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agriculture


World Bodies For Agriculture
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Serving both developed and developing countries, FAO acts as a neutral forum where all nations meet as equals to negotiate agreements and debate policy. FAO is also a source of knowledge and information, and helps developing countries and countries in transition modernize and improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices, ensuring good nutrition and food security for all. Its Latin motto, fiat panis, translates into English as "let there be bread!".

FAO was founded on 16 October 1945 in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. In 1951 its headquarters were moved from Washington, D.C., United States, to Rome, Italy. As of 11 April, 2006, it has 190 members.

Mission
FAO's mandate is to raise levels of nutrition, improve agricultural productivity, better the lives of rural populations and contribute to the growth of the world economy. Achieving food security for all is at the heart of FAO's efforts – to make sure people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active lives.

Structure
FAO is governed by the Conference of Member Nations, which meets every two years to review the work carried out by the organization and approve a Programme of Work and Budget for the next biennium. The conference elects a council of 49 Member Nations to act as an interim governing body. Members serve three-year, rotating terms. The conference also elects the Director-General to head the agency. FAO is composed of eight departments: Administration and Finance, Agriculture, Economic and Social, Fisheries, Forestry, General Affairs and Information, Sustainable Development and Technical Cooperation. Since 1994, FAO has undergone the most significant restructuring since its founding, to decentralize operations, streamline procedures and reduce costs. Savings of $50 million a year have been realized.

Budget

FAO's Regular Programme budget is funded by its members, through contributions set at the FAO Conference. This budget covers core technical work, cooperation and partnerships including the Technical Cooperation Programme, information and general policy, direction and administration.

Member states froze FAO's budget from 1994 through 2001 at $650 million per biennium. The budget was raised slightly to $651.8 million for 2002-03 and jumped to $749 million for 2004-05, but this nominal increase was seen as a decline in real terms. In November 2005, the FAO governing Conference voted for a two-year budget appropriation of $765.7 million for 2006–2007; once again, the increase only partially offset rising costs due to inflation.

Directors-General

  • Sir John Boyd Orr (UK) : Oct 1945 - Apr 1948.
  • Norris E. Dodd (U.S.) : Apr 1948 - Dec 1953.
  • Philip V. Cardon (U.S.) : Jan 1954 - Apr 1956.
  • Sir Herbert Broadley (UK) (acting) : Apr 1956 - Nov 1956.
  • Binay Ranjan Sen (India) : Nov 1956 - Dec 1967.
  • Addeke Hendrik Boerma (Neth.) : Jan 1968 - Dec 1975.
  • Edouard Saouma (Lebanon) : Jan 1976 - Dec 1993.
  • Jacques Diouf (Senegal) : Jan 1994 - current.

Programmes and Achievements

Special Program for Food Security
The Special Program for Food Security (SPFS) is FAO's flagship initiative for reaching the goal of halving the number of hungry in the world by 2015 (presently 852 million people), as part of its commitment to the Millennium Development Goals. Through projects in over 100 countries worldwide, the SPFS promotes effective, tangible solutions to the elimination of hunger, undernourishment and poverty. Currently, 102 countries are engaged in the SPFS and of these approximately 30 are operating or developing comprehensive National Food Security Programmes. To maximize the impact of its work, the SPFS strongly promotes national ownership and local empowerment in the countries in which it operates.

Integrated Pest Management
During the 1990s, FAO took a leading role in the promotion of integrated pest management for rice production in Asia. Hundreds of thousands of farmers were trained using an approach known as the Farmer Field School (FFS). Like many of the programmes managed by FAO, the funds for Farmer Field Schools came from bilateral Trust Funds, with Australia, Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland acting as the leading donors. FAO's efforts in this area have drawn praise from NGOs that have otherwise criticized much of the work of the organization.

FAO Statistics
The FAO Statistical Division produces FAOSTAT, an on-line multilingual database currently containing over 3 million time-series records from over 210 countries and territories covering statistics on agriculture, nutrition, fisheries, forestry, food aid, land use and population. The Statistical Division also produces data on World Agricultural Trade Flows.

Telefood
Raising awareness about the problem of hunger mobilizes energy to find a solution. In 1997, FAO launched TeleFood, a campaign of concerts, sporting events and other activities to harness the power of media, celebrities and concerned citizens to help fight hunger. Since its start, the campaign has generated close to US$14 million in donations. Money raised through TeleFood pays for small, sustainable projects that help small-scale farmers produce more food for their families and communities.

The Right to Adequate Food
FAO's Strategic Framework 2000-2015 stipulates that the organization is expected to take into full account "progress made in further developing a rights-based approach to food security" in carrying out its mission "helping to build a food-secure world for present and future generations." When the Council adopted the Voluntary Guidelines in November 2004, it also called for adequate follow up to the Guidelines through mainstreaming and the preparation of information, communication and training material.

