A Bucket of Water
Reflections on Sustainable Rural Development

Foreword by Gordon R. Conway
Paper: 978 1 85339 971 8 / $29.95
Published: May 2017  

Cloth: 978 1 85339 970 1 / $75.95
Published: June 2017  

Publisher: Practical Action
214 pp., 5 1/8" x 7 7/8"
The Sustainable Development Goals, which were adopted by 193 countries in 2015, set clear targets for ending hunger and under nutrition as well as tackling poverty, inequality, and the impact of climate change by the year 2030. The vision they represent is an inclusive one in which no one is left behind. It is also a collective one in which the environment must be protected for the benefit of all. The Goals will undoubtedly take billions of dollars to achieve, but they will also take the time, effort, and work of a critical group— rural people. Hundreds of millions of women and men work small farms in the developing world. Three-quarters of the world’s poorest and hungriest people live in rural areas. Even as the world becomes more urban, it will continue to depend on rural areas for food, clean water, environmental services, and employment.

Drawing on decades of hands-on experience in agricultural research and rural development, Dr. Nwanze shows that any genuine effort to achieve sustainable development will fail if it does not include small-scale producers. He also communicates the reasons behind his heartfelt belief in the potential of these farmers. A Bucket of Water reflects on the work of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in tackling challenging issues in rural development and provides an accessible discussion of themes such as peace and development, the cost of inaction, engaging young people in farming, women’s contribution, farming as a business, and technology and research.

This book should be read by anyone studying rural and agricultural development in the context of international development or concerned about poverty and hunger.

Table of Contents:
1. Dignity for all
2. Sowing conflict or growing peace?
3. Farming as a business
4. Where are the farmers of tomorrow?
5. Moving closer to gender equality
6. Climate change: the time is now
7. Development starts at home
8. Science, technology, and innovation
9. The cost of inaction
10. The future of farming

Reviews & Endorsements:
"A book of hope for the poorest people on the planet. In an engaging, uplifting, readable and lucid way, Kanayo Nwanze tackles the highly complex issue of rural transformation by taking the reader through dozens of practical examples of lives improved. His stories of international cooperation to strengthen opportunity and dignity for struggling people should overcome cynics everywhere. Why shouldn’t we live in a world free of hunger? Nwanze shows it can be done."
- Homi Kharas, Senior Fellow and Deputy Director, Global Economy and Development, The Brookings Institution, Washington D.C.
"This book is about the hard work of providing justice for individuals and communities. It could not be stronger on the cost of inaction – especially in Africa. The author’s experience and passion for working with rural communities shines through from these pages."
- Agnes M. Kalibata, President, The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)