More than 900 million people in the world remain hungry in 2010, and global food prices have once again become higher and more volatile. With today’s rapidly changing global, regional, and national landscape, new challenges and opportunities are confronting efforts to reduce hunger. Non-food policies, such as energy and financial policies, increasingly have larger effects on food security, as observed during the 2007–08 food crisis. However, the renewed commitment to food and nutrition security, as well as the rising role of emerging countries in global food production, trade, and foreign direct investment, and emerging support for country-led development processes, offer opportunities to significantly improve the well being of millions of hungry people.
Through evidence-based research and outreach, IFPRI continues to strategically position itself to influence the global and national food security agenda. To promote dialogue and catalyze action, IFPRI delivers policy research through publications, conferences, seminars, media events, state-of-the-art communication tools, and contributions to high-level meetings in the global sphere, such as the G8, G20, and United Nations summits, and in developing countries. To enhance the impact of our work, we remain committed to strengthening the capacity of our partners and clients in developing countries.
IFPRI’s research was relevant and influential in several global policy discourses during the year. In response to new needs, we expanded our research on the impact of non-food policies on agriculture and food security; the role of emerging economies in enhancing global food security; linkages between agriculture, health, and nutrition; climate change; and risks and emergencies. To capture the diversity of regional needs and strengthen our presence on the ground, we developed new regional strategies and expanded our work in Eastern and Southern Africa, Central and West Africa, the Middle East and North Africa, and South Asia.
In 2009, IFPRI’s research was highly ranked among the thousands of institutions engaged in similar research. The Institute ranked among the top 1 percent of institutions conducting development economics research and the top 2 percent of institutions conducting economics research. IFPRI ranked third among institutions engaged in agricultural economics research and fourth among institutions engaged in research on Africa. In addition, IFPRI received five 2009–10 MERCURY Awards for outstanding professional communications.
The ongoing CGIAR reform has progressed successfully. IFPRI is well situated in the new CGIAR to contribute to the achievement of broad development outcomes such as improved nutrition and health in addition to enhanced technology development and food production. The Institute will continue to foster partnerships with other CGIAR centers and national partners and be strategic in designing research for impact.
In December 2009, I assumed office as IFPRI’s director general and I have greatly enjoyed my new role. I received the support and trust of IFPRI’s Board of Trustees, Senior Management Team, and staff to successfully transition and serve in this capacity. During my visits to donors, partners, and clients in the past year, I consistently observed the strong demand for IFPRI’s high-quality research, and I would like to commend the dedication and hard work of our leadership and staff. To stay successful and relevant in the future, IFPRI needs to continue to maintain its outstanding performance, incentivize to induce innovation, and foster productive partnerships.