IFDC is an independent non-profit organization that combines innovative research, market systems development, and strategic partnerships to spread sustainable agricultural solutions for improved soil health, food security, and livelihoods around the world.
Healthier soils and plants for a food-secure and environmentally sustainable world.
Bring together innovative research, market expertise, and strategic public and private sector partners to identify and scale sustainable solutions for soil and plant nutrition that benefit farmers, entrepreneurs, and the environment.
Our 2020-2030 Strategy
Over the coming decades, global population growth will drive a substantial increase in food demand. By 2050, our world will need to feed almost 10 billion people, 2.3 billion more than today. Global hunger is now beginning to tick upward again after a decade of progress.
As food demands rise, global agricultural systems are facing accelerating risks due to climate change and increasingly limited land and water resources. These pressures, together with rapid urbanization, rising incomes, and changes in consumer preferences, will require fundamental changes in agricultural systems to nourish a growing population while reducing agriculture’s environmental impact.
map of projects
Since 1974, IFDC has delivered technologies, practices, and capacity building to increase and sustain food security and agricultural productivity in over 100 developing countries.
IFDC plays a critical role in tackling these global problems through the development and transfer of affordable, effective fertilizer technologies. IFDC’s solutions span a wide spectrum of research and development work, including production process research, applied research on soil systems, development of innovative fertilizer products and application technologies, market systems development to strengthen input and output value chains, and policy analysis to enable fertilizer importation, business development, and smallholder adoption of fertilizer and other soil fertility technologies.
A sketch of IFDC's mission in action
Currently, our work focuses on bridging the gaps between research, development, and markets with the ultimate goal of improving soil health and livelihoods in developing nations around the world. By partnering with donor organizations, national governments, private sector actors, and local entrepreneurs, we strive to achieve a shared vision of a world without hunger.
Read more about IFDC’s strategy.
IFDC and the SDGs
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 (SDGs) have sharpened the world’s focus on agriculture’s role in ending poverty and hunger, achieving food security and improved nutrition, and promoting sustainable agriculture. IFDC activities in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia contribute to many of the 17 SDG goals, but focus especially on five:
We employ an inclusive approach to our research and development. Through partnerships with the private sector and national research institutions, we focus on testing, adapting, and scaling promising technologies for smallholders.
Improve women’s access to agricultural knowledge and tools to empower them and increase their production to provide food security for up to 150 million people.
Reduce post-harvest losses through new practices and tools and provide balanced fertilizer application rates by soil and crop.
Promote judicious fertilizer application and research/disseminate climate-smart fertilizer practices and technologies.
Principles and Values
Throughout the world, in all IFDC offices, and with all of our staff and project beneficiaries, IFDC maintains principles and values that are woven through everything we do. These big ideas underscore our commitment to ensuring sustainable growth – whether in agricultural systems, last-mile communities, and even our staff’s professional development.
Our Principles of Engagement serve as the foundation on which our work is built. These ideas inform our decisions, from setting research priorities, to assessing business opportunities, to measuring our effectiveness. Our complementary Organizational Values describe how we approach our work and our relationships with stakeholders, donors, and global staff.
Principles of Engagement
Locally Driven Solutions
Gender and Youth Equity
Private Sector Engagement
Inclusivity and Empowerment
Transparency and Accountability
Collaboration and Cooperation
Innovation and Improvement
Efficiency and Effectiveness
IFDC partners with allies such as international research institutions, governmental and non-governmental agencies and the private sector to advance, improve and promote food and nutrition security, agricultural sustainability, economic development, and environmental protection.
Our team of scientists, agricultural experts, economists, and more make achieving our vision possible. At IFDC, we value teamwork and collaboration. Without these, we simply cannot tackle the challenges that lay ahead of us. We’re always hiring new team members and encourage you to join in our efforts by applying for one of our open positions.
Meet Our Team
Picture of 2019 Board Meeting
IFDC is a public international organization, governed by an international board of directors with representation from both developed and developing countries.
View our interactive timeline to learn more about IFDC’s 45-year history.
IFDC believes the key to global food security starts with the soil and ends at the supermarket. We strive to develop better fertilizer and production technologies, transfer these improved technologies to smallholder farmers, and connect these farmers to efficient and profitable markets. By working with strategic partners, we build local capacity and ensure sustainable impact.
IFDC specializes in:
Soil and Fertilizer Research
Market Systems Development
Capacity Building and Training
Achieving global food security requires dramatic change in current food production systems. From better technologies to improved farming practices to functioning, inclusive markets, there is much to be done to sustainably increase food production while minimizing environmental impact.
At IFDC, our solutions focus on bridging the gap between these big issues. We strive to develop better fertilizer and production technologies, transfer these improved technologies to smallholder farmers, and connect these farmers to efficient and profitable markets. This continuum is supported by our work to foster an enabling environment which includes conducive government policies, knowledge and data management, and smart fertilizer subsidies, among others.
In practice, our solutions take the shape of four Strategic Objectives. Each of these objectives is supported by research and development activities which embody Our Approaches.
Develop Better Technologies
Develop, identify, and test technologies and innovations to improve soil health and plant nutrition.
Catalyze Farm Productivity
Increase farm productivity, profitability, and sustainability of target smallholder agricultural systems.
Strengthen input and output market systems to scale technologies and improve livelihoods, environmental outcomes, and climate resilience.
Enable impact by improving policies, strengthening capacity, and sharing knowledge.
By streamlining our legacy of expertise while also incorporating innovative thinking and expanded partnerships, IFDC remains ready to solve issues of hunger, malnutrition, poverty, and environmental sustainability.
We go beyond short-term answers to complex problems. By working with partners to bridge the traditional gap between research, smallholder farmers, and markets, we strive to solve the greatest food security issues facing the world today.
Our work strives to go from science to impact. Since 1974, our efforts in the lab and the field have empowered farmers and business owners all over the world to change their lives.
From field tests to laboratory analysis, or from fertilizer market assessments to economic studies, our research philosophy revolves around applied research for sustained impact.
How to Access IFDC’s Resources
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Available materials include:
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Working together is the only way we can achieve a world without hunger.
Strategic partnerships underpin our work to bridge the gaps between research, farmers, markets, and a supportive, enabling environment. The sustainability of our impact depends on effective partnerships.
We work closely with partners large and small to design and implement a wide variety of innovative products, development projects, and initiatives. We also work to increase our partners’ capacities through training and convening to support sustainable food systems – from the lab to the consumer.