“ I said that 500 million households produce 80 per cent of the food that is consumed globally and most of them are in the developing world; we must focus on smallholder agriculture.
“Smallholder agriculture was looked down by most of the international community as a hopeless practice.
“Today, the private sector, governments of the north and of the south, recognise the powerful role of smallholder producers to feed not only themselves but to feed the world.’’
Nwanze said that his vision on assumption of office, which was directed at smallholder farmers, the youth and women, had been sharpened as discussions at international fora on agriculture usually placed emphasis on issues related to these three groups.
“We have turned this around not just by speaking but, by demonstrating what this can do.
“We have been able to help to organise farmers, farmer’s organisations, women’s organisations, linking them to international markets.
“In Guatemala, the farmers’ organisations we work with are the major suppliers of French beans to Wall Mart, in Miami, United States.
“Cocoa producers in Sao Tome are the main suppliers of high quality cocoa to Café Direct in the UK and so on and so forth.
“In Uganda, oil palm producers have now worked together with a company producing aggressively more than 10 per cent of oil palm requirements.’’
According to him, his vision in 2015 is to be able to create market opportunities through IFAD partnerships for smallholder farmers to enable them to become highly commercialised.