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World Bank Agriculture in the 1970s: Smallholders, Increased Agriculture Lending and the Unfinished Debate on Integrated Rural Development

May 23 @ 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

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Many of the debates initiated in the 1970s on rural development, rural poverty alleviation and agricultural development linger on, more than 40 years later.  This session will give us an opportunity to hear Leif Christoffersen who was in a leadership position at the birth of these debates and has followed them since.

The presentation and discussion are part of an on-going, year-long effort by the 1818 Society Agriculture and Rural Development Thematic Group to produce a “history of ideas on agriculture and rural development at the World Bank”.

Leif Christoffersen joined the Young Professional Program in 1964 and served for 28 years in various positions – largely related to agriculture, rural development and the environment. He served for two years as Bob McNamara’s Personal Assistant (1969-71).  In 1973 he was asked to establish and lead the Bank’s first rural development division with a global mandate.  After leaving the Bank in 1992, Leif has been active in supporting higher education in agriculture and sustainable development, through serving on the faculty of the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, on the board of Earth University in Costa Rica, and most recently as member of the International Advisory Panel of RUFORUM, a networking institution of 105 African universities.

Chair:  Martien Van Nieuwkoop, Director, World Bank Agriculture Global Practice

Martien Van Nieuwkoop, Director, World Bank Agriculture Global Practice
Elisa Liberatori Prati, World Bank Group Chief Archivist


May 23
12:30 pm - 2:00 pm


World Bank Library Room MC C3-220


Agriculture and Rural Development TG
WBG History Thematic Group
Agriculture Global Practice
World Bank Library