Today completes my tenure as president and CEO of the International Fertilizer Development Center. It has been a great privilege to lead this extraordinary team of people around the world.
When I first came to IFDC as a chemical engineer in 1978, I was inspired by the institution’s ability to harness fertilizer research to make a difference in people’s lives. After nearly four decades, I still hold the same respect for our staff and mission. Now, while IFDC’s focus on fertilizer endures, the organization addresses the broader context of holistic agricultural and economic development.
As I conclude this part of my journey, I reflect on important insights I have gained from our employees, our collaborators and our beneficiaries. The bottom line: In order to be truly effective, agricultural development must impact lives.
In 1987, after presenting IFDC’s 10-year plan to the Board of Directors, a founding board member said to me, “Amit, always remember: it’s all about people. Whatever you do, keep this in mind.” That important conversation reinforced my development philosophy.
Today IFDC’s achievements are rooted in a central goal: helping individuals thrive. Ultimately, our work is not about fertilizer or research or economics – it’s about people. Their prosperity fuels our efforts.
Development and technology transfer require understanding those you are helping and engaging them from the beginning. They know what they need to succeed – but they often do not have the resources to accomplish it. I sincerely thank partner and donor institutions that help IFDC share the latest scientific and technological tools with entrepreneurs and farmers around the globe.
IFDC employees, past and present, shaped this institution into what it is today. To our 800+ staff members operating in more than 25 nations, I want to thank them for their dedication and creativity in carrying out our mission. Every day, their hard work, integrity and perseverance help farm families achieve food security. I also would like to thank our Board of Directors. Their sound counsel guided me well.
Some of IFDC’s greatest champions have been my family, particularly my wife, Anita, who has been rock solid on the home front. I am blessed with an encouraging family whose support never wavers. I am forever grateful for their giving spirit and understanding despite my often-busy travel schedule.
In addition, the support of friends, local community and partners around the world has made my work and IFDC’s work possible.
I wish you all the best.