Photo courtesy of the Rockefeller Archive Center.
Building upon its broad work in East-West relations, the Fund seized an opportunity in the 1980s to revitalize Polish agriculture, aided by a personal involvement of RBF chair David Rockefeller and exploratory trips to Poland by Rockefeller Foundation agricultural expert and Nobel Prize winner Norman Borlaug. The Fund then organized a team, including agricultural and legal experts and RBF program officer Bill Moody, which negotiated with the Polish government in the establishment of one of the earliest independent foundations in Eastern Europe before the Berlin Wall fell in 1989. The Foundation for the Development of Polish Agriculture (FDPA) held its first meeting in February 1988. Initially focused on practical assistance to farmers, in recent decades micro-lending strategies, rural job creation and essential analyses of factors affecting overall rural life in Poland have become primary areas of operation for FDPA.
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