22 August 2003, Rome -- Prabhu
Pingali, economist and Director of the Division of Agricultural
and Development Economics at the UN Food and Agriculture
Organization (FAO) today begins a three-year term as President
of the International Association of Agricultural Economists
(IAAE), the UN agency announced today.
announcement came as the IAAE, a professional organization with
a membership of more than 3000 economists from around the world,
holds its 25th international conference in Durban, South Africa.
In his acceptance speech, Pingali called on
the association to play "a more active role in global
policy debates, either through participation in international
fora or through articles in the IAAE and website." He
noted that the association includes a "very large
number of internationally prominent economists whose views on
contemporary policy debates are eagerly sought after."
Pingali also urged the IAAE to enhance its
role in networking and information sharing, using web-based
services to provide news on events important to the profession.
"The web could also be used to bridge the information
gap between developed and developing country economists and
thereby increase the participation of developing country
economists in the association's activities."
Pingali said the IAAE should
"significantly increase its contact and communication
with various regional associations of agricultural economists,
particularly those in the developing world. There are important
synergies that could result from the international and regional
associations working together on conferences and workshops and
by linking to each others' websites."
The presidency of the IAAE is an honorary position.
Pingali was Vice-President of the IAAE from 1997-2000 and
chairman of the program committee for the 24th International
Conference of Agricultural Economists. Pingali has more than 20
years experience in assessing the extent and impact of technical
change in developing country agriculture in Asia, Africa and
Before joining FAO, Pingali
was Director of the Economic Program at the International Maize
and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) in, Mexico, the
International Rice Research Institute at Los Baņos, Philippines
and the World Bank's Agriculture and Rural Development
An Indian national, Pingali
earned his doctorate in Economics at North Carolina State
University in 1982 in Raleigh, North Carolina, in the United
Information Officer, FAO
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