IFAD Annual Governing Council on 22-23 February

Bill Gates to challenge both global players and national governments to adopt a new approach to support smallholder farmers

Rwanda's President Paul Kagame will address how climate-smart agriculture can increase food production

Rome, 15 February 2012 – At IFAD’s 35th Session of the Governing Council,the cast of presenters and speakers will include world leaders, international personalities, policymakers, academics and, most importantly, farmer representatives.

Key speakers:

  • Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda, will address how climate-smart agriculture can feed a growing world population.
  • Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will share his perspective on the importance of agriculture and how sustainable productivity improvements can reduce poverty in developing countries. He will challenge both global players and national governments to adopt a new approach to supporting smallholder farmers.
  • Andrea Riccardi, Minister for International Cooperation and Integration Policies of the Republic of Italy, will discuss his dedication to understanding and empowering the poor people of the world.
  • Joseph Boakai, Vice President of the Republic of Liberia, will call for strengthening investments in agricultural research and enhancing innovative solutions for sustainable agriculture.
  • Akinwunmi Ayo Adesina, Minister of Agriculture of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, will talk about the challenges ahead and how to create a supportive environment to unleash the potential of smallholder farmers.
  • Lindiwe Majele Sibanda, Chief Executive Officer of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network, will engage in a conversation with Naga Munchetty, an international broadcaster, on “What promise will Rio herald for agriculture?”
  • Nik Gowing, an international broadcaster, will lead a debate on ensuring food security while protecting the environment.

For photographers and television crew: During the two days, a visual exhibition, “Elements of Life” will showcase the environment through the lens of four elements - earth, water, air and fire - and reflect the connections between rural people and the environment around them.

A jointpress conference will be addressed by the President of Rwanda and IFAD President at IFAD headquarters on 22 February at 12:15 p.m.

Journalists must accredit by 17 February 2012.

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 them on Twitter and Facebook.

Media Alert No: IFAD/02/2012

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 about US$13.7 billion in grants and low-interest loans to developing countries through projects empowering about 405 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 Nation’s food and agricultural hub. It is a unique partnership of 167 members from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), other developing countries and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).