French President Emmanuel Macron Promises To Increase Aid To Farmers In The Developing World By 50%

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French President Emmanuel Macron Promises To Increase Aid To Farmers In The Developing World By 50%

Photo: Philippe Servent / Présidence de la République

French President Emmanuel Macron has told the One Planet Summit on Biodiversity that France will increase the funding gives to the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) by 50%.

The IFAD supports smallholder farmers and small agricultural businesses in the developing world by giving grants, loans, training, technical knowledge and farming equipment. The organisation also helps small farms get their produce into local and international markets, thereby increasing the revenue each farm brings in.

Last Monday, Macron met with ambassadors from the IFAD and celebrities lobbying on behalf of the farmers, including movie star Idris Elba and his wife, Sabrina Dhowre Elba.

President Macron said in a statement:

"A lot of countries have this kind of summit … post-COVID we thought about how to completely change this summit, build something new. Maybe it will fail, we decided to build a new summit. There will be absolutely no African leader invited, we will just invite young people from everywhere in Africa involved in agriculture, civil society, business, culture, sports ... coming from Africa and saying what they want for Africa. They will decide what they want."

France is not the first country to decide to seriously increase its funding to third world farmers. Over the course of the last year, 25 other countries have vowed to increase the amount of aid they give to third-world farming projects, including Japan, New Zealand and the Netherlands. It is as of yet unclear as to how much other countries will increase their aid by, but it is hoped that many will match France's outlay of a 50% increase.

The Elbas released a statement commending France's decision, saying that such moves will create a much brighter future for people living in the developing world. They said:

"We are delighted that President Macron has joined many countries, including those from Africa, who have increased their pledges to IFAD, and we hope other leaders and countries will follow their lead. At a time when every country is experiencing hardship from the pandemic, we need more than ever the political vision to tackle our interlinked climate, health and economic emergencies. Investing in sustainable agriculture and rural areas not only creates economic opportunities for a better and more equal future, but can also help safeguard our planet."

Last year the IFAD launched a $200 million aid package for farmers who are struggling as a result of the ongoing pandemic. Indeed, it is believed that more individuals may die in Africa as a result of the economic fallout of the pandemic than will die of the virus itself.

A major project also being currently pursued by the IFAD is the 'Green Wall Project', which will become the world's largest reforestation project. The project will see forest being planted across the whole width of Africa, south of the Sahara Desert, in order to stop the desert spreading further south into the continent. The IFAD will mobilise around $10 billion for this project and is expected to produce a vast number of jobs once it begins.

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Thinking Humanity: French President Emmanuel Macron Promises To Increase Aid To Farmers In The Developing World By 50%
French President Emmanuel Macron Promises To Increase Aid To Farmers In The Developing World By 50%
French President Emmanuel Macron has told the One Planet Summit on Biodiversity that France will increase the amount of money it gives to the Internat
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