"Building the Capacity to Transform the Food Security Landscape"
It is my sincere pleasure to invite you to participate in The Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development's (AIARD) 47th annual conference at which we will explore the issues surrounding capacity building as a driver of agricultural sector development and the alleviation of hunger and poverty. As our nation launches the new "Feed the Future" initiative and embarks on partnerships within the development assistance community; it is essential that our thinking be engaged and voices heard. Realizing the renaissance in agriculture's role in the economic development in Africa and in other low and middle income countries demands nothing less.
AIARD is an association of professionals, practitioners and students, representing universities, the private sector, non-governmental organizations and government agencies. We dedicate ourselves to seeking solutions to the problems of promoting effective and lasting development with a focus on the roles that agriculture and rural development play within that arena. We dedicate our energies with the broad based coalitions that seek to secure appropriate funding for our country's foreign assistance initiatives.
We are witnessing a time when leaders of developing countries and the donor nations have declared that human and institutional capacity building are essential to nascent development and transformation of agriculture as a driver of economic development and the alleviation of hunger and poverty. This comes after a long period during which agriculture, training and education were virtually absent from the developmental assistance agenda. New collaborations among participants in the development assistance community, along with significant investments offer a platform for rich dialogue on the part of our membership.
The AIARD Executive Committee has decided to focus this year's conference on the connections between capacity building, agricultural sector development and the alleviation of poverty and hunger alleviation. Consequently, we have entitled the Annual Conference "Building Capacity to Transform the Food Security Landscape." The conference will take place from June 5 to June 8 and it will be held at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Washington, D.C. The address is: 900 10th Street NW, Washington, District of Columbia. The contact telephone number is: 1-202-739-2001.
The AIARD Annual Conference is a unique gathering of development professionals from government, the private sector, academia, non-governmental organizations, foundations and consulting firms. The opportunity to share ideas, make new acquaintances, renew friendships and contribute and consider creative and innovative ideas to address some of the most difficult issues in development is what we offer. We value the contributions that you can bring to this event and welcome your participation in it. You can help us make AIARD's 47th Annual Conference its best ever.
More complete conference information and registration instructions can be obtained at the following link on the AIARD web site: http://www.aiard.org/meetings/2011annual/index.htm
I along with the executive board hope to see you in Washington in early June at the AIARD conference. I welcome your participation and look forward to engaging in a productive and stimulating discourse on the issues related to agriculture and the "Feed the Future" initiative.
Handy Williamson, Jr.
President Elect, AIARD
Vice Provost for International Programs
University of Missouri-Columbia