WFO General Assembly 2014, Buenos Aires

13 Jan 2014

The 4th WFO General Assembly was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina on 25 - 29 March, 2014.

Food Security, Value Chain, Innovation, Climate Change, Women and Youth will be the main topics of the sessions to be held in "La Rural", the big convention center in Buenos Aires.

Many experts and prominent professionals took part to the event.


Consult the following useful information to attend the event.

For more details please write to


WFO General Assembly Draft Program


Tuesday, March 25
Thematic workshops:


Contract farming


Climate services


Wednesday, March 26
08.30 - 10.00        Registration and welcome coffee

                                Cultural Event

10.00 – 13.00       Opening Ceremony

  • Mr Luis Miguel Etchevehere, President, Sociedad Rural Argentina (SRA), Buenos Aires
  • Mr Mauricio Macri, Head of Government, City of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires
  • Mr Gerd Sonnleitner, UN Goodwill Ambassador of the International Year of Family Farming
  • Dr Michel Jarraud, Secretary General, World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Geneva, Switzerland
  • Mr Raşit Pertev, Secretary, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) 
  • Mr José Angelo Estrella Faria, Secretary General, Unidroit, Rome
  • Mr Peter Button, Vice Secretary-General, UPOV, Geneva
  • Mr Maurizio Reale, Vice-President, Group I, European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), Brussels 
  • Ms Nemesia Achacollo, Pro Tempore President, Southern Agricultural Council, Providencia, Chile 



  • Mr Robert Carlson, President, WFO, Rome


  • Dr Marco Marzano de Marinis, Executive Director, WFO, Rome


  • Mr Settimio Desideri, Head of Auditors, WFO, Rome

13.00 - 14.30        Lunch

14. 30 - 16.00       Statutory issues and policy issues
                               Nominations for WFO President


16.00 - 16.30        Coffee break

16.30 - 18.30       (contd) Statutory issues and policy issues
                              Nominations for WFO President

19.30                     Social Dinner
Thursday, March 27, 2014
Welcome Thematic Sessions: Mr Luis Miguel Etchevehere

09.00 - 11.009:009 9.00 - 11.00       Thematic Session 1: Food Security
Food and nutrition security in the context of population growth, changing diets and climate remains a global challenge. Food systems need to be increasingly sustainable to ensure the food security of the planet for the generations to come.

Key Note: H.E. Kenneth Quinn, President, World Food Prize Foundation, Des Moines, USA


  • Dr Dinesh, Director General, National Cooperative Union of India (NCUI), New Delhi
  • Mr German Ruiz Aveiro , President, Asociacion Rural del Paraguay (ARP), Mariano Roque Alonso, Paraguay
  • Mr Seppo Kallio, President of the permanent Study Group on Food Security, European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), Brussels
  • Dr Evelyn Nguleka, President, Zambia National Farmers’ Union (ZNFU), Lusaka

Moderator: Mr Aggrey Mahanjana, Secretary General, AFASA, Pretoria 

11.00 - 11.30        Coffee Break

11.30 - 13.30        Thematic Session 2: Value Chain
The biggest challenge is integrating small farmers into value chains, enabling them to be viable market actors and partners. Without small farmer-focused value chain development, increasing numbers of farmers will be marginalized and excluded from profitable markets and continue to be trapped in subsistence production. Closer business links between the various actors of the value chain have great potential for mutual benefit. Farmers’ organizations or agricultural cooperatives can link farmers directly with retailers, exporters, traders or agribusinesses.

Key Note: Mr Raşit Pertev


  • Mr Toshiaki Tobita, Vice President, JA-Zenchu, Tokyo
  • Mr Pekka Pesonen, Secretary General, COPA-Cogeca, Brussels
  • Ms Helena Jonsson, President, LRF, Stockholm 
  • Mr Geronimo Venegas, Secretary General, Unión Argentina de Trabajadores Rurales y Estibadores (UATRE), Buenos Aires
  • Mr Gene Moses, Senior Agribusiness Strategist, International Finance Corporation (IFC), Washington DC

Moderator: Mr Patricio Crespo, President, Sociedad Nacional de Agricultura, Santiago del Chile

13.30 - 14.30        Lunch

14.30 - 16.00       Thematic Session 3: Innovation
Concerted action must be taken to foster innovation in order to combat challenges such as global food insecurity and environmental degradation. Fostering innovation and increasing support to agriculture are necessary to accelerate sustainable food production while supporting poverty reduction. This requires increased recognition of the critical importance of small-scale farming and the need for long term policies to support sustainable agricultural innovation systems.

Key Note: Prof. Adam Erik Arvidsson, Associate Professor, University of Milan, Milan, Italy tbc


Moderator: Dr Mark Holderness, Executive Secretary, GFAR, Rome

16.00 - 16.30        Coffee Break

16.30 - 18.00        Thematic Session 4: Climate Change
Climate change already is and will continue to significantly affect agriculture, especially through higher temperatures, increased water demand, more variable rainfall and extreme weather events. Farmers around the world are implementing techniques to adapt to and mitigate climate change. Agriculture is part of the solution: there needs to be an increasingly multi-stakeholder approach to enable farmers to adapt to changing conditions while mitigating climate change.

Key Note: Mr Walter Oyhantcabal, Chair, Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases, Wellington


  • Mr Robert Stefanski, Chief, Agricultural Meteorology Division, World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Geneva, Switzerland
  • Mr Miguel Thibaud, Farmer, SRA, Buenos Aires
  • Ms Charlotte Hebebrand, Director General, International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA), Paris
  • Mr Peter Prins, LTO Noord, Zwolle, Netherlands

Moderator: Mr Robert Carlson

19.30                Social dinner

Friday, March 28, 2014
09.00 - 10.309 9.00 - 10.30        Thematic Session 5: Women
Women farmers are responsible for their family’s food security and nutrition. Food security and nutrition goals are achievable only if women’s position in the value chain is strengthened and their livelihoods improved. In order to have sustainable food systems, there must be increased investments in women in agriculture and a strengthened focus on women in agriculture development policies.

Key Note: Ms Mirna Cunningham, UN Goodwill Ambassador of the International Year of Family Farming, Managua


  • Ms Alice Kachere, Farmer, NASFAM, Lilongwe
  • Mr Gene Moses
  • Ms Neetaben Patel, Senior Coordinator, SEWA, Ahmenabad, Gujarat, India
  • Ms Joana Agudo i Bataller, Member, EESC, Brussels       

Moderator: Ms Susan Carlson, Facilitator, WFO Women’s Committee, Rome

10.30 - 11.00        Coffee Break

11.00 - 12.30        Thematic Session 6: Youth
Young farmers represent the future of agriculture and therefore those responsible for the planet’s future food security and nutrition. Innovative approaches, mechanisms, and investments in young farmers are being put in place by development partners and young farmers themselves to ensure that agriculture remains a viable and attractive employment alternative for them.Youth contribute in a myriad of ways to global food security, nutrition and innovations. Experiences and best practices in how specific challenges are overcome must be shared and disseminated globally.

Key Note: Mr Luis Miguel Etchevehere


Moderator: Mr Matteo Bartolini, President, CEJA, Brussels

12.30 - 14.00        (contd) Statutory issues and policy issues
                                Elections for WFO President

14.00 - 15.00        Lunch

15.00 - 17.00       (contd) Statutory issues and policy issues
                          Elections for WFO President

17.00 - 17.30        Closing Ceremony

17.30                     Press Conference

Saturday, March 29, 2014