The proposal to strengthen agricultural and rural development received broad support during the meeting of the Executive Committee of the Inter-American organization. It focuses on five main areas and promotes dialogue with the private sector
San Jose, 17 July, 2018 (IICA) -- On Tuesday, the new institutional action plan for the period 2018-2022 of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), an entity that promotes agricultural development in the Americas, was widely supported by the 12 Member States of its Executive Committee, one of its governing bodies. The plan seeks to bolster agricultural activity in the Americas.
The 2018-2022 Medium-term Plan (MTP), which was presented by the Director General of IICA, Manuel Otero, focuses on matters related to bioeconomy and productive development; territorial development and family farming; trade and integration; climate change, natural resources and risk management; and agricultural health and food safety.
The plan was broadly supported by the delegates of the countries sitting on this year’s Executive Committee: Antigua and Barbuda, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The Committee members are elected for two-year periods, according to the criteria of partial rotation and equitable geographical distribution among the 34 Member States of IICA.
This year, delegates from Argentina, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, and the United States also participated in the deliberations at IICA Headquarters in San Jose.
“Bioeconomy and productive development; territorial development and family farming; trade and integration; climate change, natural resources and risk management; and agricultural health, safety and food quality - these are the five hemispheric programs on which our action strategy will focus,” stated Otero prior to submitting the proposal to the countries present at the meeting.
Otero, in thanking the delegates for their support for the new institutional action plan, also stated that IICA is “working assiduously to incorporate youth and gender issues into all aspects of the Institute’s agenda, since they are extremely relevant and pressing concerns in today’s world.”
He went on to stress the importance of adopting differentiated strategies to assist in overcoming obstacles to development, particularly in Central America and the Caribbean, emphasizing a thrust to develop a new model for strategic alliances that would maximize IICA’s contributions.
Further to this, he mentioned the signing of agreements with the Central American Integration System (SICA) and with the Secretariat for Central American Economic Integration (SIECA), as well as significant rapprochement with the IDB, World Bank, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and UN Women.
IICA’s head also indicated that the challenges inherent in agriculture should be seen as “opportunities, because it is precisely this activity that holds the key to solving many of the most pressing problems that hinder the development of our hemisphere.”
The meeting of IICA’s Executive Committee ends on Wednesday, at which time it is expected that the new MTP will be officially approved. The meeting will also include a discussion forum to engage with private sector representatives from entities such as Bayer AG, Microsoft, the Dominican Agribusiness Board (JAD) and the Center for Competitiveness of Panama’s Western Region (CECOMRO).
Otero maintained that, “the forum represents an important step in fostering a closer relationship with the business sector and organized civil society. Governments cannot do everything on their own and building public-private sector alliances is essential. We want to publicize, promote and enhance this relationship.”
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.
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