Chairman Lee Sung-Hee of National Agricultural Cooperative Federation (NACF) was re-elected as the head of the International Cooperative Agricultural Organization (ICAO), which represents cooperatives in the agricultural sector around the world.
In particular, he was elected as the head of the organization through an election rather than a single nomination method so far used, demonstrating the power of the Korea Agricultural Cooperatives in the global agricultural arena.
On the afternoon of the 17th (local time), at the ICAO general meeting held at the Silken Hotel in Seville, Spain, Chairman Lee and the Indian Fertilizer Cooperative (IFFCO) Chairman Dilip Sanghani were re-elected as the ICAO President for a four-year term after an election contest.
Chairman Lee has served as ICAO chairman since he was elected as chairman of NACF in 2020.
Founded in 1951, ICAO is an agricultural sub-organization under the International Co-operative Federation (ICA), which leads the mutual development and cooperation of agricultural cooperatives around the world. Currently, 42 member organizations from 35 countries are participating.
The Korea Agricultural Cooperatives has been in charge of the ICAO president's institution for 24 years since 1998, but this is the first time that it has been elected to the president's institution through an election.
In the meantime, he was elected as the president's institution in the form of an independent appointment, but in this election, he was challenged by India to increase his influence on the international stage.
However, the NACF has been recognized for its achievements in exchange and cooperation projects and its vision, and has maintained its position as a global cooperative.
Chairman Lee drew support from member organizations by proposing invitational training for cooperatives in developing countries, scholarships, dispatching of executives and staff of cooperatives from developing countries to the ICAO Seoul Secretariat and building a digital foundation for ICAO.
Specifically, the Korea Agricultural Cooperatives plans to operate an invitational training program to transfer the know-how to success of cooperatives to the executives and employees of ICAO member organizations, and expand the scope of exchange by giving the ICAO secretariat installed in the Korea Agricultural Cooperatives the opportunity to work.
It also decided to launch a project to select excellent students recommended by ICAO member organizations as Nonghyup University scholarship students.
In addition, the ICAO digital platform will be established to accelerate the discovery of cooperative projects between cooperatives.
Chairman Lee said, “I feel a great sense of responsibility to gain the trust of cooperatives in the agricultural sector around the world and to assume the role of President of ICAO again.”
Then he said, “Based on the experience and know-how of the Korea Agricultural Cooperatives, which has grown from a cooperative in the least developed country to a global cooperative over the past 60 years, we will actively contribute to the win-win development of global agricultural cooperatives.”
Meanwhile, at the global general meeting of the International Cooperative Federation (ICA) held in Seville on the 20th, 25 new directors were elected, representing each division and each continent, such as agriculture, fishery industry, housing, medical care, and youth.
Chairman Lee is unanimously elected to the ICA director who is a member of the Agricultural and Fisheries Subcommittee, which represents cooperatives in the agricultural and fisheries sector around the world, and plans to work on activities such as sustainable development of agriculture, forestry and fisheries through cooperation with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), representation of agricultural positions on international issues such as food security crisis and climate change, and promotion of small and medium-sized agriculture and women's agriculture and youth rights.
The Korean NACF joined the ICA in 1963 as an associate member, and in 1972 it became a full member.
In particular, in December last year, the 33rd World Cooperative Conference was successfully held in Seoul with the ICA, leading to the revitalization of the global cooperative movement.