This program was launched by the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) to recognize, promote and enhance expertise on agriculture and rural development in the Americas.
Buenos Aires, 16 November 2018 (IICA). The IICA Chair Program of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) today recognized the Agricultural Plant Physiology and Ecology Research Institute (IFEVA) of the University of Buenos Aires’ Faculty of Agronomy (FAUBA) and the National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET) for their contributions to their field of study.
The endowment of the “IICA Chair” was presented to IFEVA by the Director General of the Inter-American agency for agricultural development, Manuel Otero, who is himself an Argentinian national. Accepting the recognition was Claudio Ghersa, Director of IFEVA, which is headquartered in Buenos Aires. The ceremony took place at the Salón de Actos of the UBA’s Faculty of Agronomy.
The establishment of the “IICA Chair” Program was motivated by a desire to promote and build expertise in agriculture and rural development in the Americas and the recognition of IFEVA marks its launch at the hemispheric level.
In giving this recognition, Manuel Otero stressed that, “Agriculture should be an activity that creates opportunities and progress. Our region needs to pool our different areas of expertise. IICA is committed to science and technology. We want to join forces with centers of excellence in pursuit of climate smart and socially responsible agriculture”.
“We need to forge alliances and build synergies; unite countries and issues; and address the needs of all people in the Americas. Time is of the essence and we need to determine a course of action and move forward”, he added.
Ghersa remarked that, “IFEVA feels extremely proud and privileged to be recognized by a prestigious institution like IICA”. During its 31 years of existence, more than 30,000 students have passed through IFEVA - a key institution for agricultural sciences in the region.
Also participating in the ceremony were the Dean of the University of Buenos Aires’ Faculty of Agronomy, Marcela Gally, and Aníbal Cofone, UBA’s Secretary of Science and Technology, who was representing the Rector of the University, Alberto Barbieri.
Gally explained that, “More than 50 UBA researchers are working at IFEVA, and it contributes to the development of various areas of the faculty through graduate and post-graduate training. Its publication of 80 scientific articles each year enhances the prestige of the faculty, and we celebrate its endowment of an IICA Chair - an honor of which I feel IFEVA is and will continue to be worthy”.
On behalf of Rector Barbieri, Cofone remarked that, “We need to open ourselves up to a new inter-disciplinary, inter-institutional and international level of thinking. I applaud this recognition that will allow us to make a social contribution through this partnership”.
IFEVA evolved out of a research group that began to take shape during the 1960s and which was led by Alberto Soriano, an agricultural engineer who was Professor of Plant Physiology and Phytogeography of the University of Buenos Aires’ Faculty of Agronomy (FAUBA). Many of the institute’s current lines of research have derived from the work carried out during this initial period. Since 1981, CONICET has supported the activities of the group through PROSAG - Programa de investigación en productividad de sistemas agropecuarios (Research Program on the Productivity of Agricultural Systems).
The IICA Chair Program
In partnership with prestigious external actors, the program aims to generate new knowledge, awarding Chairs to “IICA Professors”, with the appointment of outstanding educators and researchers providing a means to publicize expertise; promote capacity building and strengthening in the public and private sectors; and to facilitate the exchange and generation of knowledge and experiences in a spirit of international solidarity.
The IICA Chairs will be formalized through awards and academic and financial incentives to individuals or groups of individuals with recognized national or international expertise in agricultural and rural issues, and will seek to create opportunities for innovation and the dissemination of relevant and disruptive ideas that provide innovative and creative solutions to the needs and demands of member countries.
Holders of the Chair can present IICA’s Director General with an advanced project profile or a detailed project to seek external funding at the international level. The Institute encourages team work and collaboration and will therefore welcome proposals from teams headed by Chair holders who demonstrate and promote team work and inter-thematic and interdisciplinary work.
After a review and assessment process of no more than 30 days following receipt of all information, the Chair holder will be advised of the final decision.
Institutional Communication Division, IICA