October 15-16, 2012 – Des Moines, Iowa USA

Moderator:

Dr. Nicholas Kalaitzandonakes – the MSMC Endowed Professor of Agribusiness Strategy and the Director of the Economics and Management of Agrobiotechnology Center (EMAC) at the University of Missouri. His research, teaching and outreach focus on the economics and policy of agrifood biotechnology and other agribusiness innovations.

Participants:

  • Canada – Mr. Les Kletke
  • Honduras – Mr. Isidro Matamoros
  • India – Mr. Rajesh Kumar (2012 Kleckner Trade & Technology Advancement Award)
  • India – Mr. Sudhindra Kulkarni
  • Mexico – Mr. Francisco Gurria
  • New Zealand – Mr. Craige MacKenzie
  • Philippines – Mr. Roger Navarro
  • South Africa – Mr. Motlatsi Musi
  • Swaziland – Ms. Happy Lungile Shongwe
  • United Kingdom – Mr. Ian Pigott
  • United States, Iowa – Mr. Eric Stall
  • Uruguay – Mr. Gabriel Carballal
  • Zambia – Mr. Elisha Lewanika
  • Zimbabwe – Mr. Stanley Dzingayi & Martha Kanengoni

The 2012 Global Farmer Roundtable marked the seventh meeting of what has grown to be an exciting and dynamic annual event.  This year fifteen farmers from thirteen nations met to discuss a number of issues from a variety of viewpoints on October 15 and 16 in Des Moines, Iowa.  The moderator was Dr. Nicholas Kalaitzandonakes from the University of Missouri.

The Global Farmer Roundtable was held again during the week of The World Food Prize Symposium (October 17-19) which allowed the  farmers attending the Roundtable to also take part in the Borlaug Dialogue, Laureate Award Ceremony, and other side events held during the week.  Several of the farmers were also  invited to participate on panels in the Symposium or side events during the  week.

Rajesh Kumar from India  received the 2012 Kleckner Trade & Technology Advancement Award on Tuesday, October 16 at a Global Farmer Awards Dinner hosted by Truth About Trade & Technology and CropLife International.

Kumar farms fifty-five acres in southern India, using irrigation to grow sweetcorn, tomatoes, brinjal (eggplant) and other vegetables.  In addition to the sweet corn processing plant, he sells fresh produce directly to consumers through kiosks at several locations.

He believes that agriculture can be revived and thrive in India, but biotechnology must be embraced by farmers and the farmers must organize and demand that the government allow them their rights to use this important tool.

“India has a desperate need for agricultural biotechnology.  It is for our overall self-development that tools like biotechnology must be available so farmers can produce enough food for our people.  We must participate in the Gene Revolution.”

The Kleckner Trade & Technology Advancement Award was established in 2007 in honor of Dean Kleckner, Truth About Trade & Technology Chairman Emeritus.  The award is given annually in conjunction with the TATT Global Farmer Roundtable. The award recipients are Rosalie Ellasus, Philippines (2007); Jeff Bidstrup, Australia (2008); Jim McCarthy, Ireland (2009), Gabriela Cruz, Portugal (2010), Gilbert arap Bor, Kenya (2011), and now Rajesh Kumar, India (2012).

Photos from the Global Farmer Roundtable can be found at TATT’s Media Center / Photo Album or on TATT’s Facebook page.

The 2012 event now brings the number of farmers who have attended and become part of the Global Farmer Network to near one-hundred..

Read commentaries written by members of the Global Farmer Network  in the Guest Commentary section of the webiste.  If you need a speaker for a panel or event, check out the Speakers Bureau webpage.