The International Federation of Agricultural Producers was led for three terms by Jack Wilkinson of Canada, and many here watched it grow and progress during his tenure. This news release describes the new regime…
World Farmers' Organizations Elect New IFAP Executive: Ajay Vashee from Zambia Takes the Helm
June 9, 2008 , Paris, France – At its 38th World Farmers' Congress, the International Federation of Agricultural Producers (IFAP) elected the IFAP President, three Vice-Presidents, Treasurer, twenty-one members of the Executive Committee, as well as the Chairs of IFAP's committees and working groups. For the first time in IFAP's sixty-two year history, a representative from a developing country was elected President. Ajay Vashee, farmer leader, President of SACAU, a regional farmers' organization for Southern Africa and former President of the Zambian National Farmers' Union, takes the helm of IFAP with a vision that puts farmers' perspectives at the center of global politics. Aiding him in this task are three Vice-Presidents and a Treasurer, who constitute the Bureau: Elisabeth Gauffin from Sweden, Raul Montemayor from the Philippines, Carlos Simancas from Colombia and Peter Gaemelke from Denmark as Treasurer. Together they will make sure farmers' organizations worldwide are united under the democratic umbrella of IFAP.
Ajay Vashee described his plans for IFAP in the coming two years: "My ambition is to consolidate the gains IFAP has made for farmers and take them even further over the next two years. Together with farmer organization members worldwide, we will create a strategy to solve the world food crisis, help farmers to develop and get paid for the ecosystem services they provide humanity, address agriculture and climate change and evaluate sustainable bioenergy production. The world is counting on its farmers to achieve all of these things, and we will ensure our farmers have the capacity and support to get the job done. Our regional committees will build the capacity of the organizations they are working with to carry out the policy priorities of the member organizations in developing countries. We will make strident efforts to ensure IFAP is seen as an equal partner with governments and international institutions in any discussions that relate to agriculture. IFAP has high-level standing within the United Nations system (CBD, FAO, OECD, UNCCD, UNEP, UNFCC, WHO, WMO, WTO, etc…), and we will be developing innovative partnerships with others to achieve our goals."