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FAO State of Food and Agriculture Report Focuses on Making Migration Work for All

  • The report aims to improve the understanding of the causes, costs and benefits of migration to support integrated policies.
  • It shows that migration is an important part of rural development that should be managed rather than prevented.
  • Policies should aim to ensure that migration is a choice and to maximize benefits of migration for origin and destination countries.

The 2018 edition of the State of Food and Agriculture Report (SOFA 2018) released by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) focuses on the causes and impacts of migration. It recommends that policies should aim to maximize the benefits of migration rather than attempting to prevent it.

The State of Food and Agriculture 2018 states that migration must be a choice and not a necessity. Migration, agriculture and rural development policies should be coherent to ensure safe, orderly and regular migration. The report also calls for efforts in peace- and resilience-building to help communities better withstand crises and not be forced to move, and lays out actions for different country contexts. These recommendations are based on an in-depth analysis of the complex aspects of migration, many of which are overlooked in the current public debate on international migration. The main findings of this analysis include the following:

  • While the number of international migrants has increased from 153 million (2.9% of the global population) in 1990 to 248 million (3.3%) in 2015, this number is small compared to the estimated 1.3 billion people hat have migrated within their home countries.
  • More international migrants move between developing countries (38%) than from a developing country to a developed country (35%).
  • Forced migration affects 25 million refugees and 66 million forcibly displaced people globally.
  • The majority of international refugees (85%) are hosted by developing countries.
  • In developing countries, more migrants move between rural areas, than from rural areas to urban centers. Much of rural to urban migration is temporary or seasonal.

Based on these and other findings, the authors argue that migration is an important part of rural development that must be managed rather than prevented. Read further from the source (IISD)

FAO press release Policies should not stem migration, but maximize its potential and minimize negatives. New report analyses links between rural and international migration

FAO rural migration