San Jose, 29 October 2019 (IICA). – The Under-Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs of the United States Department of Agriculture, Ted McKinney, highlighted the partnership and joint work between his organization and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), reaffirming that the activities of the specialized organization had enhanced agricultural activity in the hemisphere.
Prior to traveling to San Jose, Costa Rica, where he will serve as head of the U.S. delegation to the 2019 Conference of Ministers of Agriculture of the Americas, McKinney sent a message to the participants, reaffirming his commitment to work with partners such as IICA and with countries in the hemisphere to achieve food security and the development of heathy diets.
“Every day”, said McKinney, “agricultural producers in the Americas face the immense challenge of feeding a growing population. Here, at the United States Department of Agriculture, our guiding principle, as stated by our Secretary of Agriculture, is “to do right and feed everyone”.
Furthermore, he remarked that, “This is a simple phrase, but one that demonstrates our commitment to working with partners, such as yourselves, to find solutions that tackle food insecurity and foster healthy diets, using science-based technologies and embracing the power and importance of innovation. It is a pleasure for the United States and indeed a great pleasure for me to participate in this year’s Conference of Ministers of Agriculture of the Americas and the meeting of the Inter-American Board of Agriculture in San Jose, Costa Rica”.
The Ministers and Secretaries of Agriculture in the Americas will meet in San Jose, from today until 31 October, to discuss critical issues for a sector that is key to the global supply of food, and which must be developed in order to combat food insecurity and mass migration.
The agenda of the 2019 Conference of Ministers of Agriculture includes discussions on several issues that are key to the region’s agriculture sector, such as rural inclusion in the digital era, the balance between productivity and sustainability, and the interaction between health, safety and international trade.
According to McKinney, “The United States believes that we have the opportunity to continue to support our producers by providing science-based guidelines. Let me underscore that – science-based guidelines and rules – thus promoting quality and safety in our food systems. This also facilitates international trade and both of these areas are critical. This will allow everyone in the Western Hemisphere to progress, in other words, everyone in the Americas”.
The 2019 Conference of Ministers of Agriculture of the Americas will also provide a framework for the meeting of the Inter-American Board of Agriculture (IABA), which is made up of the Ministers of Agriculture of IICA’s 34 member countries.
The IABA is the supreme governing body of IICA, which is the specialized Inter-American agency for agricultural and rural development. The IABA has met every two years since 1981 and this October meeting will be the first time that the body has met since Manuel Otero assumed office as Director General in January 2018.
Click here to access all available information on the 2019 Conference of Ministers of Agriculture of the Americas.
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