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Opening session - Cornucopia for thought

Posted by Thomas Elhaut Sunday, March 1, 2009

Dear virtual IFAD in this workshop,

I do not know about you, but I believe we have benefitted from three of the best statements I have heard about: the food crisis, by the regional ADG of FAO; the financial crisis, by the acting-President of BAAC; and the role of agricultural/rural productivity growth in addressing these crises, by the deputy CEO of ACIAR. And all spoke about the underlying and overarching challenge of adapting to climate change. This is the global context, the landscape (or should I say the "moonscape") we work in to reduce poverty in rural areas, poverty and vulnerability of rural women in particular.

Some of the recently designed projects are conceived to address these challenges. The project managers of these projects could assist the managers of projects designed some years ago to adjust their programmes to these challenges. On the other hand, as I think about it, the more mature projects are already experiencing on the ground the challenges of these crises; they learned the hard way and they also can contribute to our reflections on how to be more effective in times of multiple crises. Let this workshop be the context where we learn together, where we make the change, where we engineer the difference.

See you tomorrow morning in the workshop.

And do not forget: listen to the boys, do not follow them. :)

[for external readers: this is an internal joke, my apologies. ]

Good evening.

Thomas Elhaut