Ministers of Agriculture of the Americas agree to strengthen IICA’s health program to drive trade

San Jose. November 4, 2019 (IICA) – The Ministers and Secretaries of Agriculture of 34 countries in the Americas agreed to strengthen the Agricultural Health program of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) – a key measure to spur the trade of agricultural products in the Western Hemisphere.

The ministerial meeting triggered intense discussions on agriculture in the context of the digital era, health, trade, productivity and sustainability. It was held in Costa Rica, as part of the biennial meeting of the Inter-American Board of Agriculture (IABA)—the supreme governing body of IICA—and was attended by high level government authorities and private sector representatives.

In addition to approving IICA’s 2020/2021 budget, the ministers endorsed the Institute’s efforts to forge new strategic alliances and also committed to adopting the provisions on pesticides, outlined in the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures.

IICA’s Agricultural Health, Safety and Food Quality Program (AHFS) focuses on promoting a competitive and sustainable agriculture sector, capable of providing safe food through effective policies, and to this end fosters institutional strengthening, harmonization of standards, capacity development for the adoption of best practices and the tackling of sanitary, phytosanitary and safety emergencies, with a particular focus on cross-border cases.

Together with the decision to strengthen the Agricultural Health, Safety and Food Quality Program (AHFS) of IICA, which boasts four decades of experience and has yielded successive results for countries, the ministers also requested that the newly opened Interpretive Center for Tomorrow’s Agriculture (CIMAG) in Costa Rica be enhanced and eventually replicated in the Member States of the Institute.

CIMAG, which was opened by IICA’s Director General, Manuel Otero, is the product of a partnership between Microsoft and the specialized hemispheric agency for agricultural and rural development, and was created to highlight the pivotal role of the agricultural sector in human life and sustainability, particularly for new generations. It is an experimental and interactive virtual center, seeking to educate visitors about agriculture.

“We are renewing our commitment to an IICA 4.0—sensitive to and in touch with the real problems that are curbing the potential of agriculture and in turn, the development of the countries of the Americas”, said IICA’s Director General, in speaking about this year’s edition of the IABA, which was presided over by the Minister of Agriculture of the Dominican Republic, Osmar Benítez.

About IICAIICA is the specialized agency for agriculture in the Inter-American system, with a mission to encourage, promote and support its 34 Member States in their efforts to achieve agricultural development and rural well-being through international technical cooperation of excellence.
More information:
Institutional Communication Division, IICA

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