WFO General Assembly 2012, Rome, Italy

09 Jun 2012

From 6 to 9 June, 2012 the World Farmers’ Organisation hosted its General Assembly in Rome. Some three hundred participants attended the annual get together, representing 60 international delegations including Farmers’ Organizations, International Organizations such as FAO, WFP, IFAD, WMO, and ICTSD.

The meeting was opened by the President of the Italian Republic, H.E. Giorgio Napolitano, who reiterated the relevance of agriculture and especially farmers as critical players in the fight to end hunger, malnutrition and ensuring food security.


The objective of the meeting was to provide an opportunity to discuss WFO‘s statutory issues; as well as offer the possibility to farmers’ organizations to discuss and share experiences in key agriculture related issues (food security, trade, climate change and education); sharing experiences on awareness raising programs, outreach activities, special programs, services, products; collecting best practices and case studies; stimulating cooperation and partnership among WFO’s members and agriculture related organizations; building an interactive platform to share experiences and strengthen cooperation.


Wednesday, 6 June, 2012


09.00 - 10.15        Registration


11.00 - 12.00     Opening Ceremony

- Prof. Antonio Marzano, Presidente, CNEL

- Mr. Gianni Alemanno, Major of Rome

- Mr. Graziano Da Silva, Director General, FAO, Rome

- Mr. Kanayo F. Nwanze, President, IFAD, Rome

- Ms. Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director, WFP, Rome

- Mr. Robert Carlson, President, World Farmers’ Organisation

- His Excellency, Mr. Giorgio Napolitano, President of the Italian Republic    

Moderator: Dr. Marco Marzano de Marinis, Executive Director, WFO, Rome


13.00 - 14.00    Lunch


14.00 - 16.30    Statutory Issues and Policy Discussions

- Mr. Robert Carlson, President's Report

- Mr. Marco Marzano de Marinis, Executive Director, Statement on the state of  WFO

- Mr. Settimio Desideri, Head of Auditors, Auditors' Report




16.30 – 16.45    Coffee break


16.45 - 18.15    WFO-FAO joint session on:  what is the enabling environment needed for thriving Producer Organizations and Cooperatives

- Mr. Jervis Zimba, President, ZNFU, Lusaka

- Mr. Berit Hundala, Vice President, Norges Bondelag, Oslo

- Mr. Mitsuo Murakami, Vice President, JA Zenchu, Tokyo


Moderator: Mrs. Marcela Villarreal, Director, ESW (Gender, Equity, Rural employment), Food and Agriculture Organisation, FAO   


Thursday, 7 June, 2012


09.00 - 11.00    Session 1        What Tomorrow for today’s farmers

- The position of farmers in the world economy: Challenges, limitation and barriers for being part of the business value chain

Mr. Peter Kendall, President, National Farmers Union,  UK

- Practical role and challenges of Farmer Organizations in developing Countries

Mr. Nduati Kariuki Chairman,  Kenya National Federation of Agricultural Producers (KENFAP), Nairobi

-The future of farmers within the market: power by cooperating in the food chain

Mr. Albert-Jan Maat, President, LTO, The Hague

- The multiple role of farmers in a sustainable society

Dr. Stefano Padulosi, Senior scientist , Integrated  Conservation Methodology and Use Program, Bioversity International, Rome




Moderator: H.E. Gerda Verburg, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the FAO, to the WFP and to the IFAD, Rome


11.00 - 11.30    Coffee Break


11.30 - 13.30    Session 2        Towards a 9 billion world population: Concerns, policies and
strategies for ensuring food security

- Meeting The Demand for Food Security. Building Domestic Capacity and Facilitating Trade

Mr. Ron Bonnett, President, Canadian Federation of Agriculture, Ottawa

- Ensuring Food Security in sub-Saharan Africa, a way through

Dr. Martin Eweg, , AFAAS board, South Africa

- Introducing the Global Agenda of Action on Sustainable Livestock Sector Development

Dr. Jeroen Dijkman, Senior Officer, Livestock Information, Sector and Policy Branch, Animal Production and Health Division, FAO Rome

- Purchase for Progress (P4P)

Mr. Ken Davies, Coordinator, P4P, WFP, Rome

- The role of IFAD in supporting Farmers Organisations

Mr. Jean-Philippe Audinet, Senior Technical Advisor, Policy and Technical Advisory Division, IFAD, Rome




Moderator: Mr. Giuseppe Politi, President, CIA, Rome


13.30 - 14.30    Lunch


14.30 - 16.00    Session 3        New Trends and Challenges in Farmers’ Businesses

- The agriculture value chain, identifying a better position for farmers in the global market

Mr. Jonathan Hepburn, Agriculture Program Manager, ICTSD, Geneva, Switzerland

- Capacity building and research action

Mr. Nicola Francesconi, CGIAR, IFPRI, Dakar

- Access to money, the farmers constant challenge: how farmers get access to credit

Mr. Giorgio Piazza, President, CreditAgri Italia, Coldiretti, Rome

Mr. Lou Munden, Muden Project



Moderator: Mr. Pekka Pesonen, Secretary General, Copa-Cogeca, Bruxelles


16.00 - 16.30    Coffee Break


16.30 - 18.00    Session 4        New Trends and Challenges in the Farmer’s Businesses (cont.)

- Agriculture Research for Development: GFAR, GCARD and Farmers’ Organizations

Mr. Thomas Price, Senior Officer, Agricultural Innovation and Society, FAO, Rome

- The role of education and management of talents for agriculture's small holders

Mrs. Jennie van der Mheen-Sluijer, Agricultural Economics Research Institute, Wageningen, Netherland

- The Farm Channel: Filling the Agricultural Extension Gap Using ICT

Mr. Delore Zimmerman, President & CEO, Praxis Strategy Group & The Farm Channel, USA


Moderator: Mr. Luc Guyau, Independent Chairperson of the Council, FAO, Rome


19.30        Social Dinner

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