Click on the headings bellow to see details of the ISTRC Constitution.
Name, Legal Status and Seat Open or Close
The Society shall be called the "International Society for Tropical Root Crops (ISTRC)" - hereinafter referred to as the Society.
The Society is established as an autonomous and non-governmental body. It shall have the capacity:
To perform any activity appropriate to the fulfillment of its objectives as laid down by the constitution.
To hold funds or currency of any kind and operate accounts.
To collect subscriptions from its members and to solicit and accept grants and donations in cash or in kind, for the purpose of the Society. Also the Society shall have the capacity to collect proceeds from the sale of its publications.
To conclude agreements and contracts, to acquire, hold and dispose of immovables and movable property and to institute legal proceedings.
The official language of the Society shall be English.
Objectives Open or Close
The objectives of the Society shall be to foster, stimulate and support any type of activity leading to the general improvement of tropical root crop production and utilization. To achieve its objectives, the Society shall:
- Sponsor regional, international meetings, workshops and training courses.
- Encourage and support the establishment of regional branches and affiliates to the Society.
- Sponsor study groups on subjects of importance to the goals of the Society.
- Strengthen cross-linkages between national, regional and international research centres and organisations, including universities, through involvement in jointly-planned research and training programmes.
- Publish appropriate and informative communications, such as newsletters, summaries of the status of particular crops, lists of research workers and their areas of specialisation, proceedings of meetings and other appropriate publications.
- Facilitate the exchange of personnel and germplasm materials.
- Provide financial assistance if possible to members of the Society from developing countries to attend the Society's meetings.
Award members of the Society prizes for outstanding publications or any other achievement for the improvement of tropical root crops.
Crops Open or Close
The Society will be concerned with the following crops: Cassava, Yams, Sweet potatoes, Aroids and other tuberous crops of tropical origin.
Membership Open or Close
Membership shall be open to any person or organisation interested in the objectives of the Society.
There shall be four types of membership:
- Ordinary: Individuals interested in promoting the objectives of the Society.
- Student: University and schools or agriculture students who are interested in promoting the objectives of the Society.
- Sustaining: Institutions and organisations interested in promoting the objectives of the Society.
- Life: Ordinary members who pay a subscription fee for life; which may also be given to individuals selected by the General Meeting of the Society in recognition of their distinguished services to the Society.
Subscription. Dues for the different types of membership will be established during the Symposium by the Council and approved by the General Meeting. Membership shall be suspended automatically, without notice, upon failure of a member to pay Society's dues by or during the triennial Symposium and will only be restored after all outstanding arrears have been settled. Subscription fees shall be paid by members for three years in advance.
Membership privileges. All members who attend the General Meeting of the Society have voting rights and can be elected for the Society's Council. Sustaining members can cast only one vote but are not eligible for election to the Council.
Members are entitled to receive free of charge the Society's Newsletter and all communications other than the proceedings of the Symposium, which will be given free of charge to those who have paid registration fees for the Symposium. A reduction will be given to ISTRC members.
Council Open or Close
There shall be a Council for the Society that will serve from one Symposium to the next. It shall be composed of the following officers:
- First Vice-President (Symposium)
- Second Vice-President (Fund Raising)
- Councillor - Publications
- Councillor - Past President
- Councillor – Africa (West and Central)
- Councillor – Africa (East and South)
- Councillor - South and South East Asia
- Councillor - East Asia
- Councillor - South Pacific
- Councillor - Latin America
- Councillor - North America and Europe
- Councillor - Caribbean
Nomination and election of Council officers. The Council shall present to the General Meeting a slate of nominees for the new Council from among members of the Society attending the Symposium.
The slate of nominees shall be for the offices of President, Second Vice-President, Secretary/Treasurer and Councillor for Publications. Other nominations, duly seconded can be submitted in writing or electronically to the Secretary/Treasurer, to be in his/her hand not less than two days before the Symposium. Nominees, proposers and seconders should all be existing members of the Society. The nominated person should attend the Symposium. It will be the responsibility of the Secretary/Treasurer to inform existing members of the requirement for nominations not less than two weeks before the Symposium
The General Meeting shall elect the new Council from among all nominees by a simple majority ballot vote. The Chairman of the Organising Committee of the next Symposium shall be appointed as First Vice-President. Councillors representing regions or regional branches of the Society shall be elected by their respective ISTRC branches or by Society members attending the Symposium from a region.
