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"IFDC is governed by an international board of directors with representation from developed and developing nations. The non-profit Center is supported by bilateral and multilateral aid agencies, private foundations and national governments. The non-profit Center was established in 1974 in response to global food and energy crises." [1]

"IFDC can be considered an outgrowth of TVA’s National Fertilizer Development Center (NFDC). In the early 1960s, when Dr. Donald L. McCune joined NFDC, it became evident that TVA-NFDC’s fertilizer knowledge and facilities were resources that should contribute to foreign assistance efforts in developing countries.

"As a U.S. federal agency, the most logical way to contribute would be with programs offered through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

"With the assistance of a USAID officer, Dr. Frank Parker (former assistant director general of the Food and Agriculture Organization [FAO] of the United Nations), who was well-acquainted with the role that fertilizers could and should play in the agriculture of developing countries, TVA-NFDC became increasingly involved in agricultural development in those regions. Initially, this involvement was in the form of information furnished on fertilizers to USAID for its missions, but the interaction soon became more direct by sending technical assistance personnel on missions to developing countries. During this time NFDC had a relatively small core staff, referred to as the International Fertilizer Development staff, headed by McCune and dedicated to limited international assistance activities...

"IFDC was created during a period of crisis. In the early 1970s, food shortages were occurring on a worldwide basis. Energy and fertilizer shortages also were becoming commonplace, and prices of agricultural inputs were increasing rapidly. These factors put developing countries at a distinct disadvantage.

"To address this critical situation, the FAO organized a World Food Conference, held in Rome, Italy, in November 1974. In preparation for the conference, the United States, in consultation with the late Sir John Crawford of Australia – then Chairman of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) – decided to offer developed world "know-how" in fertilizers and soil fertility toward an international effort in fertilizer research and development for the benefit of the developing world. In an April 1974 address to the United Nations General Assembly, U.S. Secretary of State Dr. Henry Kissinger pledged the availability of U.S. fertilizer technology and strong material support toward "the establishment of an international action on two specific areas of research: improving the effectiveness of chemical fertilizers, especially in tropical agriculture; and new methods to produce fertilizers from non-petroleum resources."

"After Dr. Kissinger’s offer, work began immediately on a proposal to fulfill this pledge. USAID, again at the urging of Sir John Crawford, drew up a plan." [2]


Accessed September 2012: [3]

Board (2011)

Accessed December 2011: [4]


URL: http://www.ifdc.org

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch


  1. Home, IFDC, accessed January 7, 2011.
  2. History, IFDC, accessed January 7, 2011.
  3. International Fertiliser Development Center Board, organizational web page, accessed September 17, 2012.
  4. Board, IFDC, accessed January 7, 2011.