A Letter to Ms. Ivanka Trump

 

Dear Ms. Trump,

By coincidence, I was in Hyderabad the week following your presentation at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit.  I was there in my role as president and CEO of IFDC.  IFDC is a public international organization (PIO) that works to help the poorest farmers of the world increase yields and profits and move them out of extreme poverty.  It is ironic to me that the world’s most hungry people are also farmers.

The first step out of rural poverty is to increase yields and income so that a family can send their children to school, access health care and improve dietary nutrition for the children of the family so they don’t become stunted or wasted.

On the farm, most of the work is done by women.  This is true in nearly all developing countries.  So IFDC targets women to improve crop yields and develop new businesses based upon expanded agricultural production.  We help women farmers at all levels develop new business that move them beyond “just farming” to become local entrepreneurial leaders.

One example is Mrs. Selina Begum, a poor smallholder farmer in Bangladesh.  Through IFDC’s efforts and training, she was able to start a business selling fertilizers to neighboring farms.  As her business expanded she hired others to do the same, creating a supply chain that has helped many other women in the community.  Her hard work and sacrifice have paid off, and all of her children are receiving an education. One day, they will hopefully move off the farm to better employment.  This is a direct example of the breaking of the poverty trap and is the first step to a better life for future generations.

Selina’s story is one of many that IFDC has witnessed over the years, and the results are tangible.  I am enclosing a copy of a recent magazine that focused on women’s vital role in agriculture and agribusiness.  There are many paths out of poverty, but the core remains private entrepreneurship.  I commend you for taking the lead on women’s entrepreneurship.  This is truly the best way for poor women farmers, and their families, to find a better life.

Sincerely,

J. Scott Angle
President and Chief Executive Officer