The government has nominated NITI Aayog member Ramesh Chand for the coveted post of the director general (DG) of the United Nation’s (UN’s) Food And Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
The post of DG FAO is considered one of the topmost designations because of the wide range of work that FAO does, including running food-aid programmes in more than 150 countries across the world.
According to the rotation policy, this time the head of FAO has to be someone from Asia or Europe. The current head of FAO is Brazilian José Graziano da Silva.
Silva, the architect of Brazil’s Zero Hunger (Fome Zero) programme, was first elected as DG of FAO in January 2012 for four years. He got re-elected for a second four-year term in August 2015, with the votes of 177 countries.
Ramesh Chand has a PhD in agricultural economics from the Indian Agricultural Research Institute.
He has 33 years of experience in research and teaching in the field of agricultural economics and policy. He has been involved in policy formulation for the agriculture sector for the last 15 years. Prior to joining the NITI Aayog, he was the director of the National Institute of Agricultural Economics and Policy Research.
Reports said China is rooting for current chief of International Food Policy Research Institute, Shengen Fan, while Europe has nominated a former economist.
The last Indian to hold the post was Bimal Ranjan Sen, who was appointed as DG FAO in 1956 and remained in the post till 1967.