Washington, DC, May, 2012Victor Villalobos, Director General of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), met with high level officials of various US government agencies and Capitol Hill in continued efforts to elevate and share the Institute’s activities in agriculture development throughout its 34 Member Countries.
“In order to meet demands of our member countries, IICA must continue to build upon our technical capacity,” expressed Villalobos. “Sharing best practices and exploring joint opportunities are critical functions in supporting and investing in sustainable agriculture development in the Americas”, he added.
Within the context of presenting the Institute’s 2011 Annual Report before the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS), Villalobos met with key US agencies and Congressional Members including the US Department of State; the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA); Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Congressman Mario Diaz Balart (R-FL), among others, to highlight the IICA’s leadership activities in reducing hunger and poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).
During his visits, Villalobos underscored progress made to create greater efficiencies in providing technical assistance and improve management. Of significance is an Agreement with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to collaborate and maximize use of resources in areas of mutual interests. “Over the next four years, IICA and FAO will carry out joint projects in food security, rural development and poverty alleviation, climate change and natural resource management, agricultural research, innovation and extension, knowledge management and responses to climatic and natural disasters,” confirmed Villalobos.
Also highlighted were alliances advanced including an IICA, FAO and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) initiative to develop a series of publications on the situation and perspective of agriculture in LAC, and the Institute’s elevated technical role with the OAS to assure negotiations and discussions on Food Security and Sovereignty at the upcoming OAS General Assembly.
Additional accomplishments were shared in the Institute’s priority areas to improve agriculture innovation, family agriculture program with a targeted focus on small producers in El Salvador, support to agribusiness and competitiveness and strengthened agricultural health and food safety capacities in the region, to name a few. Special mention was shared on actions to revive and expand the agriculture sector in Haiti and increased project development to ensure food security.
About the IICA
The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture is the specialized agency for agriculture and the rural milieu of the Inter-American System, whose purpose is to provide innovative technical cooperation to the Member States, with a view to achieving their sustainable development in aid of the peoples of the Americas.
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