Rome to host conference on financing rural development

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF), the Brookings Institution and the University of Warwick are set to host an international conference in Rome aimed at advancing global efforts to end extreme poverty and hunger by 2030. 

They aim to attain their goal through greater investments in rural development and innovative financing for smallholder agriculture that benefits the rural poor.

On 25 to 27 January, the first-ever Investing in Inclusive Rural Transformation: Innovative Approaches to Financing conference will bring together a diverse cross section of government, public and private-sector stakeholders for three days of lively and thoughtful discussions on facilitating investments in rural development and improving access to finance for investment by smallholder farmers and rural small and medium enterprises.

“In all regions of the world, poverty and food insecurity are highest in rural areas, where three quarters of the extremely poor reside,” says Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of IFAD. “This conference comes at a critical time. Eradicating poverty and hunger will not happen by 2030 unless we step up development financing in rural areas and work together to collectively transform rural economies and societies.”

Nobel Laureate Professor Eric Maskin, the Adams University Professor at Harvard University; Homi Kharas, Senior Fellow and Deputy Director, Global Economy and Development, Brookings Institution; Jean-Michel Severino, President, Investisseurs & Partenaires and Montek Singh Ahluwalia, former Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission of India will be on hand to deliver keynote addresses.

They will be joined by a number of top experts in development, finance, agriculture and academia. Award-winning journalist Zeinab Badawi will also be on hand to moderate a panel discussion during an inaugural event hosted at the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance on 25 January.