|IFPRI Research Perspectives, Vol. 22, No. 1, Spring 2000 (IFPRI, 2000, 16 p.)|
POLICY RESEARCH TO FEED THE POOR · 25 Years · 1975-2000
On February 29, 2000, IFPRI celebrated its 25th anniversary at a reception and dinner. IFPRI opened its doors on August 15, 1975, in Washington, D.C., with just a few staff and a small budget. The CGIAR began financially supporting the institute in 1979, when IFPRI joined the consultative group. Today, IFPRI has a staff of about 150 and an annual budget of US$20 million.
IFPRI's founding director and several of its original staff attended the event, together with the Institute's current and former staff, Board of Trustees, friends, and members of the Washington media corps. IFPRI Board Chairman Martin Pio and his wife Cecilia and Director General Per Pinstrup-Andersen and his wife Birgit welcomed the 250 guests.
Gordon Conway, president of the Rockefeller Foundation, provided the keynote remarks. Conway lauded IFPRI's quarter century of research dedicated to better understanding the world food situation and its implications for developing countries. He cited IFPRI's direct contribution to many policy improvements around the globe and credited IFPRI with debunking some pervasive misconceptions, such as the one that world food shortages simply stem from inequitable distribution. Conway also noted that the international community has benefited greatly from IFPRI's continuous and objective projections of food supply and demand in the developing world.
The program also included remarks by Martin Pio, the outgoing chairman of IFPRI's Board; Dale Hathaway, the founding director of IFPRI; August Schumacher, Jr., undersecretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services at the U.S. Department of Agriculture; and Pinstrup-Andersen.
Stanley Wood, a senior scientist at IFPRI, amused the guests at IFPRI's 25th anniversary dinner with a humorous poem he wrote to commemorate the occasion.
To mark the anniversary IFPRI has published two booklets that look back on the Institute's first quarter century: 25 Years of Food Policy Research: Reflections, by Per Pinstrup-Andersen, and IFPRI's First 10 Years, by Curt Farrar (which can be downloaded from www.ifpri.org).