Leonardo Bichara Rocha |CPO at International Fund For Agricultural Development |Senior economist at the ISO, the world's largest ICB (Intergovernmental Commodity Body) .

CPO at International Fund For Agricultural Development

Special Interview with Leonardo Bichara Rocha for spark Icon

1. In the Digital Era where everyone is running towards IT , Science or Engineering, What was the SPARK that made you choose the area of Agriculture related businesses?

I have a passion for Agriculture and rural development. Brazil is one of the world`s leading agricultural powerhouses. At agriculture in Brazil is connected to South-south Cooperation, international development and other fields.


2. From a Teacher to Senior Economist at ISO to CPO. What were the Areas in which you faced challenges? How did you overcome them?

They all have their specific challenges. Being a teacher requires sharp communication skills and constant updating. A senior economist needs to be accurate, precise and have a powerful message to convey at every intervention and article. A CPO needs advanced managerial skills and team work building.


3. As a CPO, your Job demands Multi Tasking.What is the most important Time Management Lesson that you would like to share with our audience?

A good time management lesson is: for every document you produce, get a previous one as a skeleton and work from there. Do not start anything from scratch.


4. Globally there is a vast demand and supply gap for food.Do you feel that Artificial ways to induce more production is the only way out ( Eg: Genetic modification /pesticide/DNA Alteration )?

There are plenty of ways to improve productivity before even going into this field.


5. What do you feel about the Organic trend of foods that is slowly but steadily taking momentum over the world.
Where do you see the growth of “Organic Food” in 5 years from Now?

Organic production is important but even more important is traceability and product labelling, and one that would value the local history and people, their traditions, their struggle and successes.


6. What will be your 3 “Life Quotes” to your audience? Value your past, enjoy the present moment and embrace the future.


7. “Ignorance is bliss”. What comes to your mind when you see this saying?

Focus and ignorance can work hand-in-hand.


8. Can you share an incident from your childhood that helped you shape your life?

I think being bullied can make you strong and focused. I have experienced that in my childhood.


9. People say “Failures are the Stepping Stones to Success”. Do people need to actually fail to be successful ? Can't things be learnt in a Winning Path ?

I would not call it failure, but disappointment moments are important and always lead to awakening.


10. You have authored many books and Journals. Especially, you have written on Hot topics in the industry. What made you express your thoughts through writing?

It is a work necessity. Systematizing ideas and conclusions are the best way of scaling-up knowledge.


11. You had strong academic inclinations. What was the Factor that kept you driving from BA, to Masters to PhD?

First, to progress to the next level. Second, the ambition to cover a range of academic grounds and finally a natural way of filtering information and focusing on what really matters to you.


12. You have your PhD in Economics. What will be your motivation to the students who want to pursue their Doctorate degree?

If you are curious about something, go and explore it in depth, even if that takes you several years and ultimately a PhD degree.


13. Is there any book that inspired you, when you were feeling low or when you wanted to get strong and firing up?

Eckhart Tolle books are very interesting from a psychological point of view.


14. What was a lesson that you learnt the HARD WAY?Can you please share it with our audience?

People will only genuinely do things for you and with you only if they are as motivated as you are in the process. Never forget to convince people about the importance of doing things this or that way and always communicate well.


15. Did you dream to become who you currently are, during your childhood? What was your interest as a child ?

No, real life experience is always more enriching than your childhood dreams. I think I wanted to be an astronaut as a child.


16. Everyone has a fear factor in life. What was yours and how did you overcome it?

People will only do things well if they are constantly rewarded and feel they are getting good feedback and progress along the way. You may be studious, but it does take time to reap the results. Fear factors come into play if you do not have a good relationship with your peers. Try to change that.


17. Motivation plays a vital role in doing things. What keeps you going every single day?

Looking back and noticing how much you grow as a person each day that goes by.


18. What will be your one strong lesson that you would like to share with people who would want to pursue Agricultural markets Commodities trading as their career?

Do not forget that knowledge is only useful if you can communicate it well and knows your target audience. Be acquainted with the people you want to work with.


19. Tell us more about the book currently you are working on “IFAD's M&E strategy for Brazil" – IPEA,” and who are the target audience and what you wish to say to our audience in simple layman terms ?

M&E (Monitoring and Evaluation) is the heart of project management. We now have a strategy, a system and now we are running it successfully. It is exciting and rewarding!


End Of Interview






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