DES MOINES, Iowa, 18 October 2022 (IICA) – This week, the Director General of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), Manuel Otero, will be participating in the Borlaug International Dialogue, considered the biggest international forum in the world of agriculture.
Organized by the World Food Prize (WFP) Foundation and set to be held in Des Moines, Iowa (USA), the activity consists of a series of discussion sessions. Leaders and experts from across the globe will meet to explore solutions and contribute ideas aimed at tackling the growing challenges weighing on global food security.
The theme of this year’s Dialogue is “Feeding a Fragile World.” The subject was chosen in light of the overlapping crises that are having such a serious impact on global agri-food systems ¾ the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Eastern Europe, and the increasingly visible and damaging effects of climate change.
The discussions will focus on the links between agriculture, food security and climate change, with emphasis on mitigation and adaptation options that could provide solutions to the problems and help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in 2030.
The Director General of IICA will be a speaker at three events.
At 1:45 p.m. (US Central Time) on Tuesday, October 18, he will take part in a panel discussion entitled “Dynamic Cooperation & Unusual Partners”, together with Godfrey Bahiigwa, Director of the Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Development of the African Union Commission; and Jyotsna Puri, Associate Vice-President of the Strategy and Knowledge Department of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). The moderator will be Barbara Stinson, President at the WFP Foundation.
The session will focus on the importance of global alliances, especially between Africa and the Americas, with special emphasis on partnerships involving the public and private sectors and civil society organizations. Opportunities for bolstering mutual cooperation and collaboration will be explored.
At 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, October 20, Otero and the President of the WFP Foundation, Barbara Stinson, will lead a parallel event organized by IICA and the World Food Prize Foundation that will include the participation of ministers from various countries.
The opening remarks will be given by Carlos Salcedo Zaldívar, Panama’s Minister-Counselor for Agricultural Affairs. The panelists will be Zulfikar Mustapha, Minister of Agriculture of Guyana; Mahmood Abubakar, Minister of Agriculture of Nigeria; Abdulrahman Al Fadli, Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture of Saudi Arabia; and Karen Ross, Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA).
The discussion will focus on the food security challenges facing developing countries, and the importance of the Latin American and Caribbean region as a supplier of food to the world.
Agriculture, a tool for peace
At 3:45 p.m. on the same day, at the invitation of the partners in the Agriculture for Peace (Ag4Peace) platform, Otero will speaker at an event entitled “Agriculture for Peace: A Platform for Action.” The purpose of this session will be to draw attention to the crisis created by the invasion of Ukraine and its lasting consequences, the fragility of agri-food systems, and the need to pool efforts to promote the implementation of solutions in the short, medium and long terms.
The Ag4Peace platform was created with the goal of eradicating hunger. The initiative’s partners are the Borlaug Foundation, the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and Texas A&M University. David Beasley, Executive Director of the World Food Programme, will also participate in the event.
The Laureate Award Ceremony for the World Food Prize will be held on the evening of Thursday, October 20. This annual award is presented to individuals who make globally significant contributions to improving the quantity, quality or availability of food.
During his stay in Iowa, IICA’s Director General will also meet with Cary Fowler, US Special Envoy for Global Food Security, and other senior officials from governments and international organizations attending the event, such as Jyotsna Puri, Associate Vice-President of the Strategy and Knowledge Department at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
IICA first worked with the Dialogue on the organization of a panel discussion entitled “Priorities for the development of digital agriculture in Latin America and the Caribbean.” The World Food Prize Foundation and the Institute assembled a group of leading public and private sector experts who showcased the enormous potential of digital technologies to improve productivity, underpin social inclusion, and reduce the environmental impact of agriculture in the region.
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