Former Agriculture Secretary Shobhana Kumar Pattanayak is among the four candidates who are in the race for the post of President of the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to be announced on July 7.
Nominated by the government of India, Pattanayak superannuated as the Secretary to Government of India in the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare in September 2018.
As an administrator, Pattanayak had handled a wide variety of assignments at the grassroots and national levels both in India and abroad in a career spanning over 36 years between 1984 and 2018.
“IFAD will appoint its next President on July 7 at a dire time when millions of rural people are being pushed into hunger and poverty due to the compounding effects of climate change, the Covid-19 pandemic and record-level commodity prices triggered by the conflict in Ukraine,” IFAD said in a statement.
The IFAD is a specialised international finance institution with 177 Member States, and plays a crucial role in the fight against hunger and poverty and the transformation of food systems through its investments in rural population and small-scale farmers.
These small-scale farmers produce one-third of the world’s food and are essential to global food security. Yet, their capacity to produce food for their communities and countries is threatened by climate change and a lack of access to seeds, fertilisers, technology, knowledge and markets.