In 1977 the United Nations created the International Fund for Agricultural Development to help tackle the problem of world food shortages.
In 1977 the United Nations created the International Fund for Agricultural Development to help tackle the problem of world food shortages. It is financed by the richer nations to raise agricultural production in the poorer developing ones. Hunger and malnutrition are a fact of survival for about twenty percent of the population in Africa, Asia and South America. The Fund's aim is to increase production in these countries by forty percent by nineteen eighty-four. On Tuesday (8 May) the President of IFAD, Muhsin Al Sudeary, began a four-day visit to Senegal, to review the needs of that country.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Al Sudeary was welcomed to Dakar by Senegal's President Leopold Sedar Senghor. He arrived with Louis Alexandenne, Senegal's Minister of Industrial Development and the Environment and other officials. Mr. Sudeary's visit is of great importance to Senegal. Last March IFAD approved loans to four countries for a period of fifty years at an interest rate of only one percent. In addition it gives grants to help farmers improve their food production.
Mr. Al Sudeary and the delegates went into the fields to view crops and local methods of cultivation. The climate here is tropical, with each long hot dry season followed by a short wet one. Water pumps play a key role in cultivation. Seventy percent of the population of Senegal is engaged in agriculture.
Although groundnuts and groundnut products provide about a third of the country's exports, attempts to diversify the range of crops grown to become self-sufficient in foodstuffs are being encouraged.
Mr. Al Sudeary, a Saudi Arabian, studied Agriculture at two American Universities, and was Minister of Agriculture and Water in his own country for ten years.
This year IFAD expects to triple its programme with loans of three hundred and seventy-five million US dollars for about thirty projects, thanks to the initiative of the fund's financiers. Senegal hopes to be eligible for some of that aid.