International Alliance Against Hunger

In June 2002, during the World Food Summit, world leaders reviewed progress made towards meeting the 1996 Summit goal of halving the number of the world's hungry by 2015; their final declaration called for the creation of an International Alliance against Hunger (IAAH) to join forces in efforts to eradicate hunger. Launched on World Food Day, 16 October 2003, the IAAH works to generate political will and concrete actions through partnerships between intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and national alliances. The IAAH is a voluntary association of international organizations, national alliances against hunger, civil society organizations, social and religious organizations and the private sector. The global activities of the IAAH focus on four major themes: advocacy, accountability, resource mobilization and coordination. The International Alliance is made up of the Rome-based UN food organizations – FAO, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP) – and representatives of other intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations. Individuals cannot directly join the IAAH, though they can work with national alliances against hunger. In less than two years, 36 countries have established national alliances, some of them already very active like those in Brazil, Burkina Faso, France, India and the United States.

Goodwill Ambassadors
The FAO Goodwill Ambassadors Programme was initiated in 1999. The main purpose of the programme is to attract public and media attention to the unacceptable situation that some 800 million people continue to suffer from chronic hunger and malnutrition in a time of unprecedented plenty. These people lead a life of misery and are denied the most basic of human rights: the right to food. Governments alone cannot end hunger and undernourishment. Mobilization of the public and private sectors, the involvement of civil society and the pooling of collective and individual resources are all needed if people are to break out of the vicious circle of chronic hunger and undernourishment. Each of FAO’s Goodwill Ambassadors – celebrities from the arts, entertainment, sport and academia such as Nobel Prize winner Rita Levi Montalcini, actress Gong Li, singer Miriam Makeba, and soccer player Roberto Baggio, to name a few – has made a personal and professional commitment to FAO’s vision: a food-secure world for present and future generations. Using their talents and influence, the Goodwill Ambassadors draw the old and the young, the rich and the poor into the campaign against world hunger. They aim to make Food for All a reality in the 21st century and beyond.

IRRI
Based in the Philippines, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is the oldest and largest international agricultural research institute in Asia. It is an autonomous, nonprofit rice research and training organization with staff based in 14 countries in Asia and Africa.

Our mission is to reduce poverty and hunger, improve the health of rice farmers and consumers, and ensure that rice production is environmentally sustainable. We work closely with most rice-producing and -consuming countries and their national agricultural research and extension systems as well as farming communities and a range of international, regional, and local organizations. In partnerships with these national systems, we conduct research and provide training and education for those helping rice farmers by disseminating information and proven, sustainable technologies.

IRRI was established in 1960 by the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations in cooperation with the Philippine government. Our headquarters—which feature modern laboratories, training and accommodation facilities, and a 252-hectare experimental farm—lie next to the main campus of the University of the Philippines Los Baños, about 60 kilometers south of the Philippine capital, Manila.

Mission

To reduce poverty and hunger, improve the health of rice farmers and consumers, and ensure environmental sustainability through collaborative research, partnerships, and the strengthening of national agricultural research and extension systems.

Our Goals

  • Reduce poverty through improved and diversified rice-based systems.
  • Ensure that rice production is sustainable and stable, has minimal negative environmental impact, and can cope with climate change.
  • Improve the nutrition and health of poor rice consumers and rice farmers.
  • Provide equitable access to information and knowledge on rice and help develop the next generation of rice scientists.
  • Provide rice scientists and producers with the genetic information and material they need to develop improved technologies and enhance rice production.

Our Strategy
IRRI pursues its missions and goals through:

  • Interdisciplinary thematic and system-based programs.
  • Scientific strength in major disciplines for rice research.
  • Anticipatory research initiatives exploring new scientific opportunities.
  • Conservation and responsible use of natural resources, including rice genetic resources.
  • Sharing of germplasm, technologies, and knowledge.
  • Participation of women in research and development.
  • Partnership with farming communities, research institutions, and other organizations that share IRRI’s mission.
  • Continuing efforts in improving staff development and welfare.

Our Values
Our actions are guided by a commitment to:

  • Excellence
  • Scientific integrity and accountability
  • Innovation and creativity
  • Gender consciousness
  • Diversity of opinion and approach
  • Teamwork and partnership
  • Service to clients
  • Cultural diversity
  • Indigenous knowledge
  • Environmental protection

International Fertilizer Industry Association(IFA)

Mission

  • Improve the operating environment of the fertilizer industry in the spirit of free enterprise and fair trade.
  • Actively promote efficient and responsible production and use of plant nutrients to maintain and increase agricultural production worldwide in a sustainable manner.
  • Collect, compile and disseminate information, and to provide a discussion forum for its members and others on all aspects of the production, distribution and consumption of fertilizers, their intermediates and raw materials.

Activities
IFA's main activity is to provide information about the industry worldwide, especially through conferences and meetings of various kinds in different regions, and the exchange of non-commercial information in the form of statistics and publications.

IFA assembles, analyses and distributes information on the production, trade and consumption of fertilizers, their intermediates and raw materials, by means of quarterly and annual statistics.

IFA reports on the situation of the industry and of world fertilizer supply and demand; progress in production technology; advances in the application and use of fertilizers; questions of general interest, such as environment and safety, best management practices, etc.

