San Jose, 29 October 2019 (IICA). Ministers of agriculture of 34 countries in the Americas will meet in San Jose, Costa Rica this week, from 29-31 October, to discuss pivotal issues for a sector that is key to the world’s food supply and whose development is an essential requirement for combating food insecurity and large-scale migration.
The agenda for the Conference of Ministers of Agriculture of the Americas 2019 includes issues such as rural inclusion in the digital era, striking a balance between productivity and sustainability, and the interaction among health, safety and international trade, all key elements for the hemisphere’s agriculture sector.
The agenda also reflects the economic, social, environmental and demographic challenges facing agriculture in the Americas, given the need to guarantee global food security in the years ahead against the backdrop of a burgeoning population and pressure on natural resources.
“The challenges are daunting because the population is growing, we are faced with climate change, and we also have to deliver innovation to the countryside, ensure that young people continue to work in agricultural production, and offer sustainable, healthy options for life,” the President of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado, noted in a message welcoming the overseas delegations.
“In the Americas, agriculture and agricultural trade operate under a variety of social, economic and technological conditions, but all the countries face the huge challenge of making production more sustainable, inclusive and competitive. The Conference of Ministers of Agriculture of the Americas 2019 will provide a framework for addressing those differences, with a view to connecting countries, individuals, technologies and knowledge on behalf of agricultural development and rural dwellers,” observed the Director General of IICA, Manuel Otero.
The meeting will provide an important opportunity to engage in dialogue and enable governments to forge partnerships with the private sector, since the ministers will take part in forums in which they will interact and exchange views with representatives of global companies strongly linked to agricultural production, such as Bayer, Corteva, and Microsoft.
The Conference of Ministers of Agriculture of the Americas 2019 will also provide the framework for the meeting of the Inter-American Board of Agriculture (IABA), comprised of the 34 ministers of agriculture of the member countries of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA).
The IABA is the highest-level governing body of IICA, the agency of the inter-American system specializing in agricultural and rural development. The discussions and deliberations of the ministers and secretaries of agriculture will also serve to guide and promote the modernization of this sector in the Americas, and provide a ringing endorsement of the actions that IICA is implementing aimed at the organization’s renewal.
The IABA has met every two years since 1981, and the meeting this October will be the first to be held since the Director General of IICA, Manuel Otero, took office in January 2018
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IICA 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.
Institutional Communication Division, IICA