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Agriculture and Food Security

ADB's efforts and strategy to achieve food security in the region emphasizes the integration of agricultural productivity, market connectivity, and resilience against shocks and climate change impacts as the three pillars to achieve sustainable food security.

Contribution to Operational Priorities

To address operational priorities, ADB offers integrated solutions combining expertise across a range of sectors and themes. These solutions will be delivered through an appropriate mix of public and private sector operations that are best suited to the specific needs on the ground.

The following are agriculture and food security's contributions to ADB's operational priorities.

Addressing remaining poverty and reducing inequalities

  • Scale up farm productivity improvement, engage smallholder farmers in agribusiness value chains, and promote nonfarm business and service development for increased income and job generation in rural areas through multisector investments.
  • Promote water and energy security in rural areas.
  • Build community-based climate resilience and develop rural institutions for vulnerable populations in rural areas.
  • Promote diversified, nutritious food supply combined with access to water and sanitation, primary health services, and rural livelihood improvements to reduce malnutrition in rural areas.

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Accelerating progress in gender equality

  • Study and invest in effective countermeasures to ensure equal access of women farmers to productive assets such as land and water, beneficial technologies and information, business opportunities, and finance, so that women can effectively deal with feminization of agriculture as a consequence of male rural–urban migration, gender yield gaps, and malnourished status of women and girls.
  • Through various applications of digital technologies, generate opportunities for women to participate effectively and to increase their role in the sustainable management of land, water, soil, forest, river basin, and agriculture production; agribusiness, marketing, and trade; SMEs and rural income generation; post-harvest; food processing; food safety; outreach and education; and the agriculture–nutrition–health nexus.

Tackling climate change, building climate and disaster resilience, and enhancing environmental sustainability

  • Scale up climate-smart agriculture, flood risk management, drought resilience, and sustainable agribusiness value-chain development to transform the food system into a more productive, resilient, and cost- and resource-efficient food supply system.
  • Integrate highly scattered food and input markets and agribusiness value chains with upgraded transport, logistics and market infrastructure, and policy reforms to reduce food and resource waste in collaboration with private companies and farmer groups.
  • Scale up the adoption of clean technologies, safe biotechnologies, mechanization, and digital technology applications to develop a system to supply more food with less water, energy, and labor.
  • Scale up the adoption of sustainable agriculture practices to align them with national and industry standards.
  • Support sustainable carbon sink development and conservation of biodiversity, such as sustainable watershed management, agroforestry and conservation forestry, and coastal resource management, leveraging private conservation investment funds.
  • Support the improved management and reduction of nonpoint source pollution of the marine environment from agriculture.
  • Scale up support for the sustainable development of fisheries.
  • Encourage landscape-based multisector investments to address the water–food–energy nexus.

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Making cities more livable

  • Moderate rural–urban migration by creating decent jobs and livelihoods in rural areas by improving connectivity between urban centers and neighboring rural areas.
  • Explore innovative information and communication technology options to better link rural suppliers and urban markets.
  • Ensure urban food security through improved rural–urban economic linkages which include market integration and connectivity, urban agriculture, and rural suppliers–urban consumer links to promote food security.

Promoting rural development and food security

  • Rural development
  • Agricultural value chains
  • Food security

Strengthening governance and institutional capacity

  • Help design and implement institutional policies, rules, and regulations promoting rural development and food security.
  • Mainstream rural development and food security in national development agendas and policy statements.
  • Strengthen local government capacity for improved service delivery.
  • Improve the capacity of community-based people’s organizations to participate in decision-making processes.
  • Introduce methodologies and approaches to rural development and food security, including multi-stakeholder engagement and participatory development.
  • Develop accountability and service delivery standards for rural development and food security.

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Fostering regional cooperation and integration

ADB’s food security investment will focus on (i) regional policy dialogue for increased food trade and the harmonization of food safety and traceability standards under the regional cooperation programs; (ii) investment in transport, logistics, utility, and marketing infrastructure and their strategic links to improve the food distribution efficiency in terms of distance, time, and cost; and (iii) digital technology applications and supporting policy environment and institutional capacity building for digital food trade hubs and cross-border food value chain management.

Multi-Sector Approach

The food security challenge is a broad concern that needs to be approached from a multisectoral standpoint.

How other ADB areas of operation relate to food security

  • Water productivity (irrigation, drainage, and water storage)
  • Access to public infrastructure services (rural roads, rural electrification, market infrastructure, and rural town development)
  • Resilience against natural disasters (flood and drought risk management).
  • Integrated water resources management
  • Climate change mitigation and adaptation (biogas and/or rural renewable energy, and natural resource management)
Regional cooperation and/or integration
  • Food and agriculture trade, and food safety and standards
  • Regional emergency food reserve system
  • Cross-border water resources management
  • Regional disaster risk management
  • Access to micro credit and rural finance services
  • Rural enterprise development
  • Resilience against emergencies (risk insurance and safety net)
  • Skills development (vocational training)
  • Small farmers' access to markets (food and agricultural value chain facilitation)
  • Agricultural research and dissemination of innovative knowledge and technology
  • Nutrition status of women, children, and the poor
Disaster and emergency assistance
  • Early warning and information systems