I recently joined agricultural economists from around the world in Vancouver for the 30th International Conference of Agricultural Economists (ICAE). The Conference, titled ‘New Landscapes and New Mandates for Agriculture,’ aptly focused on the changing global landscape and the critical role of agriculture to address emerging trends and challenges.
As a co-sponsor, IFPRI showed active participation at the conference, with more than 60 IFPRI staff in attendance and 70 papers, posters, and presentations by IFPRI researchers. Will Martin, Senior Research Fellow, and Karen Brooks, Senior Advisor to the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions and Markets, played key roles in the conference committee. IFPRI board members, Mahendra Dev and Derek Byerlee, as well as former Board Chair Kym Anderson and Board Member Michelle Veeman also took part in the conference. It was a great pleasure to have three former directors general, Joachim von Braun, Per Pinstrup-Andersen, and John Mellor, attend a reception hosted by IFPRI.
I am delighted to share several awards and recognitions awarded to IFPRI researchers. Three IFPRI staff received awards: Hiroyuki Takeshima won the Nils Westermarck Award for his work on the demand for mechanization in Nigeria and Berber Kramer and Francisco Ceballos won the TW Schultz award for their work on climate-smart insurance in India. Many IFPRI researchers were also among finalists for the awards. Tewodaj Mogues and Bjorn van Campenhout were nominated for the Uma Lele Award. Dennis Ochieng as well as Caitlin Herrington, Jose Funes, Keith Lividini, Mourad Moursi, Victor Taleon, Dorene Asare-Marfo, and Ekin Birol were nominated for the Nils Westermarck Award. Kym Anderson and I have also been awarded as "Honorary Life Members" (HLMs) of the ICAE.
The conference was a vibrant opportunity to learn from one another and facilitate discussions on how agriculture can best support economic and social conditions globally. I hope the conference will strengthen even further in the future, with more young and diverse participation. I very much look forward to the next ICAE in 2021 in India and reaffirm IFPRI’s continuing support, including for the participation of researchers from developing countries, particularly women.