13-14 February 2013: International leaders from China and Italy to attend IFAD’s annual meeting

The power of partnerships: forging alliances for sustainable smallholder agriculture

GC36Rome, 31 January 2013 – The 36th session of the annual Governing Council meeting of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) will feature the theme of the power of partnerships in advancing smallholder agriculture in developing countries. Partnerships serve smallholder farmers in many ways from expanding their operations cost-effectively to providing access to knowledge, research and technology. Speakers at this year's Governing Council include:

  • Hui Liangyu, Vice Premier of the People's Republic of China
  • Vittorio Grilli, Minister of Economy and Finance of the Italian Republic
  • James Mwangi, CEO and Managing Director of Equity Bank in Kenya
  • Tadesse Meskela, founder and General Manager of the Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union of Ethiopia

In conjunction with the Governing Council session, IFAD will host the first global meeting of the Indigenous Peoples Forum on 11-12 February 2013.

On 14 February, José Graziano da Silva, Director-General, the Food and Agriculture Organization, Kanayo F. Nwanze, IFAD President and Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director, World Food Programme, will together confer the first Rome-based agency Award of Excellence for collaboration in the field. The country teams in Mozambique have been selected for their outstanding, dedicated work on agency collaboration.

A press conference will beheld at IFAD headquarters on 13 February at 1:30 p.m. immediately following the appointment of IFAD's President.

Journalists must accredit by 8 February 2013.

Please fill in the accreditation form and send to ifadnewsroom@ifad.org. Television crews, in particular, are advised to arrive early in order to ensure smooth security clearance of their equipment prior to entering the IFAD premises.

The IFAD social reporting team will report live from the Governing Council. Follow #ifadgc on Twitter and Facebook.

Media Alert No: IFAD/01/2013

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) works with poor rural people to enable them to grow and sell more food, increase their incomes and determine the direction of their own lives. Since 1978, IFAD has invested almost US$14.3 billion in grants and low-interest loans to developing countries through projects empowering about 400 million people to break out of poverty, thereby helping to create vibrant rural communities. IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized UN agency based in Rome – the United Nations' food and agriculture hub. It is a unique partnership of 169 members from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), other developing countries and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).