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Agriculture, Rural Development, and Natural Resources

Sustainable agriculture is an essential foundation for rural development, and this is particularly so in developing and emerging economies, where the majority live in rural areas. Efficient agricultural practices are economically viable, have low environmental impact, and are sustainable for future generations.

UNICON has sufficient experience in agriculture and rural development and is deeply involved in agricultural development in many countries. It has the capability in the preparation of integrated agricultural development projects covering all aspects of rainfed and irrigated agriculture, cropping patterns and systems, judicious management of inputs such as commercial fertilizers, bio fertilizers, seeds of improved crops, integrated nutrient management, post harvest technology, processing of agricultural produce for value addition, and so on.

UNICON helps rural communities and farmers improve agricultural practices, increase productivity and efficiency, and strengthen their position in the marketplace. UNICON also has expertise in agricultural/rural credits and is aware of the fact that the access of the rural poor like small and marginal farmers, land-less laborers and artisans to institutional credit is extremely important.

UNICON helps agricultural extension systems to be able to provide varied information and innovation services to rural people. Extension and rural information services provide critical access to the knowledge and information that rural people need to increase the productivity and sustainability of their production systems, and thus improve the quality of their lives and livelihoods.

We actively work in the livestock development sector, which, over the next two decades, will likely become one of the most important agricultural sub-sectors in terms of value added and land use. The accelerated growth of livestock production and processing will require far-reaching changes in the roles of the public and private sectors in livestock development.

Few will disagree that inappropriate land policies can constitute a serious constraint on economic and social development: insecure land tenure, outdated regulations, and so on. We work with governments and donors to avoid inappropriate policies and institutional arrangements that undermine tenure security, sustain inappropriate patterns of land use, and limit broad-based land access, or inflict large losses that are too important to ignore. Working together with stakeholders, we develop policies, institutional changes, and infrastructure investments, that can provide the basis to deal with these issues through an effort that is sustained in the long term.

UNICON is committed to development of pro-poor global trading system for agriculture. We provide technical assistance and policy advice to our clients, engage in joint analytical work and knowledge sharing, and work through partnerships. The goal is to ensure that developing countries have the skills and capacity to participate in the global marketplace on an equal footing and can maximize their opportunities

UNICON’s activities in agriculture and rural development include:

  • Preparation of integrated agriculture development projects
  • Development of support facilities
  • Processing, storage and marketing facilities for agriculture products
  • Monitoring and evaluation of agriculture development projects
  • Agribusiness improvement
  • Provision of agriculture market analysis and advisory services
  • Export promotion and market linkages
  • Policy analysis
  • Rural enterprise development
  • Agro-forestry development

UNICON brings stakeholders together to develop policies and tools that value natural resources and environmental services. UNICON emphasizes on developing economic incentives while ensuring sustainable natural resource use and the protection of biodiversity. We work to join public and private sectors with the aim of managing natural resources and ecosystems wisely. Host countries benefit by gaining strong local organizational capacity, effective market linkages, improved products, and more accountable services.

Clear strategy and policy on the natural resources management is central to sustainable environmental management and economic growth. Within a supportive framework of policies and economic incentives, greater local responsibility and accountability have repeatedly resulted in better natural resources management and long-term solutions to environmental problems.

Our efforts focus on building the capacity of local resource users, civil society, and local government.

UNICON has sufficient experience in natural resources and environment that creates capacity for providing services, including:

  • Biodiversity conservation
  • Environmental assessments and environmental compliance
  • Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA)
  • Natural resource and environmental policy, legislation, and strategic planning
  • Landscape assessments and planning
  • Forest planning and management
  • Integrated water resource planning and management
  • Evaluation and monitoring of natural resource management projects
  • Community-based natural resources management
  • Urban environmental management
  • Natural resource sector assessments
  • Land use planning and land capability classification
  • Soil conservation project development
  • Civil society capacity building
  • Environmental education and training
  • Engineering and scientific investigation

Project on a Glance

East Africa Agricultural Productivity Enhancement and Microfinance Development Project

In East African countries, strengthening of agriculture is critical for facing the challenges of rural development, food security, unemployment and sustainability of natural resources. Agriculture practice relates to agriculture production, processing, marketing, and distribution, which implies that agricultural development strategy must address not only farmers but also those in marketing, trade, processing and agri-business. In this context, efficient marketing and rural credit systems assume added importance. An efficient agriculture marketing system will help in optimization of resources usage, output management, increase in agriculture incomes, exploring new markets, growth of agro-based industry, addition to national income through value addition, and employment creation.

The first component of this study will (i) review existing status and operation of agricultural marketing systems and policies; (ii) document the policy framework in which the agricultural markets function; and (iii) identify the areas of further policy reforms for strengthening regional agricultural development and access to new markets.

The second component of this study will cover microfinance development including assessment of (i) the region’s overall rural financial sector, including the status of policy reforms and further development of the regulatory framework and supervision mechanisms for microfinance; (ii) volume of demand for microfinance in rural areas, including identifying key constraints and specifying measures for further deepening microfinance services; and (iii) levels of institutional capacity required to meet the demand, including assessing the effectiveness of various capacity-building interventions being implemented by aid agencies.

For more projects, visit Our Projects page

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