IFDC Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, September 29, 2014
IFDC Reflects on Its Past and Future Contributions to Food Security
Sept. 29, 2014 – Muscle Shoals, Ala., United States – The International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) released today its latest book, Feeding a Hungry World, chronicling the Center’s history and impact during its first 40 years. Author Thomas Hager (Alchemy of Air) presented the book at the organization’s 40th anniversary commemoration event, a daylong dialogue on “Nutrients’ Role in Food Security,” held in Washington, D.C.
“Food and nutrition security is more than just crop production,” writes Hager. “It’s about the entire agricultural value chain, from communicating market information to building better roads and storage facilities…IFDC is working on every front to ensure this system works effectively.” Through first-hand accounts and IFDC archives, Hager documents IFDC’s evolution from a fertilizer research and technology transfer organization to a holistic agricultural development center with a remaining focus in fertilizer research.
“I know this story will inspire the next generation of agricultural researchers and development workers to move forward fearlessly,” says Dr. Amit Roy, IFDC president and CEO. “We are defined by our staff’s dedication and impact on the world.”
IFDC’s nearly 900 employees operate in more than 25 countries, sharing the latest scientific and technological tools with farmers around the globe.
“With its holistic approach, IFDC has made fertilizer a cornerstone of productivity,” stated President Jimmy Carter in a video message to event participants. “…With population growth projected to continue for a few more decades, and the growing threats of climate change, the demand for more efficient agricultural production will increase.”
The 40th anniversary event attracted agricultural development partners, scientists, researchers and government leaders, including ambassadors based in Washington, D.C. Dr. Rajiv Shah, administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, spoke about innovative agricultural technologies to eradicate hunger and poverty. Rudolf Bekink, Ambassador of the Netherlands to the United States, addressed the strong partnership between IFDC and the Netherlands’ government in efforts to achieve food security.
Speakers from around the world illustrated IFDC’s work throughout the years and discussed strategies to achieve food security for the next 40 years. Participants included Dr. Robert Bertram, chief scientist for the USAID Bureau for Food Security; Satish Chander, director general of the Fertiliser Association of India; Dr. Agnes Kalibata, interim president of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa; Peter McPherson, chair of the IFDC board of directors and former USAID administrator; Taylor Pursell, agricultural entrepreneur; Dr. Rudy Rabbinge, chair of the Virtual Fertilizer Research Center board of advisors and professor emeritus, University of Wageningen; Shykh Seraj, Bangladeshi development journalist, founder-director and head of news at Impress Telefilm Ltd./Channel i; Rhoda Peace Tumusiime, African Union commissioner for rural economy and agriculture; and Dr. Fusuo Zhang, plant nutritionist and dean of the College of Resources and Environmental Sciences at China Agricultural University.
IFDC is a public international organization addressing critical issues such as international food security, the alleviation of global hunger and poverty, environmental protection and the promotion of economic development and self-sufficiency through the use of agricultural technologies including fertilizers and other inputs.