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Agriculture & rural development

With over 70% of the world’s poor living in rural areas, support to agriculture and rural development is fundamental for reducing poverty and boosting growth. Moreover, up to 90% of the population in many developing countries depend on agriculture and farming for their living, as these provide income, employment and food, as well as raw materials for industry and exports.



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  Supporting developing countries in coping with the crisis
On 8 April 2009, the Commission presented a Communication on Supporting developing countries in coping with the crisis. Among the proposed measures, the Communication underlines the need to speed up financing for agriculture and to invest in agricultural corridors.

Financial support

For the period 2007-2013, the EU’s support to agriculture and rural development is financed through two types of instruments:

Background information

The EU policy for rural development in developing countries aims at reducing poverty, increasing food security and protecting natural resources. To do so, its assistance pursues the following goals:

  • Promote broad-based rural economic growth, by boosting primary production and make it more efficient, promoting agricultural practices and technologies that are environmentally sustainable and raise rural income, and by stimulating rural off-farm activities;
  • Ensure more equitable and more securing access to land for the rural poor;
  • Reduce vulnerability to risks;
  • Strengthen veterinary and plant health services in order to control diseases that affect animals and crops, and to ensure that safer products reach the food chain;
  • Improve access to markets by building necessary infrastructure, and to advisory and financial services;
  • Support agricultural research and dissemination;
  • Enhance education and training;
  • Build more effective, accountable, decentralised and participatory institutions.

The Commission is a member of the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development whose goal is achieving increased development assistance impact and more effective investment in rural development and agriculture. To this end, the EC also fosters sectoral approaches in its rural and agriculture development programmes.

Last update: 17/02/2012 | Top