Message to World Leaders on World Food Day 2005 By Jack Wilkinson, President of the IFAP   From dialogue to action   World Food Day celebrations on October 16th are the occasion to remember the work of the farmers of the world to put food on our table. Too often, when we speak about food and agriculture, farmers’ work is taken for granted and sometimes even forgotten.     This year’s World Food Day theme of “Agriculture and intercultural dialogue” is very much the business of organisations like IFAP representing the world’s farmers.  For almost 60 years now, farmers have put together a global organisation, representing 600 millions of farm families, meeting to share knowledge and experiences across cultural barriers.   This dialogue across cultures is happening throughout the world, but what is needed is action to implement the results of such dialogue.   IFAP therefore challenges world leaders to listen to the voice of the world farmers and take action to address hunger and farm income problems.  Among actions that should be taken, the World Bank needs to make a fundamental shift in its lending to give priority to agriculture.  Also, it has to impress upon developing country governments that there must be an agricultural component in their poverty reduction strategies. The World Trade Organisation needs to focus on improving farmers’ incomes in its agricultural negotiations so that it delivers real benefits for farmers. And national governments need to invest in rural infrastructure and put in place pro-farmer strategies. Only in this way will the Millennium Development Goals on hunger and poverty be achieved.   Farmers are first to recognize that intercultural dialogue is a key to fight hunger and poverty.  But, beyond the dialogue, actions are urgently needed.  This should begin with the recognition of farmers’ organisations as key players to be included in the decision-making process. Intercultural dialogue in agriculture is good, but intercultural action is even better!   Julie Emond Communications Coordinator E-mail: Phone:+ Fax: + IFAP is the world farmers’ organisation representing over 600 million farm families grouped in 110 national organisations in 75 countries. It is a global network in which farmers from industrialised and developing countries exchange concerns and set common priorities. IFAP advocates farmers’ interests at the international level since 1946 and has General Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. IFAP