June 10, 2013 – MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala., USA – In anticipation of IFDC’s 40th anniversary in 2014, the Center released today an interactive historical timeline feature on its website and Facebook page. The timeline traces the history of the Center back to its founding in 1974 and documents the most significant events in the public international organization’s efforts to improve agricultural productivity, alleviate hunger, increase economic development and protect natural resources through fertilizer research and agricultural market development across the developing world.
Making use of the large library of photography accumulated over four decades and documents collected by IFDC’s Travis P. Hignett Memorial Library – the largest English-language agricultural and fertilizer technology library in the world – the timeline enables Facebook ‘fans’ and website visitors to visually experience the robust history of the Center as it broke new ground in agricultural research, market development and nation-building across Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America and other regions of the world.
“We want the public to understand better what we do – to be more knowledgeable about the importance of fertilizer technology and how it can be used as an economic ‘change agent’ for entire regions of the world,” said Dr. Amit Roy, president and CEO of IFDC. “The historical timeline helps us tell that story in an interesting and informative way.”
As it evolves, the timeline will grow to include more of IFDC’s past and current activities – highlighting milestones, little-known facts, nostalgic moments and other interesting facets of the Center’s history – such as the fact that IFDC supplied fertilizer for NASA shuttle missions in 1995 and 1996. The timeline will also feature leaders in modern agricultural development such as “the father of the Green Revolution,” the late Dr. Norman Borlaug, a Nobel laureate and former IFDC board member, and Travis P. Hignett, a long-time special advisor to IFDC who is known as the “father of fertilizer technology.”
“Throughout history, fertilizer technology and process development has been a series of hits and misses. I think the timeline will be a reminder that though the science can be difficult and time-consuming, organizations that develop solutions to feed and nourish the world are essential,” said Roy. And the mission of IFDC and other agricultural development organizations continues to be critical. According to the FAO, the world population is projected to reach 9.6 billion by 2050. Without dramatic improvements in fertilizer technology and cropping methods, the world could face an unprecedented food crisis within the next 40 years.
To access the IFDC timeline on Facebook, log in to your Facebook account, search IFDC and “Like” the page. The timeline will appear at the right-hand side of the page. Access the timeline and once there, you can select a year or event to view from the timeline or simply browse events by clicking the right arrow button.
Based in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, USA, IFDC is a public international organization, governed by an international board of directors with representation from developed and developing countries. The nonprofit Center, with over 700 employees in more than 30 countries in Africa and Eurasia, is supported by various bilateral and multilateral aid agencies, private foundations and national governments.
IFDC focuses on increasing and sustaining food security and agricultural productivity in developing countries through the development and transfer of effective and environmentally sound crop nutrient technology and agribusiness expertise.
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