June 06, 2012
Dr. Chuck Chopak, DAI’s Technical Area Manager for Agriculture and Food Security, this week was elected president of the Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development (AIARD). For more than 30 years, Chopak has managed, planned, and implemented agriculture, rural development, and food security activities throughout the world, including in Central America, Haiti, Afghanistan, and many African countries.
Chopak was elected during the AIARD Annual Conference June 4-5 in Washington, D.C., where members focused on “Priorities for Inclusive Agriculture and Rural Development.”
“Many development agencies around the world include poor households as a target for development while emphasizing market-led approaches,” Chopak said. “While these two objectives are not mutually exclusive, most current activities either focus on the poor, where scale and market inclusion are challenge, or focus on value chains, which do not meaningfully include the participation of resource-poor households.”
The conference kicked off with an overview panel featuring DAI President and CEO James Boomgard along with Sonny Ramaswamy, director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, and Paul Weisenfeld, assistant administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development Bureau for Food Security. Doyle Baker of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations moderated.
Other panels during the two-day event examined “Making Markets Work for All,” “Integrating Public and Private Sector Extension Services,” and “Integrating Nutrition with Agriculture.”
Since 1964, AIARD has represented agriculture and development professionals in both the United States and overseas, most of whom have extensive experience in developing countries. AIARD members offer vast experience and skills from a diverse community of universities, private voluntary organizations, commercial firms, trade associations, government and donor agencies, and foundations in the United States and overseas.