San Jose, 16 July 2019 (IICA). During the opening session of its regular meeting, which included the participation of delegates from about twenty countries, the Executive Committee of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), one of the governing bodies of the hemispheric agency specializing in agricultural and rural development, expressed widespread support for the institutional modernization process led by Manuel Otero, Director General of the Institute.
During the opening session of the meeting, Otero described the institutional changes that have been implemented in the Inter-American organization over the past 18 months since he assumed office. He noted that these improvements have allowed for delivering better results with respect to technical cooperation, which is structured by region; greater austerity within the organization has also made it possible to reallocate resources to truly productive areas.
“The institute is undergoing an accelerated transformation process at a pace and a speed that are directly linked to the changes taking place in agriculture in our hemisphere. We are honoring our commitment to lay the foundation for an increasingly relevant organization with a greater leadership role; to modernize its management and, in essence, how it operates within the new context of limited resources and increased competition,” remarked Otero.
“IICA today is more flexible; it has a closer relationship with the countries and has the capacity to provide technical cooperation of excellence that removes the obstacles that are hindering the transformation of agriculture in our hemisphere. This has enabled the region to assume a leading role in guaranteeing the planet’s food, nutritional and environmental security,” added the Director General.
Delegates from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, the United States, Honduras and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, among other countries, expressed their support for these initiatives and highlighted the organization’s key role in improving institutional frameworks for agriculture, public policymaking (a task carried out by ministers of agriculture), and capacity-building in the field to create a more productive and efficient agriculture sector that forms part of local and global markets.
The delegates of the Executive Committee meeting, which was chaired by Michael Clifton Pintard, Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources of the Bahamas, were also informed by Otero and Federico Villarreal, Director of Technical Cooperation of IICA, of the topics that will be addressed during the meeting of the Inter-American Board of Agriculture (IABA), which will take place at IICA Headquarters on October 30. The IABA, which is the highest governing body of the Institute, is comprised of 34 Ministers of Agriculture of the western hemisphere.
“The purpose of convening a ministerial meeting is to enable the IABA to provide clear guidelines for IICA’s work, and for the ministers to take on a leading role in this regard by participating in forums that will yield conclusions which, in turn, will serve as the framework and roadmap for IICA’s future work,” added Otero.
Delegates from the member countries of the Executive Committee also highlighted the importance of IICA’s work programs and their relevance to key issues for the economy in their countries, such as international trade, market access, climate change, agricultural health and family farming, among others. They also applauded the work of IICA’s Center for Knowledge Management and Horizontal Cooperation Services in training human resources to drive the development of the agriculture sector.
Institutional Communication Division at IICA.