FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

Latest cohort of FAO-Hungary scholars welcomed

A new group of fellowship recipients – the eighth in as many years – are about to begin their agricultural studies in Hungary thanks to the FAO-Hungary fellowship programme. A workshop was organized by the Ministry of Agriculture this week to welcome them.

The young scholars – who come from 22 different countries this year – listened to opening words from Head of Department Lilla Egri on behalf of the hosting Ministry, and a warm welcome from FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Europe and Central Asia Vladimir Rakhmanin.

For FAO, said Rakhmanin, 2015 has been a special year, marking the 70th anniversary of the Organization’s founding. Its mandate, he said, “is to cover all aspects of food and agriculture and achieve a world without poverty and hunger.”

Rakhmanin drew attention to progress in the eradication of hunger and rural poverty, monitored by FAO on behalf of the global community. A total of 73 out of 129 countries have achieved the target of reducing by half the proportion of the population living in chronic hunger. Still, hunger and malnutrition remain an issue, he said, noting that 14 of the 17 globally agreed Sustainable Development Goals are related to this area.

FAO is a knowledge sharing organization, Rakhmanin added, noting that every year it publishes more than 400 books – all openly accessible to everyone.

”It is not only about studying and deepening my knowledge,” said scholar Anvarbekova Zulaika from Kyrgyzstan, “but the variety of people that ensures an interesting cultural exchange and a wide international professional network.”

Nikolina Petrovic of Serbia emphasized how rural development is growing in popularity, while this course “can help to make the first career step.”

Katarina Lazovic of Montenegro said that “the master course, made possible by the FAO-Hungary scholarship, is a great addition to my previous studies. We have classmates from all over the world and we can share good practices and project ideas.”

Since its inception in 2008, the FAO-Hungary fellowship programme has become one of the most successful elements of FAO’s cooperation with Hungary, training some 30 young agricultural experts from selected countries every year. The next application round will open soon, with a deadline for submissions of 28 February.

16 December 2015, Budapest, Hungary