Welcome to Roots, the Independent Office of Evaluation (IOE) podcast for rural communities.
Personal stories of people who participate in IFAD-funded projects evaluated independently allow us to stop, reflect and see what is working well, what is not, why, and what needs to be corrected.
Beneficiaries' voices are references to improve projects intended to promote an inclusive and sustainable rural development.
IOE listens to these voices and disseminates them through Roots, a podcast produced for a broader audience to share knowledge and learning amongst rural communities around the world.
Roots travels with evaluators to IFAD-supported projects that help to change the lives of rural people and communities, bringing you a new voice from a different place on our planet once a month.
IOE invites radio broadcasters to use our podcasts in their schedules of programmes.
Learn more at: www.ifad.org/evaluation
Roots in Surkhet, Nepal - Increasing agricultural productivity of smallholder farmers
Turmeric and ginger have many health benefits and have been consumed for thousands of years. Both spices are high-value crops, and come from the part of the plant called the rhizome, a stem that grows underground.
In this episode, Roots visited the Agriculture Sector Development Programme in Surkhet, Nepal. Over the past decades, IFAD operations have helped increase the productivity of small farms here by focusing on improved production of high-value crops, including ginger and turmeric.
Roots spoke to Khadga Kumar Bhattarai and Sulochana Shrestha, two entrepreneurs who own a turmeric processing factory and a ginger processing company, respectively. The project has helped both their businesses grow by providing necessary training for farmers from whom they source their products.
Roots in Kordofan and Sinnar, Sudan – Improving women’s access to financial services and markets
Sudan has faced substantial changes in recent years. With important human, oil and land resources lost, growth has faltered, and poverty and undernourishment have worsened. The main challenges for rural livelihoods are low agricultural and livestock productivity, erratic climate conditions, inadequate water availability, and limited access to markets and financial services.
In this episode, Roots spoke with Um Durein and Thaya Al Gasim, two women from the rural communities supported by the Western Sudan Resource Management Programme. The project helped smallholder farmers to improve their management of natural resources and provided rural communities, particularly women, with access to economic opportunities, productive services and markets.
Roots In Palapye, Botswana - Building a Sustainable Agriculture Sector
Botswana is a landlocked country in Southern Africa with one of the world’s fastest growing economies; however, following the global economic downturn in 2008, there is concern over the long-term sustainability of resources.
In this episode, Roots visited the Agriculture Services Support Project in Palapye, which aimed to contribute to economic diversification by achieving a sustainable agriculture sector based on farming as a business. Through the provision of training and new irrigation systems, the project helped farmers like Oarabile Nkoloi George, Malebega Poroga and Baboloki Ernest Ramadi, to improve their livelihoods and reduce reliance on subsidies and welfare measures.
Following the successful example of what has worked so far; IFAD operations should continue the efforts to improve the agriculture sector as well as the livelihoods of rural people in Botswana.
Roots in Tungurahua and Bolivar, Ecuador – Production and sale of cereal, fruits and vegetables
In rural Ecuador, agricultural communities work collectively to produce food for their families and to increase household income. Good food production requires infrastructure and knowledge that families not always have.
In this episode, Roots spoke with Gladis Fabiola Alcedo, a woman farmer who started an organization for egg production in Tungurahua, and with Angelita Morejón Chaves, a housewife who received training and now runs a company in Bolivar.
Roots in Sierra Leone - Rehabilitation and Community-Based Poverty Reduction Project
Sierra Leone is one of the most vulnerable countries hit by the adverse effects of climate change. The change in weather patterns, reflected by fluctuating levels of rainfall, has a hugely negative impact on agriculture, which is the only source of income for thousands of farmers in Sierra Leone.
In this episode, Roots visited the Rehabilitation and Community-Based Poverty Reduction Project in Koinadugu District, which helped to rehabilitate the agriculture sector taking into account climate change.
Thanks to the provision of training and greenhouses, the project helped farmers like Mohamed Sheku Marah, a young farmer, and Haja Sundun Marah, a 61-year-old woman farmer and mother of eight, to increase their incomes and move from subsistence to commercial farming.
Roots expert series - Inclusive financial services
Access to financial services is an important component of the inclusive rural transformation agenda for the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). Since 1981, IFAD has financed over 1000 investment projects, worth US$ 3.4 billion.
Roots spoke with Johanna Pennarz, Lead Evaluator of the Independent Office of Evaluation and Michael Hamp, Lead Regional Technical Specialist Rural Finance, Markets and Enterprises, Asia and the Pacific Region, IFAD. They discussed the findings drawn from the synthesis on IFAD's performance in supporting Inclusive Financial Services. They highlighted the possible next steps, concluding that IFAD, in order to remain at the centre of inclusive financial services, should step up its efforts in building capacities and continue to work closely with its partners at global and local levels.