Names of elected regional councillors should be communicated to the Secretary/Treasurer at least two days before the General Meeting. Such councillors do not have to be in attendance at the Symposium. The right for electing a representative from a region, shall be in effect even if another person from the same region is elected for the Council.
The Council shall be empowered to replace any one of its members who resigns for any reason or if the member proves to be inactive for a year or more for any reason other than those beyond his/her control. Any member of the Council can make a recommendation to replace one of its inactive members in writing to the Secretary/Treasurer and the Council shall decide on such recommendation by a simple majority vote of those responding to a postal/electronic ballot.
Duties of the Council Open or Close
The Council shall:
Manage the affairs of the Society in accordance with this Constitution and policies and directives adopted by the General Meeting.
Make all the decisions by a simple majority vote of those present in Council meetings or those that respond to a postal vote.
Be empowered to replace any of its members as provided in Article 5, Section 3.
Appoint committees or working groups to conduct specific functions of the Society.
Hold its meetings normally at the time of the Symposium. Other Council business may be conducted in an extraordinary meeting of the Council or through a postal ballot.
Make nominations for Council elect.
The President shall:
Preside at all sessions of the General Meeting and Council meetings if present.
Delegate the First Vice-President or the Secretary/Treasurer to take the Chair for any meeting if he/she cannot be present. The Deputy shall have the same constitutional rights as the President during the meeting.
Have a deliberative and casting vote.
Have the right for election for a total of two terms only. However he/she can be elected for other positions on the Council.
Be the official spokesman and signatory of the Society when corresponding with other organisations.
The First Vice-President shall:
Organise the next Symposium of the Society in collaboration with the President and Secretary/Treasurer.
Assist the President in all his/her duties and when requested by the President, deputise for him/her and chair meetings as provided in Article 6, Section 2.
Succeed the President if he/she resigns or if replaced by the Council as provided in Article 5, Section 3. In that event he/she shall have the same rights and duties of the President until the next Symposium as stated in Article 6, Section 2. This period of succession shall not interfere with his/her right for election as President for two additional terms as provided in Article 6, Section 2.
The Second Vice-President (Fund Raising) shall:
Be responsible for fund raising for the Society.
Have the right for election for unlimited number of terms for this position, while maintaining the right to be elected for any other position in the Council.
The Secretary/Treasurer shall:
Be responsible for all financial affairs of the Society which includes receiving membership dues and gifts to the Society, cause books of account to be kept which can be audited by chartered accountants before the General Meeting and submit a financial report on accounts which shall be read at the General Meeting.
Prepare an updated list of members of the Society by the next Symposium.
Keep minutes of all General Meetings and all meetings of the Council and publish the minutes of the previous General Meeting in the Newsletter before the next Symposium.
Prepare and distribute stationery of the Society to Council members as soon as possible after their election.
Deputise for the President if the First Vice-President is absent or cannot deputise for the President.
Convene meetings after consultation with the President.
The Councillor - Publications shall:
Be responsible for all publications of the Society in consultation with the President.
The Councillor shall have the right of election to this position for an unlimited number of terms while maintaining the right to be elected for other positions in the Council.
The Councillor - Past President shall:
Serve as an advisor to all Council members because of his/her past experience with the affairs of the Society.
He/she shall have the right for election for positions in the Council except as stated in Article 6, Section 2.
Regional Councillors shall have the responsibility of liaising closely between the Society and its regional branches. This shall include financial matters, meetings, news and reports to the Newsletter and other matters that will provide cross-linkage between the Society and regional branches. The right of Regional Councillors for re-election will be the decision of regional branches or Society members of that region attending the Symposium. Regional Councillors have the right to be elected for any position in the next Council.
