San Jose, 29 October 2019 (IICA). The President of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado, and the Director General of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), Manuel Otero, will open the 2019 Conference of Ministers of Agriculture of the Americas on Tuesday, 29 October, at the National Auditorium of the Children’s Museum in San Jose. Conference participants will discuss crucial matters related to agriculture, a sector that is key to the world’s food supply and whose development is an essential requirement for combating food insecurity and mass migration.
The agenda for the 2019 Conference of Ministers of Agriculture of the Americas includes issues such as rural inclusion in the digital age, striking a balance between productivity and sustainability, as well as the relationship between health, safety and international trade, which are key elements for the hemisphere’s agriculture sector.
The agenda also reflects the economic, social, environmental and demographic challenges that the agriculture sector in the Americas will need to overcome in order to guarantee global food security over the next few years, against the backdrop of a growing population and greater pressure on natural resources.
“Hosting this meeting of ministers at IICA is of great importance to Costa Rica. Our agriculture sector is facing formidable challenges. Farmers themselves have taught me that, throughout our lives, we might need a lawyer once, twice or three times; a doctor every once in a while; but we all need farmers every single day. They are one of our most valuable assets. We often fail to acknowledge their importance or to value them,” stated the President of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado, in his welcoming remarks to the foreign delegations.
“We must focus a great deal of our attention on this sector. Our country has aimed to provide support with respect to credit opportunities, value added, technology transfer, and organic agriculture practices, but we need much more than that,” added Alvarado, who also highlighted the need to overcome a number of challenges, such as a growing population, climate change, as well as the need to bring technological innovations to rural areas and keep youth involved in the agriculture sector.
“This conference is a valuable forum that will provide ministers and secretaries of Agriculture with an opportunity to engage in discussions, reach agreements and address the issues on the hemisphere’s agricultural agenda, from a global perspective,” stated Manuel Otero, Director General of IICA.
The meeting will provide a valuable opportunity to generate dialogue and establish partnerships between governments and the private sector. The Ministers will participate in forums during which they will engage in discussions and share their points of view with representatives from global companies whose activities are closely linked to agricultural production, such as Bayer, Corteva and Microsoft.
The 2019 Conference of the Ministers of Agriculture of the Americas will provide a framework for the meeting of the Inter-American Board of Agriculture (IABA), which comprises the 34 ministers of agriculture of the member countries of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA).
The IABA is the highest governing body of IICA, the agency of the Inter-American system specializing in agricultural and rural development. The debates and discussions of the ministers and secretaries of agriculture will serve to guide and spur the modernization of this sector in the Americas, and to provide decisive support for the institutional modernization efforts currently underway at IICA.
The IABA has met every two years since 1981 and the meeting in October will be the body’s first meeting since Manuel Otero assumed office as IICA’s Director General in January 2018.
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.
For all the information available about the 2019 Conference of Ministers of Agriculture of the Americas, click here.
Institutional Communication Division.