnerships. In a similar vein, the Investment Centre has lent support to a programme to increase competitiveness and innovation in Peru’s agricultural sector.

Programmes & projects currently in operation
USD 112 million
USD 70 million of that in loans/credits/grants from the World Bank/International Development Fund, IFAD, GEF and bilateral donors (Finland, Germany, the Netherlands and the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation)

North Africa and the Near East

©FAO/Djibril SyMorocco
Morocco has experienced fairly steady economic growth in recent years, which has helped to reduce poverty rates. The agricultural economy, however, is vulnerable to climate shocks, particularly drought, and pressure on the country's natural resources continues to be a concern. An estimated 40 percent of the country's population relies on agriculture for their livelihoods.

Increasing water scarcity is one of the country’s greatest challenges. In response to this, the Investment Centre is assisting in the design/management of a large-scale irrigation development project in the Oum Er Rbia water basin, aimed at promoting small and medium sized, locally managed irrigation schemes; and with similar projects in three water basins throughout the country, including the one in Oum Er Rbia.

Most of Morocco’s crops are rain-fed. The Investment Centre is supervising implementation of a nationwide integrated rain-fed agriculture development project. The project objectives are to improve household incomes and access to basic services and infrastructure, promote sustainable development and strengthen rural communities’ ability to cope with drought.

The Investment Centre is further helping to identify three sub-programmes in support of the Government’s new Plan Maroc Vert or Green Morocco Plan, the country's 10-year agricultural development strategy.

The Investment Centre is also participating in the development of a project to better manage and conserve biodiversity. We are supporting the national human development initiative of the Moroccan King, which aims to eliminate poverty and inequity in the country by ensuring better access to basic infrastructure and social services, promoting income-generating activities and providing assistance to some of the most vulnerable people. The Investment Centre has helped to prepare the initiative’s environmental management component.

Programmes & projects currently in operation
USD 297 million
USD 239 million of that in loans/credits/grants from the World Bank, IFAD, GEF, UNDP and others

Sub-Saharan Africa

©FAO/Jeanette Van AckerMali
Thanks to generally favourable economic growth in recent years, Mali has made modest inroads in reducing poverty. Still, it remains one of the poorest countries in the world. Mali’s economy, which is largely based on gold, cotton and livestock breeding, is particularly vulnerable to climate shocks and market volatility.

Investment activities have centred around four main areas: investment strategies and sector reform; agricultural competitiveness and food security; rural infrastructure; and microfinance. In addition to helping map out an agricultural and rural development strategy and a strategy on aid, the Investment Centre has been involved in a poverty and social impact analysis of the country’s cotton sector reform. Mali is one of the largest producers of cotton in Sub-Saharan Africa and many of the country’s small farmers rely on cotton farming for their survival; however, the country was hard hit by the steep drop in international cotton prices in 2003. The Investment Centre is supporting efforts to diversify and improve the competitiveness of the entire agricultural value chain, which integrates cotton and animal and fish production.

The Investment Centre is contributing to: making vulnerable households more food secure in the central Mopti and eastern Gao regions; developing animal production in the South Kayes region in the country’s southwest; supporting agricultural services and farmers’ organisations, with an emphasis on livestock breeding, agricultural research and the modernisation of public services; and increasing overall productivity, with a focus on rice production, institutional development and rural financing. In collaboration with the African Development Bank, the Investment Centre participated in a mission to evaluate needs to reduce post-harvest losses.

The Investment Centre has been preparing a programme to increase food security and modernise and improve the competitiveness of the agriculture sectors in Mali, Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The programme aims to support farmers’ organisations, promote better market access and enhance coordination, evaluation and cooperation. The Malian component is designed to boost the incomes of vulnerable households in the Dogon Plateau by scaling up irrigated market gardening activities.

The Investment Centre is also working to improve Mali’s rural infrastructure, including irrigation systems, and helping to develop rural microfinance.

Programmes & projects currently in operation
USD 273 million
USD 238 million of that in loans/credits/grants from the World Bank, the African Development Fund and the African Development Bank, IFAD, GEF, UNCDF, UNDP, the West African Development Bank and bilateral donors (Government of Italy Cooperative Programme)