News Feature – Iswadi Suhari, a farmers son who becomes FAOs top official

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Iswadi Suhari Mawabagja is an ordinary citizen, who grew up in a small village far away from Jakarta, but he now becomes one of the top officials of the Food Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Spending his childhood and teenagehood in Trijaya Village, Mandirancan Subdistrict, Kuningan District, West Java Province, his destiny has brought him to the FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy.

The strategic position, given to him after defeating other applicants in a very competitive, transparent, global recruitment, is deputy director of Statistics Division.

Iswadis success has again enabled Indonesia to place its citizen at the FAOs structural position, made effective on October 15, 2018.

Gaining such a prestigious position at a reputable UN organization is uneasy. Instead, it remains a rare achievement for average Indonesian citizens.

Iswadi himself is perhaps the second citizen of Indonesia, who possesses an important position at the FAO heaquarters after Indroyono Soesilo, former coordinating minister for maritime affairs, who was replaced by Rizal Ramli on August 12, 2015.

Born in Bandung, West Java Province, on March 27, 1955, Indroyono, whose complete name is Dwisuryo Indroyono Soesilo, was recorded to have ever headed the FAOs Fisheries and Aquaculture Department.

Originally coming from a rural area in Kuningan District, West Java, this father of four children was appointed as the deputy director of FAOs Statistics Divison to replace Jose Rosero Moncayo from Ecuador.

The destiny of this son of a farmer is not a gift. Instead, with almighty Gods willing, his participation in a globally-competitive recruitment test for lots of applicants coming from different parts of the world ended with a great success.

Thanks to his excellent performance, he said he passed every step of bidding, started from an administrative selection, technical and competence-based interviews with several top officials of FAO, and personal test to medical check-up.

Not only known as a well-educated and experienced statistician but is also recognized as a novelist, Iswadi was then notified by the FAO authorities that he was offered to replace the position that Jose Rosero Moncayo left following his promotion.

He accepted the offer while Moncayo was promoted to be the FAOs Director of Statistics Division after being the director ad interim for a certain period of time.

His long way to go to the FAO headquarters in Rome has actually started from his career as a programmer for agricultural statitistics at the countrys the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) in Jakarta.

He was then promoted to lead the agencys Statistical Analysis Subdirectorate. His 20 years of professional experience in providing and doing agricultural statistical data have convinced the FAO authorities to choose him instead of other applicants.

Growing up as a child of a farmer in Trijaya Village, West Java Province, Iswadi finished his formal education at elementary and junior high schools in his village while his senior high school was completed in the West Java city of Cirebon.

After graduating from senior high school, he pursued his undergraduate study to a college of statistics and the Yogyakarta-based Gadjah Mada University. Thanks to a scholarship scheme, he had a chance to continue his postgraduate study in Australia.

During his postgraduate study at the Unversity of Queenslands St.Lucia Campus in the outskirts of Brisbane city, Iswadi was not just successful in obtaining his masters degree on time but he was also active in an Indonesian community-based organization.

As a result of social activities, along with his colleagues who temporarily stayed in Brisbane for their study at UQ, Queensland University of Technology, and Griffith University, Iswadi was popular among the Indonesian community members.

Education remains believed to be an essential part of his life. After returning from Australia and getting back to his professional job at the BPS office in Jakarta for several years, he registered himself at the Jakarta State Universitys doctorate program.

Iswadi, who is also known as a novelist thanks to his masterpiece titled "Cintaku Setengah Agama" (My Love, A Half of Faith), is currently recorded as a PhD candidate at the state-run university.

As the FAOs deputy director of Statistics Division, Iswadi said he would closely work with his director for providing a variety of statistical data on the development of the worlds food and agricultural sectors.

His position is very strategic because what it produces will and can be used as a basic recommendation for an evidence-based policy making process, which is indispensable for international communitys endeavors to combat hunger and poverty.

As revealed in this UN organizations official website, FAO develops methods and standards for food and agriculture statistics, provides technical assistance services and disseminates data for global monitoring.

Statistical activities at FAO include the development and implementation of methodologies and standards for data collection, validation, processing and analysis.

FAO also plays a vital part in the global compilation, processing and dissemination of food and agriculture statistics, and provides essential statistical capacity development to member countries.

Statistical activities at FAO cover the areas of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, land and water resources and use, climate, environment, population, gender, nutrition, poverty, rural development, education and health as well as many others.

Considering the importance of this FAOs Statistics Division, the presence of Iswadi Suhari Mawabagja at this UN bodys headquarters in Rome is a golden opportunity for him personally and Indonesia to contribute to global efforts to save the whole nations from the grips of hunger and poverty.

Source: ANTARA News

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