The global situation remains challenging, both in agriculture and the media. People need food for body and mind. In many parts of the world both can be prepared and distributed in great freedom. But there are also many countries and places where there are food shortages, farmers suffering from weather, politics, economic crises and war. As well as parts where there is no or only partly freedom of press.
United we succeed
“If we are united, we can succeed.” This is the main principle guiding farmers’ organisations and agricultural cooperatives from all over the world. But it is also a claim that we can adopt as agricultural journalists. In order to support those agricultural journalists, we organize with the help of partners and sponsors leadership and professional training as we did during the Master Class and Boot Camp at this year’s IFAJ Congress.
Soil the silent ally in food production
In 2015, our colleagues in the New Zealand Guild of Agricultural Journalists organized its first-ever IFAJ Congress. In 2015 we also celebrated the United Nations’ International Year of Soils. And many among us are working with this theme. José Graziano da Silva, FAO Director-General says : “Soils constitute the foundation of vegetation and agriculture. Forests need it to grow. We need it for food, feed, fibre, fuel and much more. The multiple roles of soils often go unnoticed. Soils don’t have a voice, and few people speak out for them. They are our silent ally in food production.” The soils of the earth – that’s where most of our calories we eat each day come from.
Pillars of the IFAJ strategy 2020
The IFAJ Master Class and the Boot Camp are important pillars of the organization’s 2020 strategy and the professional development initiative of IFAJ and its partners. The classes provide a dynamic exchange of ideas, professional improvement, and experiences for agricultural Journalists in both developed and developing countries. These shared experiences build professional skills, broaden global perspectives, and enable journalists to do a better job covering agriculture for both farmers and consumers. From a long-term perspective, these experiences will help improve agricultural production in a sustainable way to meet the challenges of feeding a growing world population today and in the future.
The subject of the sixth Master Class and Boot Camp in Hamilton was agribusiness and leadership – an important topic for world agriculture. This is a basic theme for the future of agriculture. In a country like New Zealand where over 90 percent of its agricultural produce is exported, everybody can learn from the primary sector and take home new thinking. In this publication we share some experience from the participants and trust this will add fuel to your fire of passion for professional journalism and leadership.
The full publication is available here:
– Markus Rediger, IFAJ President