Agricultural Development - The Governing Council of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has re-appointed, for another four-year term, Nigerian-born Kanayo F. Nwanze, as the organisation's President.
A statement from the Rome-based UN specialised agency which was made available to PANA here Thursday, said IFAD's Governing Council, which is the highest decision-making body of the organization, re-appointed Nwanze by acclamation shortly after the opening session of its general meeting.
According to the statement, IFAD witnessed tremendous improvement in its services during Nwanze's first term, as it increased presence in the countries of operations.
It added that the fund will create the conditions to enable 80 million people to escape poverty, and will bolster its work with additional country presence in the new year.
“In 2009, IFAD had 25 country offices and by the end of 2012, there were 38, with a 36 percent increase in the last one year. IFAD staff on the ground have risen steadily to around 15 percent today, enabling IFAD to be more engaged in policy dialogue and to better support the Fund’s partners,” the statement added.
In his acceptance remarks, Nwanze promised to “work towards mobilizing additional resources to benefit small-holder farmers.
He said by working together in partnership, “we can make rural areas an engine of growth, providing food, jobs and a decent income for the 3 billion women and men of the rural world.”.
Nwanze also pledged to advance rural economic development by focusing the Fund’s work on rural youth, resilience to climate change, and fragile states in the coming year.
“Vibrant rural areas can ensure a dynamic flow of economic benefits between rural and urban areas so that nations have balanced and sustained development. Structured reforms have transformed IFAD into a more agile, efficient agency, better able to respond to a rapidly changing environment.'
This has been crucial to improving IFAD’s effectiveness at a time when new challenges are constantly reshaping the physical and geo-political landscape where we work,' he added.
The IFAD boss emphasized that working in partnership is the best way to achieve food security and eradicate poverty in an ever changing world faced with financial instability, volatile food prices and climate change.
He said more partnership means more impact, adding that “IFAD is determined to work with its partners to make the most of agriculture’s poverty-fighting powers.”
Nwanze, while highlighting the increase of domestic contributions to IFAD programmes and projects, which have been consistently higher than the amount generated by external co-financing, said it signals developing countries’ commitment to rural development.
He said development is most effective when it is self-driven.
Citing the specific challenge of expanding rural development in the face of climate change, Nwanze underscored the need for action now. “How we respond to today’s challenges will determine not only the shape of food systems in the near future, but also the health of ecosystems and the distribution of the world’s population.”