Empleo rural decente

Strengthening capacity to harness the positive effects of migration

Migration is a global phenomenon that affects the lives of hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Many migrants come from rural areas, where families rely on agriculture and related activities for their livelihoods. People decide to migrate for many reasons, such as food insecurity, lack of decent rural employment, and environmental degradation.

Since 2020, FAO has been implementing the programme Strengthening Capacity to Harness Positive Effects of Migration, funded through the Flexible Multi-Partner Mechanism (FMM) - FAO's main pooled funding mechanism. The objective of the programme is to maximize the benefits of migration and harness the contributions of migrants to rural livelihoods, while minimizing the negative impacts to household members who stay behind, particularly women and children. 

In particular, the programme strengthens the capacity of local governments and actors to foster decent rural employment opportunities in the agri-food sector for those who remain behind, those who are thinking of migrating, and returnees. This contributes to increased food security and provides sustainable alternatives for rural populations, particularly youth, giving people better options to make migration a choice, not a necessity.

Our work in action:

At the global and regional level, the programme is contributing to the development of tools and approaches that help stakeholders effectively address migration issues in the context of rural development (such as the FAO-IOM Toolkit for integrating migration into rural development interventions), strengthening their capacities and thus improving policy coherence. The programme also raises awareness about the role migrants play in agri-food systems and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on migrants and their families.

At the country level, the programme supports the governments of Uganda, Senegal and Nepal to adopt and implement policies, strategies and programmes that promote sustainable alternatives to migration for rural youth, empower family members that stay behind, mobilize diaspora for agri-business, and support prospective and return migrants.  

In Uganda, the programme strengthens diaspora skills and facilitates investments for employment creation in agri-food systems, while also fostering diaspora-inclusive policy dialogue.



In Senegal, the interventions are focused on enhancing migration governance mechanisms by building the capacities of national and local policy makers to integrate migration considerations into development planning. This work resulted in a study that broadened the available knowledge base on the causes and dynamics of rural migration in the country. Furthermore, orientation and support desks for prospective and return migrants (BCAOS – Bureaux Communaux d’Accueil, Orientation et de Suivi) are being piloted in six municipalities.


In Nepal, the programme trains and supports women in areas of high male outmigration and where youth and returning migrant workers are hard hit by COVID-19, to improve employability and entrepreneurship.