Symposium Open or Close
There shall be a Symposium for the Society every three years approximately at a place and date determined by the General Meeting during the previous Symposium. The agenda of the Symposium shall be prepared by the First Vice-President in consultation with the Secretary/Treasurer and shall consist of the following events:
Presentation of papers and invited lectures
General Meeting of the Society
Council meetings. Meetings will be held by the Council at the beginning of the Symposium during which all business matters shall be discussed for later presentation to the General Meeting.
Papers and invited lectures. During the Symposium, papers and invited lectures will be presented according to a programme prepared by the First Vice-President. The First Vice-President shall communicate, at least a year before the Symposium to Society members through circulars, all matters pertaining to preparation of papers for presentation, hotel accommodations and other useful information to participants.
General Meeting. There shall be a General Meeting of the Society that will be held within the period of the Symposium. The agenda shall be prepared by the President and shall contain the following:
- Reports of Council members
- Next Symposium
- All matters submitted in writing to the Secretary/Treasurer at least two days before the General Meeting
- Awards presentations
- Election of new Council
- Any other business
- Closing by the President and new President
Quorum Open or Close
The quorum at all meetings of the Council shall be fifty per cent. For the General Meeting of the Society, fifty per cent of those members who registered for the Symposium shall constitute a quorum. In the event a quorum is not present, the General Meeting shall not be held and the same Council will remain in office.
Expenditures Open or Close
The Society shall apply its incomes to promote the aims set out in Article 2, Section 1.
Payment of reasonable and proper remuneration may be made to any member of the Society in return for certain services actually rendered, or for rent of premises let to the Society or reimbursement of out of pocket expenses; except that no member of the Society shall be appointed to any salaried office of the Society and remain or become a member of the Council. All such services shall be on such terms as may be agreed by the Council. Attendance at meetings will not qualify for remuneration.
Monies and funds of the Society shall be banked with a banker approved by the Council. At the discretion of the Council, investments may be made in Securities.
Society Publications Open or Close
There shall be official publications for the Society which will be determined by the General Meeting. Special publications may be published periodically at the discretion of the Council.
Regional Branches and Affiliates Open or Close
The society shall encourage and actively participate in the creation of branches and affiliates to promote its objectives in specific regions.
The Society may accept applications of affiliation from national societies with interest in tropical root crops.
The name of such regional branches shall be the "International Society for Tropical Root Crops" followed by the name of the regional branch.
All members of regional branches and affiliates are not automatically members of the parent Society unless they pay the parent Society its stipulated dues.
Constitutions of regional branches and affiliates of the Society shall be in line with the objectives of the Society and shall complement the Constitution of the Society.
Regional symposia shall be held by regional branches during any of the two years following the Symposium of the parent Society. Regional branches should be given the task whenever possible of hosting the parent Society's triennial Symposium in combination with their own symposia.
Whenever financially possible the Society will provide funds to help regional branches in amounts decided by the Secretary/Treasurer in consultation with the President and Regional Councillor.
Amendments to the Constitution Open or Close
Amendments to the Constitution shall be considered only by the General Meeting at its triennial Symposium. Proposals for amendments shall be sent in writing, duly seconded by two members of the Society, to the Secretary Treasurer at least two days in advance of the General Meeting. The Secretary/Treasurer shall communicate such proposals to members attending the Symposium in advance of the General Meeting.
Amendments to the Constitution shall be adopted by a simple majority vote of members attending the General Meeting.
Dissolution Open or Close
The Society can only be dissolved by a resolution approved at a General Meeting by a vote of two-thirds of members present.
Should a motion for dissolution be approved, the Secretary/Treasurer shall pay all debts and liabilities of the Society, including the auditors' honorarium, within three months and shall, within one further month, initiate the appropriate action required for the discreet implementation of the instructions of the General Meeting with respect to the utilisation of the balance of assets. The auditors shall inspect the accounts and certify in writing to all members that they are correct, duly vouched and in accordance with the Constitution of the Society, or report in what respect they are found to be incorrect, or not in accordance with such Constitution. The dissolution of the Society shall not take effect until the auditors have certified that the accounts are correct in all respects and that no debts or assets remain.