Representatives from 17 countries today approved the Medium-Term Plan 2018-2022 of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), which seeks to strengthen the agricultural sector and rural development in the Americas.
The text, presented on Tuesday by the general director of IICA, Argentine Manuel Otero, was approved by the delegates of the 17 countries that participate in the ordinary meeting of the Executive Committee of the institute.
The plan is based on the axes of bioeconomy and productive development; territorial development and family agriculture; trade and integration; climate change, natural resources and risk management; including agricultural health and food safety.
"There are five programmatic axes that involve a great challenge because it is thinking in a different way with a clear role focused on knowledge management, while it is a great contribution to agriculture by virtue of the enhancement of technical capabilities and of resources of the institution," said Otero
Among the main goals of these axes are to take advantage of biomass, promote renewable energy, provide technology to family farmers to be inserted into production processes, promote the development of markets and production chains, and reduce non-tariff barriers.
These goals also include to build capacities and cooperation on climate change and risk management; regenerate ecosystems, facilitate trade and the application of international standards.
In the plan, IICA also seeks to incorporate the gender and youth areas in its agenda.
The Executive Committee of IICA is constituted by 12 Member States that rotate every two years. It is currently composed of Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru.
At the two-day annual meeting that ends this Wednesday at IICA's headquarters in Costa Rica, Argentina, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala and the United States also joined the discussions.
In the meeting, Otero stressed the importance of adopting differentiated strategies to facilitate the overcoming of obstacles to development, as well as new strategic alliances.
Otero highlighted agreements reached with the Central American Integration System and approaches with the Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank, the Pan American Health Organization and UN Women.
During the annual meeting of the Executive Committee, Otero signed an agreement with the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) to boost food production; and another with the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC), in order to work on issues such as rural welfare and agricultural development.
IICA is part of the Organization of American States (OAS) and its objective is the development of agriculture and rural areas through technical cooperation.