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IFPRI’s Director Awarded Bertebos Prize of the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry

29 January 2009: Joachim von Braun, Director of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), a center of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), received the Bertebos Prize of the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry for his work in development economics and as the head of several development research institutions focusing on food, agriculture and rural poverty.

During the award ceremony, held on 29 January 2009, in Stockholm, Sweden, von Braun gave a presentation on “Food Policy in a Turbulent Time.” Starting with an overview of the causes and consequences of the recent surges in food prices, von Braun described the changing nature of smallholder agriculture, the role of agriculture in poverty alleviation, and smallholder strategies in a changing environment. He gave a detailed account of the various factors influencing the agricultural sector and interactions between them, including: climate change; water scarcity; biodiversity loss; pests and diseases; land degradation; subsidized biofuels; volatile input prices; and low investment in agricultural research and development. He noted that smallholder farmers are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change due to existing challenges and their limited capacity to adapt. In conclusion, von Braun presented three priority areas for action, namely promoting pro-poor agricultural growth, reducing market volatility, and expanding social protection and child nutrition action. He also presented a list of CGIAR “Best Bets” for food and environment innovation, which includes: increasing carbon dioxide sequestration and improving forest livelihoods; conducting climate change adaptation research; developing drought-tolerant maize for Africa; and promoting sustainable groundwater use. [The Presentation] [Bertebos Prize Website]