I am honored for this opportunity to join you in celebrating the Center’s 50th year of championing the cause of smallholder farmers in Asia.
I was responsible in the Center’s strategic communication and advocacy program as Information Officer for seven years (May 2004 to February 2011). Those years shaped my belief that with strategic agricultural research, there is hope in breaking the stubborn grip of poverty, hunger, malnutrition and environmental degradation, especially among smallholder farming communities in the Asian region.
Over the course of 50 years of investment in technology development and transfer, FFTC now has a growing pipeline of innovations and impacts that have been changing lives in Asia on a large scale. The Center’s partnership work in the region has resulted in development impacts through international public goods, such as improved crop varieties, better farming methods, incisive policy analysis and associated new knowledge. These products are made freely available to national partners, who transform them into locally relevant techniques and products that respond effectively to the needs of rural households in their respective countries.
But agriculture particularly in the developing world faces unprecedented challenges. I believe that the Center, in its road ahead, will continue to rise from these challenges, by putting premium on the vast and far-reaching potential of timely and relevant scientific and technological information in agriculture in enabling smallholder farmers achieve improved agricultural productivity, make effective use of natural resources, raise their income, and produce food that is accessible, available and affordable to all.
Finally, I extend my warmest and sincerest congratulations to the whole FFTC family, under the leadership of Director Dr. Su-San Chang, on your 50th anniversary celebration. I wish you continuous success for many more years to come, moving forward in generating research and development outcomes and impacts that benefit the poor.
Cristina P Bejosano
Strategic Communications Consultant
Former Head of Communications (2011-2015), ICRISAT
Former Information Officer (2004-February 2011), FFTC