The IFA International Award is offered every year for research which has led to a significant advance in the efficiency of mineral fertilizer use, and which has been communicated successfully to the farmer in the form of practical recommendations.

Benefits
IFA offers a large number of services to its members, including:

  • Information and comparative analysis
  • Opportunities for knowledge-sharing and networking
  • Assistance in managing policy issues and enhancing a company's profile.

Comparative Analysis and Information

  • Statistics: Nearly fifty statistical reports produced by IFA every year are reserved exclusively for members in good standing. These include quarterly and annual figures on production and international trade, as well as annual global capacity and fertilizer demand data.
  • Reports:During the year, the Secretariat produces a number of documents to inform members of global policy and market developments. These include outlook reports on fertilizer supply and demand, updates on regional developments, issues management surveys and production capacity reports. IFA also provides information on technical advances in production.
  • Industry emissions and safety benchmarking:In order to help members improve their environmental and social performances in a reportable and verifiable framework, the Association carries out several benchmarking exercises. Data is collected every two years on emissions. The survey on safety in production facilities is annual. These allow companies to plot their own improvements and to compare their performances against the rest of the fertilizer industry.
  • Technical information:Through numerous meetings, reports and publications, members receive a constant stream of information that allows them to follow technical advances in fertilizer production. This information also includes related topics, such as environmental and social issues.
  • "Members Only" web site:IFA members have exclusive access to the password-protected section of the Association's web site. This area provides updated information on IFA's advocacy activities as well as publications, statistics and reports that are available only to members. Details on conferences that are reserved for members and online registration are available in this area. IFA's committees and working groups have online bulletin boards and virtual workspaces.
  • Publications:In addition to the statistics and reports mentioned above, IFA members automatically receive all IFA information products that are destined for the public. Furthermore, the membership directory is updated twice a year, and an annual bibliography is distributed to members each year.

Knowledge Sharing and Networking

  • Conferences reserved for members:Most of the events organized by IFA are reserved strictly for members, including the Annual Conference, the largest event of the world fertilizer industry. IFA conferences offer opportunities for interaction with colleagues from across the globe. Committee and working group meetings are often held in conjunction with these conferences. IFA events are scheduled in varying locations across all world regions in order to accommodate the global membership.
  • Peer contact and external representation:IFA provides a platform for its members to meet, with opportunities for them to interact with relevant policymakers, stakeholders and other key contacts. IFA opens the door to groups that shape the industry's operating environment. IFA has consultative status with various agencies of the United Nations (UN), including the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The Association also cooperates actively with the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Bank and the World Trade Organization (WTO).
  • Committees, task forces and working groups:IFA members have the opportunity to participate in as many committees, task forces and working groups as they choose. Participants receive the latest information on key matters, have the opportunity to suggest new topics and assist in drafting the common positions adopted by the Association.

IFA also participates in the International Agri-Food Network that groups trade associations from across the food value chain.

Policy and Profile

  • Issues management and policy guidance:Economic impacts, government regulations and societal expectations are just some of the issues confronting fertilizer companies across the globe. IFA helps companies follow developments and form appropriate responses. At the same time, members can raise issues within the framework of IFA's working bodies to seek guidance, cooperation with colleagues or the pooling of resources through the Association.IFA carries out issues surveys and helps to coordinate the activities of regional and national fertilizer associations in order to optimize the use of industry resources. IFA acts as a communications hub and represents the industry with relevant international bodies.
  • Company visibility:Participation in IFA activities offers the possibility for a member company to raise its profile and improve its public image. Such opportunities include assuming a leadership position within IFA, hosting an IFA event or sponsoring an activity. In some instances, IFA highlights the best practices of member companies in various fields, such as efficient production, the promotion of responsible fertilizer use and the implementation of sustainable development principles.IFA membership indicates that a company belongs to the global fertilizer industry, a particularly useful distinction for traders and distributors entering new markets. Members can include the IFA logo and a statement of their membership on company letterhead and web sites. Membership certificates are provided on request.

Responsibilities of Membership
Dues-paying members are expected to support the positions adopted by the Association and are therefore encouraged to participate in the working groups that draw up such documents. The strength of IFA's advocacy lies in the diligence of its members; all IFA members have a role in communicating the industry's messages externally and transmitting the fertilizer industry's agreed positions to government authorities and relevant external stakeholders at all levels.

The Association's goals can only be achieved with the active involvement of its members. Member companies are expected to contribute to working groups and to respond to surveys, draft documents and other requests for input in a timely manner.

Each member company is requested to nominate a Main Contact, who is responsible for ensuring the distribution of IFA information internally. Effective distribution multiplies membership benefits by allowing IFA services and products to be used widely throughout the company.

IFA members are expected to conduct their business in an ethical manner. Members should strive for excellence in the performance of their daily activities. Every IFA member company is considered an ambassador of the industry-at-large and is expected to operate in a way that reflects well on the fertilizer industry as a whole.

IFA members are obliged to respect the Association's intellectual property, which is covered by normal copyright law and relevant international treaties, such as those agreed within the framework of the World Intellectual Property Organization and the World Trade Organization Agreement on the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).


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