UNP MP and economist Dr. Harsha de Silva was among the invited speakers at the 34th Governing Council meeting of the International Fund for Agricultural Development at its headquarters in Rome over the weekend.
Delegates from the 167 member states met to hear prominent international figures, high-ranking government officials and emerging leaders on topics related to ensuring food security, invigorating smallholder farming and the need to support and encourage rural youth.
A press release issued by IFAD said that Dr. de Silva spoke on the need to improve the quality of life for young rural people and give them the same opportunities the young urban people have.
Dr. de Silva had emphasised on the need to improve the efficiency of rural agricultural and financial markets to fight rural poverty.
The press release further stated that in his keynote address Kofi Annan, Chairman of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa and a former United Nations Secretary-General had spoken of recent progress on African agricultural development while Princess Haya Al Hussein, United Nations Messenger of Peace and wife of the Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, had appealed to the delegates to redouble their efforts to address and end world hunger while applauding IFAD for its efforts to advance the interests of rural women and young people.